The Shelby County Art Show will celebrate its 40th anniversary on May 13th and 14th at the Shelby County Home Ec building at the Shelby County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The 2006 Art Show will include entries from adults and children with demonstrations and exhibits by talented area artists. Entries are judged by professional artists with a closed critique for helpful advice. Deadline for entries is April 30th.

The Art Show derives its support from the Shelby County Association for Home and Community Education. The Art Show will be open to the public May 13th and 14th at the Home Ec Building at the Shelby County 4-H Fairgrounds in Shelbyville.

The Shelby County Art Show began 40 years ago as the Shelby County Town and Country Art Show. The Town and Country Art Shows were sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Service and there were regional and state shows. It was originated to give the amateur artist a chance to exhibit his work and have an audience view it. Some of the goals were to encourage the amateur artist to use creative expression, broaden the cultural and educational background of the individual, to foster the growth and development of an individual's interest in the arts, to increase public interest in visual art, to encourage and develop leadership for amateur art groups and to use professional critiques to encourage the individual artist to improve his skills and raise his standards.

The Shelby County Homemakers Extension Association, now known as Shelby County Association for Home and Community Education, has underwritten the show for many years. The show has been held in the Home Ec Building on the 4-H Fairgrounds most of the time, but has been held at the Chautauqua Building at Shelbyville's Forest Park and at the Moweaqua Mall. Very soon we realized that we needed to include junior exhibits. Our junior show has always been a big asset to the show, with many teachers encouraging their students to participate. We also have a corner for the professional artist to show, too. The art show also features demonstrations by many local artists and craftsmen for the viewers to enjoy. Over the years the show has highlighted with special activities, displays and collections from local and now well known artists.

In addition, Shelby County youth are invited to participate in a contest sponsored by Shelby County Lincoln Heritage, Inc. Students will be asked to create art work depicting Abraham Lincoln and his life here in Illinois. The Shelby County Art show will feature a Lincoln Room of local Lincoln art by students and also Lincoln memorabilia. Whit Hardy, president of the SCLH said he would lend some of his Lincoln memorabilia collected over the past 40 years. Winning art will receive $15.00 in $5.00 bills (Lincoln). Students from fourth-sixth grade; seventh through eighth, and High School are eligible to participate. There will be one winner from each group. Carol Kessler is the chairperson for the Art Show and Poster Contest. Hardy promised to attend the art show wearing a top hat.

For additional information or entry forms contact: Carol Kessler, director 217/774-5318 or the Shelby County Home Extension Office 774-9546 .

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