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24th Art in the County a record-breaking show

Annik Despres, show chairman with Peoples’ Choice winning artist Susan Straiton and her oil painting Radiance. This is a fifth Peoples’ Choice win for the Milford artist.

The celebration of Art in the County wrapped up Sunday marking milestones in its 24th annual event.

Thirty-four works of art by County artists, with a combined value of $27,900, were sold during the 17-day juried exhibition and sale. Those sales, said Tara Wilkinson, of Art in the County, created a show record for the highest dollar value of works sold in the show’s history.

Over the years, Art in the County has attracted more than 50,000 visitors and with this year’s numbers has generated more than $285,000 in arts sales. Click here for a look at the show and winners of jurors and honourable mention awards. 

Annik Despres, Chair, Art in the County 2017, joins Alex Fida, owner, Angeline’s Inn, to present Marianne Sanders of Cherry Valley with 1,500th visitor prize pack.

The 1,500th visitor to the show didn’t leave with the painting she wanted as it was sold, but she was well rewarded for her visit.

Marianne Sanders, of Cherry Valley, won a stay for two in the Babylon Cabin at Angeline’s Inn with breakfast for two provided by The Hubb Eatery and Lounge.

“As it happens, she arrived at the show for her third visit to check on a painting she had her eye on purchasing, only to discover it was already sold,” said Tara Wilkinson, of Art in the County, “But she was delighted to not leave empty handed.”

Annik Despres, Chair, Art in the County 2017 and Elizabeth Crombie cut the Canada Day Cake offered at the show July 1st.

Last week, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, admission to the show was made free of charge during Canada Day and attendees were invited to enjoy Canada Day Birthday Cake and refreshments thanks to sponsor, Elizabeth Crombie, of Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty Brokerage.

“More than 600 people came to see the Art in the County show on Canada Day,” said Wilkinson. “Smashing all previous records for the most visits in a single day to the show in its 24 year history”

The winner of the People’s Choice Award, also sponsored by The Elizabeth Crombie Real Estate Team was presented just before closing, on Sunday. All visitors were given a ballot for their chance to vote on their favorite work of art in the show.

This year’s People’s Choice honour was presented to Susan Straiton, of Milford, for her oil painting “Radiance”. This is a fifth People’s Choice win for Straiton, whose work shows regularly at Mad Dog Gallery.

“I believe that it is important for me as a painter to convey to the viewer of art the same awestruck wonder and passion I experience when I see a raging storm or a serene calm,” said Straiton in her artist statement. “The irresistible beauty of the natural world inspires me to capture it, to suspend that pristine moment of discovery in the subjects, the colour, the line, and in all aspects of the effects of light.”

Crombie said she’s proud to support the County’s vibrant arts community.

“I am honoured to support it and present this award on behalf of everyone who cast their vote. It is an affirmation for the artist that their work speaks to such a broad audience.”

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