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Local Artists Shine at Bellingham Library

By Jennifer Russo
Bellingham residents with an artsy side were invited to enter their works into the Bellingham Library’s Art & Photography Competition in February in the categories of People, Places or Things. There was also a Children’s Art category. The Community Room turned into a proper art gallery, with beautiful pieces of art covering every wall. 
When guests arrived at the reception, they were given two raffle tickets, where they could win one of the winning photos from the inaugural competition in 2019 (donated by those winners), and a People’s Choice voting card where they could enter in their personal favorite to be announced later that evening. They marveled at the talent of the artists and hovered over their favorite pieces, taking in every detail.
Middleboro-native musician Ric Allendorf played some acoustic tunes and light refreshments were served. He sang some original songs as well as popular covers, as attendees complimented his smooth vocal tone, discussing among themselves which artworks they felt stood out the most and making comments about how they didn’t know their friend or neighbor was so talented.
With 65 submissions, the judges certainly had their work cut out for them to choose who would receive 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each category.
Winners of the 2024 competition were:
Children’s Art
1st – Analiese Bastille with “Ivy’s Painting”; 2nd – Zachary Spitzer with “Godzilla Z”; 3rd – Lyra Krpata with “N”
Photography – Places
1st – Steven Vaux with “Reflections of Past”; 2nd – John Andonian with “Majestic Monument”; 3rd – Roger Simmons with “Abandoned House”
Photography – Things
1st – Christine Chito with “Light as a Feather”; 2nd – Gail Eckberg with “B.F.F.”; 3rd – Stephanie Marcott with “Black Crowned Night Heron”
Art – People
1st – Eileen Bailey with “Unconditional Love”; 2nd – Natasha Vaux with “Dancing Through Life”; 3rd – Ali Rheaume with “Appreciate the Little Things”
Art – Places
1st – Verne L. Thayer with “Glowing Path”; 2nd – Diane Choquette with “Chicken of the Sea”; 3rd – Kay Lock Kolp with “Riverbend Farm”
Art – Things
1st – Michelle Ravinski with “Fruit Bowl”; 2nd – Kay Lock Kolp with “Jay’s Bears”; 3rd – Gayle Abrams with “Romantic Evening”
The Best of Show winner was Eileen Bailey’s “Unconditional Love” and the People’s Choice Winner, with the majority vote of reception attendees was John Andonian’s “Galactic Lighthouse.”
“It was a pleasure to plan and host this event,” says Library Director Bernadette Rivard. “After we did the photography show in 2019 for Bellingham’s 300th anniversary, I knew it was something I wanted to do again. COVID changed that and so many other plans, but it’s back! We look forward to hosting this each year just before February school vacation, as it gives us the ability to display the artwork for a full week after the event.” 
Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to all of the winners! An online gallery of this year’s entries can be found on the library’s website: 
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