‘50th Hamilton Current’ going big with outdoor projection at the Fitton Center

Artwork is projected on the outside of Fitton Center for Creative Arts along Monument Street for the 50th anniversary Hamilton Current regional art competition. The art will be on display from 8 p.m. until midnight starting Friday, May 28 for the week-long public art display. This is Taco Cat by artist Brian Beck. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Artwork is projected on the outside of Fitton Center for Creative Arts along Monument Street for the 50th anniversary Hamilton Current regional art competition. The art will be on display from 8 p.m. until midnight starting Friday, May 28 for the week-long public art display. This is Taco Cat by artist Brian Beck. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Weeklong presentation features 131 original pieces from 72 artists.

The 50th Hamilton Current regional art exhibition opened at the Fitton Center’s Monument Avenue Pergola on Friday. The outdoor projections will continue to run every evening through June 4.

“We’ve come at it from a quite different angle, but I think our artists really appreciated the opportunity and the ability to do it this way, and think we’re creating something exciting, new, and outstanding, artistically for Hamilton. We’re super excited about this event,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director at The Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

The weeklong, outdoor, digital presentation features 131 pieces of original artwork from 72 artists, which will be projected as wall-scale images, up to 40 feet in size, on the outside of the Fitton Center facing the Monument Avenue Pergola.

“Along with our partners at TECServices, Hanson Scaffolding, LemonGrenade Creative, and working with the artistic and event teams at the Fitton, we’re going to bring a sensational event and art experience to the people of Hamilton and greater Butler County, for all to enjoy,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

He said what makes this art display different is they are not just images projected on a wall, but it’s a fully curated art exhibition.

“It’s like being in a virtual gallery, but you’ll be standing on the street in downtown Hamilton,” said MacKenzie-Thurley, “It’s a new way of engaging with art and artists.”

During the opening event, there will be a full DORA bar available, and Middletown-based band “The Wonderlands” will perform. The neighboring Soldiers & Sailors Monument and Historic Log Cabin will also be open that evening. The event is free.

Artworks chosen for cash awards and honorable mention awards will be installed on the ground floor in the Monument Gallery at the Fitton Center and the artwork will be on display through July 9. As an extension of the show, there will be ongoing artist features on social media.

Winning artists who will receive cash awards include Allyson Coffren of Fort Thomas, Kentucky ($500 for Best of Show) for an oil painting she describes as a “bovine self-portrait”); Sarah Daniels of Hamilton ($250 Silver Prize 2D) for a photographic self-portrait); and Kate Rowekamp of Cincinnati ($250 Silver Prize 3D) for a pair of mixed-media egg-sized characters.

In addition, 18 artists will be recognized with Honorable Mention Awards including Brian Beck, Rick Lingo, Paul Loehle, Greg Buening, Susan Carlson, Cynthia Malora-Sturdevant, Nicole Trimble, John Weller, Adam Wolter, Kent Krugh, Mark Hanavan, Roscoe Wilson, Karen Connolly, Catherine Fiorelli, Madison Rumschik, Julie Due, Neil Simak and Leslie Getz.

Access to the indoor galleries at the Fitton will be available 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday and group tours are available by contacting the Fitton Center.

Cathy Mayhugh, director of exhibitions at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, said the competition attracts adult visual artists residing within 60 miles of Hamilton.

“”It really extends to a lot of artist communities around us, and a lot of cities, including Cincinnati and Dayton as well as into Northern Kentucky and Eastern Indiana,” she said.

This is a biennial exhibition that alternates with the Fitton Center Member Show. Audiences can expect to see a variety of mediums represented, including two-dimensional pieces and sculpture. Other popular mediums include painting, photography, fiber art, ceramics, glass and mixed media.

“The Fitton Center is already getting great feedback from area artists who are excited about the opportunity to share their artwork in a big way,” Mayhugh said, “We’re looking forward to sharing these events with our creative community.”

For more information about the exhibition, go to www.fittoncenter.org. The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is at 101 S. Monument Avenue in downtown Hamilton.

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