RANGELEY – After several location changes and a gusting wind that threatened the event, artists and art lovers alike gathered in Oquossoc Park on Thursday August 6 to celebrate Rangeley’s Art in August. The 40th annual event was, for many registered artists, the only art show of the summer that hadn’t been canceled due to Covid-19 and was held in a community park complete with a blacktop, playground, and plenty of avid art-lovers in their best face masks. The show featured glass work, photography, paintings, jewelry, woodworking, and ceramics.
Ribbons were awarded to the top two pieces in the 3D and 2D fine art categories as well as an honorable mention.
David S. Wissman from Southern Vermont won first prize in the 2D category, with his pieces depicting hunters and landscapes from the New England region as well as the Western regions of Colorado. Partial to the more traditional black and white pieces, he paints to “keep the heritage and culture alive.” He’s painted several pieces on commission for hunters across the United States and his winning piece featured here took him 250 hours to complete.
Hélène Farrar, a Farmington native and daughter of two once-UMF professors, won 2nd place for 2D fine art. This was her second year attending the event, and thought the artist has paintings exhibited all over the world, she continues to return to the smaller New England events out of joy and appreciation for the region.
Doug Frati won first place in the 3D category with his woodcarvings using repurposed wood from furniture, including his winning piece which was originally a
headboard. He believes that “art needs an audience” which, as well as his passion for his work, is what brings him back to public art shows such as this. He also attended Art in August in 2019 and won first place for 3D, though he says that winning first place “never gets old.”
Another returning artist, John Hooper, won second place in 3D art, for his transformation of a Tamarac stump into a grouse. He’s attended the event for several years now and still believes that it is “inspiring to see all the other artist’s work.”
The Honorable Mention award went to Walter Mularz who has been showcasing his art for over fifty years. He’s won several awards for his work, including four or five from just the Art in August Event. Though it’s safe to say that not everyone has been attending Art in August for as long as Mularz, the ample attendance to the event is proof enough that the public still sees a need for public displays of the arts.