Cass Area Artists exhibit reception scheduled for Saturday

Published 2:30 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2022

CASSOPOLIS  — The white painted hallways of the Cass County Administration Building have been brought to life with color, thanks to 32 artists from throughout Michiana.

Cass Area Artists, a regional art collaborative focused on connecting artists and sharing art in the greater Cass County area, has once again coordinated a gallery to be displayed in the County building, 120 N. Broadway St., Cassopolis. From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, community members will have the opportunity to meet the artists behind the art at an opening reception.

“The mission of Cass Area Artists is to bring the world of visual art to underserved areas of Michiana,” said Alli Farkas, Cass Area Artists treasurer. “By hosting exhibits in the County building, we can bring art to folks who previously had no idea there was so much of it right in their home area.”

The gallery, which opens to the public Friday, is the fourth iteration of the exhibit and features 85 pieces ranging from pottery to photography. All work will be on display through Nov. 4.

“The County Building is a place where ordinary residents who aren’t necessarily art lovers have to go sooner or later to take care of some bills or paperwork, whether personal or for a business,” Farkas said. “They may have never felt like browsing an art gallery — I know that even as an artist I am sometimes reluctant to enter a gallery when I know I’m ‘just looking, not buying.’ In the County building, none of that matters. Everyone is free to roam the halls as long as they want to with no one hovering over them or distracting them.”

To participate, all artists featured had to be 18 or older and reside in southwest Michigan or northeast Indiana. There was no fee to participate, and there is no commission on sales. Those interested in purchasing art may contact the artist directly.

“All of our artists are local to Michiana, and by offering a free opportunity to all of them we have been consistently able to feature emerging artists who are exhibiting for the first time,” Farkas said. “The fact that they don’t have to pay to be juried into a show, they don’t have to pay a gallery commission to sell their work, and we award prize money for outstanding achievement in several art categories all serve to attract artists from all levels of experience.”

During the opening ceremony Saturday, cash awards will be handed out for first, second and third place pieces, as decided by a judge delegated by the Cass Area Artists. The public will have a chance to vote for their favorite pieces throughout the exhibit, and more cash awards will be awarded for People’s Choice when the exhibit closes Nov. 5.

“Our partnership with the Cass Area Artists provides an amazing opportunity to showcase the incredible art and culture that exists right here in Cass County and provides a fantastic forum for our area artists to be able to share their works,” said Cass County Administrator Matthew Newton. “It’s truly remarkable how the Gallery brings such vibrancy and life to the County Building, and we welcome all county residents and visitors to come enjoy the exhibit and vote for their favorite piece in the People’s Choice Contest.”