ORANGE, NJ — Local artist Patricia Hutchinson of Belmar has been awarded Best in Show in the ValleyArts Open Orange 2017.

Hutchinson’s winning piece, “Cupid,” is among three entries that she submitted and were accepted in the juried exhibition of two-dimensional art created by artists in the tristate area.

Hutchinson, well known in the New Jersey arts community, learned about the ValleyArts’ show during an open studio group she attends at the Belmar Arts Center. “I always keep my eye out for shows to enter,” she said. “And someone during the open group told me about this one.”

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While she had to select her entries based on size limitations placed upon submitted artwork for the show, all three pieces share one design element — they all depict women looking directly ahead.

In a statement Hutchinson prepared about her work, she said she looks for faces, figures and attitudes (humorous, ironic, pugnacious) that suggest lively minds and evoke interesting responses. “Human subjects, whether still or in motion, project atmospheres around themselves that I try to capture,” she said.  “I’m not sure everyone else can see these ‘energy-environments,’ but I find them endlessly interesting and suspect that I will never run out of subject matter for new paintings.”

After a distinguished career in the arts as an educator and magazine editor, Hutchinson retired in 2007 and moved with husband John to Belmar, where she was a founder and chair of the Belmar Arts Council. Throughout her professional life, she has continued to paint, and since retiring has been painting and showing her work in New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York. She is a trustee of the Belmar Arts Council and Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan, and the Fulbright Alumni Association.

ValleyArts’ Open Orange 2017 will run through Sunday, June 11 at the Community Gallery, 400 S. Jefferson Street in Orange. Guests are welcome to view the exhibition Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment outside of these hours, call 862-252-7035.

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