Milford Arts Center holds exhibit

Artist Cathy Liontas, here with Arlene Morrell and Gayle Caro, submits an oil painting she entered into the judged exhibit.

Artist Cathy Liontas, here with Arlene Morrell and Gayle Caro, submits an oil painting she entered into the judged exhibit.

The Milford Arts Council held an exhibit call for artists of all skill levels, as both members and residents were invited to participate in the 2019 open-themed show for 2-dimensional media.

The Milford Arts Council (is a 501c3 member organization housed within the iconic historic Civil War era former train station at 40 Railroad Avenue South. The recently renovated MAC welcomes more than 12,000 patrons and engages more than 800 performers and artists, at its more than 250 annual events.

“We have so much talent here, it’s really amazing,” explained Lorie Lewis, Marketing Director. “The arts are really all about connecting the community, helping the community to thrive, to communicate and to offer opportunities for the community to come together and have conversation around interesting ideas and concepts. It’s a way we bring everybody in the community together. Our tagline is ‘heart of the arts’, we feel we are an integral part of community as a whole.”

The Member/Resident Show opened its doors and received works from dozens of artists Jan. 11-12. Due to popular demand, entry rules permitted only one recent and original 2-dimensional piece per artist, framed (maximum size 24” x 36”) and wired for hanging with a submission fee of $20.

“I’ve been painting full time for the past two years, but I’ve been an artist my whole life,” said exhibitor Cathy Liontas, artist and instructor. “I love exhibiting here in Milford, they are so receptive to all levels of artists and it’s a great venue. I entered one of my favorite paintings, a rocky coast shoreline, that I have done from Monhegan Island in Maine. I also have a home studio (Art for Everyone) and encouraged my students who are participating in the show as well.”

Exhibitor Irena Valles said, “I have entered several times and last time I was awarded second place. That was an encaustic piece and this time I entered an encaustic monoprint so it’s really the only one that exists. I am a supporter and a member.”

This non-juried, open-themed exhibit of 2-dimensional media will award a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Ninety percent of the submitted artwork is for sale and a different judge is chosen each year. “We choose judges whose credentials match the show,” said Lewis.

The 2019 exhibit will be judged by Herm Freeman, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting. Freeman studied with several major American artists including Fairfield Porter, James Brooks, and George McNeil and was recently awarded Best in Show at the prestigious Silvermine 51st Art of the Northeast USA Annual Exhibit.

New this year, “We have asked the judge to give a few sentences to each winner about why he chose their work,” said Gayle Caro, Volunteer Program Coordinator. “We’ve asked them to give a little dissertation. The MAC is all about community, it’s the best kept secret in the area, our team, staff and acoustics are amazing. We just won a cultural award for the Firehouse Gallery. Many artists, including professionals — from the beginner artist to pros, have sold their pieces during this event and have gone on to get commissions after exhibiting in the show.”

“I exhibit my art here, this year a great horned owl in the pastel medium," said Veronica Cassellvaz.

Artist Tanya R. Unger creates mixed media pieces. “I’ve been an artist my whole life, I think most artists have been. I studied in Cortland N.Y. for a long period of time. This piece called Wild Love, of two horses, is a mixed medium, layered, textured piece; the background is a poured piece, fluid.”

“I do a lot of photography and a lot of Walnut Beach photography,” said Hedi Minow-Pike, who submitted a photographic piece. “I’m an avid amateur for about a decade now.”

The exhibit will run from through March 7, and can be seen Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The event will culminate with a closing reception March 7 at 5:30 p.m. and announcement of the winners who will receive cash awards. “This reception is one of our very highly attended receptions; we’ll have quite a crowd. We hope people from novice to professionals will be inspired and that more and more people will enter.” The community is invited to attend this reception.

Lewis added, “It’s the longest running exhibit we host and we’ll be celebrating 50 years soon. The inspiration for the exhibit comes from the hope of inclusivity and outreach to the community.” The MAC also oversees the Firehouse Gallery in the Walnut Beach area which opened in 2004.