By Rebecca Massie Lane
Special to The Herald-Mail
Painter Brad Clever of Chambersburg, Pa., won Best of Show at the 81st annual Cumberland Valley Artists Exhibition for his oil on wood panel painting, “Milk Glass and Peppers.” His painting will be on on view Saturday, Aug. 17, through Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
Clever recently retired after 35 years as art director for a company that manufactures seasonal decorations. He has been painting still life themes for 25 years and has exhibited his work in Washington, D.C., New York City, Carmel, Calif., and Palm Beach, Fla. He was featured in the April 1992 issue of American Artist magazine with an article and cover photograph.
The Clyde H. Roberts Award for Best Watercolor Landscape, given by the children of Clyde Roberts, was awarded to Sharpsburg artist Lee Weaver for “Roulette Barn.” Weaver retired from a career in art education; he was art teacher at South Hagerstown High School, and served as visual arts coordinator for Washington County Public Schools. His former students have won awards in the museum’s annual competitions. Clyde Roberts, in whose honor the award has been established, taught for many years in Washington County Public Schools and in the museum art school at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
Other award winners include Mark Poss of Vienna, Va., Roy Steele of Hagerstown, Mary Beth Akre of Parkton, Md., and Lee Badger of Hedgesville, W.Va.
Out of 314 entries, 65, or 20 percent, were selected for inclusion in this year’s exhibition by juror Ephraim Rubenstein. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Rubenstein received his Bachelor of Arts in art history from Columbia University and his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. He has exhibited at the Butler Institute of American Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Academy of Design, where he won the Emil and Dines Carlsen Prize in paintings. His work is represented in public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Exxon Corporation and Deloitte & Touche.
Rubenstein is an active teacher and is currently on the faculty of the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts and the Art Students League of New York. At the University of Richmond, where he taught from 1987 to ’98, Rubenstein received the Distinguished Educator Award and the Commonwealth’s Outstanding Faculty Award.
In conjunction with the Cumberland Valley Artists’ Exhibition, Rubenstein will exhibit his “Woodley Suite,” comprised of paintings of the artist’s historic Maryland house, whose spaces and light have been a constant source of inspiration.
To celebrate the exhibition and the artists of the region who entered, an opening reception will be from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, including a short awards ceremony. Another event of interest will be an illustrated talk by Brad Clever, “How I Got from There to Here: School, Illustrator, Photographer, Painter,” which traces his career as an illustrator and his work as a studio artist at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at the monthly meeting of the museum’s Singer Society volunteer group. The Singer Society invites members of the public to join this meeting and to meet the artist.
It is remarkable that the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts has maintained the Cumberland Valley Artists juried exhibition every year for more than 80 years. The longeivity of the exhibition since its origin, established within two years of the museum’s opening in 1931, is a testament to the museum’s commitment to encouraging and fostering the work and success of the region’s artists. Each year, the museum notifies the public of the exhibition through press releases, website announcements and email notification. Annually, the museum invites independent jurors to review the submissions and select the exhibition, and award the prizes.
If you go ...
What: Cumberland Valley Artists Exhibition
When: Saturday, Aug. 17, through Saturday, Nov. 3; awards ceremony 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8
What: “How I Got from There to Here: School, Illustrator, Photographer, Painter,” an illustrated talk by “Best of Show” award winner Brad Clever
When: 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12
Where for all events: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, off of Virginia Avenue, Hagerstown
Contact: Call 301-738-5727 or go to www.wcmfa.org