Fun at the 57th Annual Society of Animal Artists Exhibition!

Society of Animal Artists 57th Annual Exhibition!

by Rachelle Siegrist

wes and rachelle siegrist at society of animal artists exhibition
Wes and me beside my turtle painting during the opening reception

We flew in alongside New York City Thursday evening and I was delighted to even spot The Statue of Liberty, before landing at the Newark airport, trading the tranquility of our home in Townsend with less than 400 people, for the masses of the Paramus, NJ area! Nervously leaving the airport in our rental, we totally freaked out when the car engine died at the first chaotic intersection! However, it immediately started back up when Wes took his foot off the brake, and thankfully, upon experiencing this unnerving occurrence a couple of times, we quickly realized it was an eco setting on the car!  Friday, while Wes attended the judges’ luncheon, I went to a small local zoo nearby and loved spending the day outside soaking up the warmth and plentiful sunshine, while watching and photographing the animals!

turtle photo
His salad looked way yummier than my lunch . . . a meal bar!

Sadly most of the birds had been moved inside for the season, and one of my favorites the prairie dogs, were also off exhibit, causing the zoo to seem even smaller. Nonetheless, I found a comfortable bench in the sun, where I enjoyed talking and laughing with my parents on the phone for long while.  That evening we enjoyed seeing the artwork, whilst enjoying soothing sounds of a harpist, during the opening for the Society of Animal Artists’ 57th Annual Exhibition at the beautiful Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, which was well attended by an enthusiastic crowd!

Wes and me beside our paintings in the show

Saturday started with a business meeting for the group, followed by a game where attending artists served on a mock jury. Upon separating into several equal numbered groups and then individually voting on numerous artworks, the “In’s and out’s” were tallied for each separate group and the varying results shared. It was a most enlightening way to show the artists how fairly our annual exhibitions are chosen by the jury committees each year.

rachelle siegrist society of animal artists opening weekend
Game time!

After lunch an informative and entertaining presentation was given by artist John Pitcher, and the afternoon activities culminated with everyone watching sculptor Paul Rhymer do an actual pour of bronze on the premises, while artist Jim Coe demonstrated painting in oils, both of which were very interesting and enjoyable to watch!

Paul carefully pours the molten bronze into the molds ~ Jim Coe paints in oil

That evening we returned to the beautiful museum, a renovated and redesigned 1893 cedar shingle and turret carriage house. The artists’ banquet, ended on a sweet note with a delicious dessert consisting of a fruit tart topped with caramel drizzle!

Society of animal artists dinner
Conversation and fun during the artists’ banquet inside the museum

After dinner, the various awards were presented and the audience was entertained with artists doing imitations of bird and animal calls. After stating that mine was of a Barred Owl, laughingly I said “Who, who . . . Who cooks for you” before doing the actual call which totally impressed all listening, resulting in “Hootin’’” and applause! The animal calls, some impressive and others hilarious, were part of an art swap enjoyed by participating artists and was certainly the big hit of the evening!  We were delighted to add original works by Cathy Sheeter and Aaron Yount into our growing collection.

rachelle siegrist society of animal artists dinner
“Who, Who . . . Who Cooks For You?”

Sunday was spent at the SAA Board meeting and jury before having a fun dinner together with the remaining group for artists that evening. Boarding the plane mid-day Sunday, we headed back to our home here in the Smokies. 

rachelle siegrist and allen blagden
With dear artist friend and laughter buddy Allen Blagden

We especially want to thank the friendly Hiram Blauvelt staff for a wonderful opening weekend and Wes and I are delighted that our touring exhibition Exquisite Miniatures will be traveling to the Hiram Blauvelt in 2019!

~ Fresh off the Easels ~

I recently finished this miniature painting of a lovely scene from Dogwood Harbor, located on Tilghman Island, near Easton, MD.  Wes and I enjoyed exploring the island while there participating in the Waterfowl Festival last November.

“Dogwood Harbor, Tilghman Island”

I also recently finished another miniature painting of an adorable frog I photographed during one of our numerous visits to a swamp, a place I always enjoy being!  Both miniature paintings will be debuted at the upcoming 47th Waterfowl Festival taking place November 9th – 12th.

“Swamp Life”

yellow lab painting, yellow Labrador Retriever painting, dog commission by rachelle siegrist

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle


5 thoughts on “Fun at the 57th Annual Society of Animal Artists Exhibition!

  1. Donald Weiser

    Very nice! Don

    On Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 3:09 PM, Under the Magnifying Glass wrote:

    > Wes and Rachelle Siegrist posted: “Society of Animal Artists 57th Annual > Exhibition! by Rachelle Siegrist We flew in alongside New York City > Thursday evening and I was delighted to even spot The Statue of Liberty, > before landing at the Newark airport, trading the tranquility of our home” >

  2. Tom Carlsen

    I remember you talking about Paramus when we were there in August. Must have been
    terrifying! Haven’t been in N.J. since about 1988. Paula

  3. Mary vanW

    Used to bring my boys to that park/zoo, Rachelle, when they were little. It is perfect for the wee ones. Oradell is in the middle of the most populated area of northern NJ. There are lots of beautiful, cozy spots though, but you needed a local “guide”. Glad you and Wes enjoyed the old carriage house too.

    1. Hi Mary,
      I really enjoyed the zoo, it’s actually the second time I’ve been there. Yes, Wes read about it being the most populated area, it feels like it! I bet there are lots of beautiful spots and I would’ve loved having a local guide!
      Rachelle 😊

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