By HANNAH NIEDERRITER – Student Contributor
Investing countless hours of time into a single piece of art isn’t something everyone can relate to. Each stroke of a paintbrush or line of a pencil seems insignificant, yet by pushing beyond doubt, a piece of your heart now takes form on a canvas, a piece of paper, et cetera. Being able to witness your own art displayed on the walls on the Transit Building Annex was a feeling of satisfaction for me like no other.
Before entering, there are countless steps to follow, the obvious one creating at least one piece of art or taking at least one photograph. This is much simpler said than done. To put in perspective, the single acrylic painting I entered involved in-class work time of at least fifteen hours at school (not considering the time spent working during study halls) along with at least twenty hours of work at my own home. On top of this, I entered two more pieces of art just as many of my fellow artists did. Framing and wiring each work, filling out an application, and procuring money for the entry fee followed.
All of this effort did come into fruition when I laid eyes on my own blood, sweat, and tears hanging amidst the artwork of several other young adults during the artist reception. Watching casual onlookers stroll in and pause upon seeing what I had created left me with a flourishing feeling of pride and accomplishment. Whenever someone pointed towards my art with a hearty grin on their face, I couldn’t help but feel that all my hard work had paid off tenfold. Words of awe from people, people I had never even spoken to, left me elated.
On top of all the joy I was experiencing, I was approached by a staff member who had been confronted by people desiring to buy my art. In short, you could say I was flabbergasted and flattered. I was not interested in selling, but knowing that there are people who would pay for my very own art to be in their house is mind boggling. My friend who had entered and sold some photography in the art show felt likewise.
Several days passed by, and the inevitable end of the festival arrived. However, I was fortunate enough to receive a congratulatory call informing me that all three of my art pieces had placed! My acrylic painting that had received first place had also won Best in Show: something I couldn’t have hoped for enough. No amount of words could express my deepest gratitude.
My experience at the Oil Heritage Art Show was nothing less than heartwarming. Entering is something I would recommend for absolutely any local artist. It is a place where you can gain recognition, a place where you can support your community, and a place where you can see the fruits of your labor. I can say with one hundred percent certainty that I will be entering again in the following years, and maybe, just maybe, I was able to inspire someone else with my story to enter too.
Hannah Niederriter and Amber Holt are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications group.