Debby Peters, a Duanesburg resident and member of the town’s Democratic Committee, knows there are talented artists and writers in her community.
It’s part of the reason Peters, along with other committee members, organized the Duanesburg Arts Competition, which kicked off earlier this summer.
The juried competition invites Duanesburg residents of all ages to submit visual artwork or creative writing that reflects on their community, whether that be why they enjoy living there or their vision for its future. Entries will be accepted through July 31 and winners will be announced on August 14.
The Duanesburg Democratic Committee previously organized an essay contest for high school students, however, this year, members wanted to host an event that would bring the wider community together.
“This has nothing to do with politics at all; it’s just a project we wanted to undertake as a part of caring about our community, especially in the time of COVID,” Peters said.
Residents can submit their work electronically. Accepted mediums include photographs, drawings, paintings, short stories, poetry, memoir pieces and essays. Entries will be split into visual arts and writing. The first prize in each category is $200 and the second is $150.
One of the judges is Duanesburg resident Judith Prest, who is a poet, photographer, mixed media artist and creativity coach. She self-published three poetry collections and her chapbook “After” was published in 2019. Prest also has a forthcoming poetry collection, titled “Geography of Loss,” slated for release by Finishing Line Press in July.
Alan Knight, another competition judge, is known for his landscape paintings, which are informed by his work in agricultural and environmental writing.
“A first step in protecting the planet is to love its beautiful places. I paint to foster love of them,” Knight writes in an artist statement.
The third judge is Oliver Peters, a multi-media artist and educator, who has exhibited work throughout the Capital Region and tri-state areas.
So far, it’s been challenging to get the word out about the contest, and though organizers have been collecting submissions for a month, few have come in.
“Unfortunately, we’re at the halfway mark on Wednesday and we don’t have many submissions. We’re hoping that in July people have been working on their projects and we’ll get a lot more submissions,” Peters said. “I know there’s a lot of talented people out there.”
For more information, including how to enter the competition, visit sites.google.com/view/duanesburgarts2021.
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