In one corner, a goat is chewing on an acrylic blade of grass. In another, a young girl is holding a flower shaped with lines.
Across the room, birds chirp on canvas and landscapes glisten behind glass.
Many of the 48 entries in the 2014 Art Faire jump off the walls at The Clayton Center. This year’s competition for artists and photographers didn’t have an official theme, but natural scenes are common throughout the exhibit.
This is the 16th year that Clayton Visual Arts has play host to the Art Faire, which started in 1999 as a one-day event. In the area now known as Town Square, artists could show and sell their work on a Saturday in September.
But over the years, the Faire has morphed into a competition, and now judges grade entries the day before a reception where the winners are unveiled. All the pieces remain hanging in The Clayton Center until October.
June Lioret, a Clayton resident and member of the Art Faire Committee, said 19 photographers and 28 artists submitted entries. Most of the entrants live in Johnston County, but the Faire also drew works from photographers and artists in Wake County, Goldsboro, Middlesex and West End.
“The quality of the show has improved from year to year, which is very gratifying,” Lioret said.
This year, Susan Fecho of Wilson and Richard Cicone judged the competition. Fecho, chairwoman of the Department of Art and Design at Barton College, is an award-winning artist who works in mixed media. Cicone, a former photography instructor at Wake Technical Community College, has judged numerous competitions in the Triangle.
While the Faire is judged, it is not a “juried exhibition,” where a committee evaluates each entry for acceptance into the show. If someone wants to enter the Art Faire competition, he or she can, so long as they pay a fee and sign up in time.
Clayton resident Kathleen Nobles, who also sits on the Art Faire Committee, said the shows draw about 50 entrants most years.
“The arts are growing, and they are increasing in size,” said Nobles, who entered an acrylic painting, “Three Egrets in a March,” in the show. “There are quite a few talented people in the Clayton area, and that shows by the participation.”
This year’s winners are:
• Susan Brabeau of Wendell, “Hydrangeas,” Margaret Ritchie Award of Excellence for Fine Art, $750 prize.
• Kyle Wilson of Clayton, “No Hope,” Award of Excellence for Photography, $750 prize.
• Malcolm MacGregor of Garner, “Mystic Morning,” Judges’ Choice Award, $100 prize.
• Michael T. Morrison of Clayton, “Summertime in Senigallia,” Judges’ Choice Award, $100 prize.
• Janie Prete of Clayton, “Leaving Home,” Judges’ Choice Award, $100 prize.
In addition, Clayton Visual Arts partnered with five area employers for the first-ever purchase awards. Representatives from HomeTowne Realty, First Citizens Bank, The Art of Luxury, Novo Nordisk and Johnston Health agreed to buy pieces from the show.