The Montgomery Bar Association’s Community Outreach Committee launched its inaugural COURTING ART program back in 2013 with the lofty goal of transforming the cold, cavernous walls of the Montgomery County Court House into a gallery of bright and cheerful homegrown art. Ultimately, the program aimed to create a more welcoming courthouse environment for staff and visitors, and reduce the stress typically associated was a day in court. Since that time, members of the Bar Association, sponsors from our legal community and community partners have come together, and our artists have captured the beauty and diversity of our County through magnificent interpretations of some of our areas most inspiring landmarks and hidden treasures.
For the past three years, we challenged local artists ages 55+ to explore and express, on paper, canvas and mixed media, “What we love about Montgomery County.” Among the hundreds of juried entries received and displayed during our month-long exhibitions at Montgomery County Community College’s Fine Arts Center are these select prize-winning works, chosen and installed in our courthouse for everyone’s enjoyment.
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2016?
We’ll be changing our theme and challenging artists to explore a side of our county that some of us may take for granted. Next year’s COURTING ART theme, “MONTCO IN MOTION” hopes to explore and celebrate active lifestyles, community happenings, and our rich, recreational assets. More specifically, we’ll be seeking bright, uplifting entries that children will enjoy as next year’s award-winning art will be installed in an area of our courts frequently occupied by children and families. From our community playgrounds, ball fields, concerts, theaters festivals, carnivals and events, to our historic reenactments, busy streets and endless country roads-- there’s no shortage of inspiration in Montgomery County. Be it our award-winning trail system, our world-class shopping and entertainment hubs or a setting that’s truly unique, COURTING ART: “MONTCO IN MOTION” hopes to encourage artists to capture movement, performance, creativity and “living life” as we know it in Montgomery County.
2015 LIST OF WINNERS
The following pieces have been selected for reproduction and installation in the Montgomery County Court House.
Best In Show
"St. Gabriel's, Audubon" by Carol Albrecht
"Waiting" by William Bourne
"Suburban Hircum" by Susan Williamson
by Malcolm Scott
"Evening Glow at the Park" by Susannah Hart Thomer
Awards of Excellence
"The Skippack Creek" by Michael Adams
"Norristown Remembered" by Frank Batson
"Along the Perkiomen" by Carl P. Berlinger
"Wild Flowers" by Brenda Boorse
"Autumn in Penn." by Shirley Daly
"Freddy Hill Farm" by Margaret Dawson
"Digging Out" by Rose Folkes
"Bridge Over Tranquil Water" by Rich Godshall
"Alderfer Park" by Lisa Kerr
"Country Creek Crooner" by Susan E. Klinger
"Creek Adventure" by Choon Lim
"The Home Hole at Center Square" by John Lloyd
"Rock Run" by Jim Lynch
"The Beloved Barn" by Patricia H. Lynch
"Perfect Wheelbarrows" by Sherry McVickar
"Kayaker at Lock 60" by Rebecca Postell
"Deep Creek Lake in Winter" by David G. Reed
"From My Garden" by Roma Richter
"Old Norriton Christmas" by Raymond Schorle
"Dhoruba of Elmwood Park Zoo" by Suzanne B. Shank
"Pond View of Subracyol" by Esther Ruth Schisler
"The Heckler Homestead" by Don Shoffner
"Renewal" by Audrey Tant
"American Goldinch Near Windlestrae Park" by Kenneth A. Tuttle
"Creekside" by Anne S. Whalon
"Woxall Hotel After the Rain" by Sally Keyes Yates
There’s a lot to love here in Montgomery County and for local artists and members of our legal community, there’s plenty to be proud of. In just two years, the Montgomery Bar Association’s local, state, and now national award-winning Courting Art program has transformed the once-tired walls of the Montgomery County Court House into a bright, colorful gallery of homegrown art --lifting the spirits of thousands of exhibition and courthouse visitors each year. Most newsworthy perhaps is the fact that the renaissance taking place in the Montgomery County Court House has been achieved at no cost to taxpayers, thanks to a very special group of prize-winning amateur and professional artists and the pioneering attorneys, judges, law firms and community partners who have stepped up to support the program. On all accounts, Courting Art is a winner.
Since the program’s conception, the Courting Art program has helped raise awareness of our county’s talented local artists and art programs. Last October at the National Association of Bar Executive’s Communications Conference held in Indianapolis, the Courting Art program earned “best of show” accolades on its way to earning a Luminary Award -- its Communications Section's highest honor. In 2014, it was also among the first projects ever to receive a Stellar Award from the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board for raising awareness of local tourist attractions and community treasures. And what began as an idea to help relieve stress and create a more visitor-friendly courthouse has become a model for community-led courthouse improvements nationwide. One Maryland judge has credited our legal community along with pioneering artists and sponsors as the inspiration behind their own Courting Art program, scheduled to launch later this year in the city of Baltimore, with others in line to follow.
Montgomery County artists (ages 55+) are again encouraged to begin preparing work for the MBA’s highly anticipated 2015 “WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MONTGOMERY COUNTY” art contest and three-week juried art exhibition at MCCC’s Fine Arts Center. Prize-winning work from this year’s contest will complete the transformation of the third and final wing of the Montgomery County Court House, Plaza Level. Visit our Timeline page for key dates and times for this year's contest and exhibition. Contest Rules and Entry Forms and available for download on our Entry Info page.
We are presently seeking sponsors for our 2015 program as well and have some very special incentives in place for those who support this year's efforts. Please visit our Sponsorship page to learn more.