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Nuria Mathog, Editor
11:26 pm CDT March 22, 2020
The Frankfort Arts Association's downtown gallery may be temporarily closed, but community members can still enjoy local artists' work by visiting the organization's newly-launched digital gallery.
The association's latest exhibition, titled "Treasures," challenged artists to create artwork with a focus on something valuable to them. Originally slated to run March 8 through April 25 at the physical gallery, the exhibition has since moved to an online format at frankfortartsassociation.org.
Frankfort Arts Association board member Katie Stempniak said the organization's leadership opted to create the digital gallery in an effort to help "flatten the curve" by reducing potential community spread of COVID-19.
"We just wanted to be able to give the community somewhere to go and virtually appreciate some of the art and give them the option to purchase it if they wanted to," Stempniak explained. "We want to be part of the community, and whether it's in person in the gallery, a pop-up gallery or a virtual gallery, we just want to support local arts and artists."
Nearly three dozen artists from Frankfort and surrounding communities contributed work to the juried exhibition. The submissions include photography, sculptures, paintings, pastels and jewelry, Stempniak said.
Frankfort Arts Association Secretary Christina Cooley, a Frankfort resident and a founding member of the organization, was responsible for compiling all of the work and uploading it to the digital gallery, Stempniak said. Each image is accompanied by the name of the artist, the medium used to create it and whether or not the work is for sale. Residents interested in purchasing artwork from the gallery are asked to send an email to email@example.com.
Artist Catherine Trezek won first place in the competition with an oil painting of her granddaughter titled "Blessings," while Carla Toth took second place with "Daisy May," a watercolor portrait of her dog.
One particularly unique submission, which won third place, was a vintage treasure book created by artist Susan Flanagan, Stempniak said.
"It showcased old photos, and it was just really beautiful," she said. "It had beads and lace and different paper and mixed media, and it was actually the first item that was sold in the gallery, and it was just a beautiful piece of history and tangible treasures as well."