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Feast for the eyes

Annual Riderwood art show grows in talent, popularity

Created date

September 22nd, 2014
resident in front of her artwork

Earlier this year,

Riderwood resident and professional artist Peggy Zee is the chair of the Art Committee and she spearheaded the organizing of the show. Peggy says artists displayed nearly 200 pieces of juried works, in mediums ranging from oil, acrylics, and watercolor to ceramic, sculpture, and metal, to quilts, stained-glass, and silkscreen. This year, five staff members also contributed pieces to the show. Peggy says some of the young staff artists presented sequential and digital art—an interesting and welcome addition to the more traditional art forms at the show. 

“I am thrilled at the responses from both the attendees and the artists,” Peggy says. “The artists were grateful that I was able to get their works displayed, works that would otherwise never be seen.”

Talent on display

The Riderwood art show was a smashing success in 2013, so it’s no surprise that it grew exponentially this year. Last year, 23 artists showcased 103 pieces of art, compared to this year’s 43 artists displaying 165 works. Attendance grew as well. In 2013, 800 people attended the two-day show. This year, 743 people were in attendance on opening day alone, with many more stopping by on days two and three. Peggy says people who attended the show were impressed by the elegant setting as well as by the broad range of art forms represented.

“Some people felt very emotional over many of the subjects,” Peggy says. “Many were surprised that we had so many residents and staff at Riderwood doing art of this caliber.”

Labor of love

For more than 20 years, Peggy earned her living as a professional artist. She worked primarily in printmaking and silk screening, but has also ventured into other mediums. While she is technically retired, Peggy remains actively engaged in the art world by organizing the annual show at Riderwood.

“Although I am retired, I have never worked harder and enjoyed it more,” Peggy says. “I think the reason why Riderwood has so many good artists is that we are all constantly working at our craft in spite of having to downsize. We just work smaller, in different media and in closer quarters. But we are always working.”

One of the reasons the art show is such a success is that Peggy, along with a dedicated team, spends a lot of time on the task of jurying—visiting the homes of resident artists to carefully select pieces to display at the show. 

“I get great pleasure from getting to meet and make new friends,” Peggy says. “I am also inspired to continue with my own work. For instance, while dealing with the minutiae of planning out all the details for this show, I was able to restore and put a patina on a bust of myself that was badly damaged en route. It turned out great and was featured in the show.”

Peggy says planning for the 2015 art show is already under way. “A Feast for the Eyes III” is being planned for July 22-24, and 70 artists have already signed up to have their works considered. 

“Our jurying task will be extra hard this year,” Peggy says.