When Judy Summer and some friends organized the Park City Professional Artists Association (PCPAA) in 1982, the goals was to "promote and encourage professionalism, production, exhibition, education, networking, camaraderie and the growth of the visual arts" for the benefit of the community.

The goal hasn't changed, Summer said during an interview with The Park Record.

"No one really knew there were artists in the community and there was nowhere we could show our work," Summer said. "We felt if we got together we could open our own shows or at least let people know we exist and do some outreach as well."

That's why she is looking forward to the PCPAA's new exhibit that will open at the new Park City Visitor Center at Kimball Junction on Feb. 15.

"It is exciting because now that the community is always growing, there are people who live here who don't know that there is a group of professional artists who live here," Summer said. "So, we hope this show will introduce them to us."

The show, scheduled to run through Monday, Feb. 18, will feature works from 16 participating PCPAA members, said painter Robin Cornwell.

"There will be works from 11 artists who work with two-dimensional medium and pieces from five artists who do three-dimensional art," Cornwell said.

The participating painters are Cornwell, Linda McCausand, Tamara Lindsay, Susan Parker, Mary Perry, Sharon Sams, Jeanne LaRae Lagano, Jane Riley, Renee Mox Hall and Robert Johnson.


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"The paint mediums will range from watercolors to oils to encaustic wax," Cornwell explained.

Photographer Richard Pick will show his images and Cornwell's husband, David, will exhibit his stone inlays, she said.

The remaining artists include assemblage-artist Lone Vilnius, ceramic artist Juanita Marshall, sculptor Judy Summer and jewelry artist Melissa Skarsten.

"It should be a wonderful show," said Cornwell, who lives in Upper Pinebrook.

The idea for the event sprouted when Cornwell discovered the new visitor center.

"Richard and I are on an exhibition committee and every year we talk about presenting several art shows for the PCPAA," she said. "I had started scouting out locations and walked into the visitor center last fall.

"It was so beautiful," Cornwell said. "There was so much light and I thought that it was a great space that is centrally located, which was ideal for putting on a show."

Cornwell contacted Deborah Lewis, who is the visitor service manager for Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau.

Lewis, in turn, met with chamber CEO Bill Malone told Cornwell they would love to work with the PCPAA on the exhibit.

"So, Richard and I went back to our exhibition committee and selected a string of dates," Cornwell said. "We decided to do the show on President's Day weekend, because we figured there would be a lot of people in town visiting."

Lewis initially told Cornwell and Pick that the busy season for the visitor center would start in the summer.

"We didn't want to wait that long and hoped if this worked out, they would allow us another exhibit later," Pick said.

So, that's how the ball started rolling, Cornwell said.

"There were a lot of things we needed to tie down, and Deb and Bill were great to work with," she said.

Cornwell also praised the Park City Summit County Arts Council for its help.

"The council is loaning us these pegboard, display panels," she said. "The artists will be able to get two sides of these panels, so they can bring more than one work."

"We'll also have three-dimensional artists who will show their pottery, sculpture and jewelry on some tables," Pick said.

To participate, artists had to be active members of the PCPAA, Cornwell explained.

"We sent out the invitation in November and the artists submitted their applications to me, but it wasn't as if I juried them into the show," she said. "It was an open membership thing and they had a deadline to comply with."

"We did imply that if it came to it, we may have to jury the show, but we also told them that we could accommodate them," said Pick. "I'm excited about the space and the time of year. Although this is the first time we're doing it, we'll see how it goes."

Summer said this exhibit is the result of the years of hard work and dedication by the PCPAA. 

"When we first started up, there were just a few artists in town at the time and we really didn't know each other and how to connect," she said. "So, we got together one afternoon and decided to get it started. From there, the organization has had the opportunity to participate in many different events, including the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, and now this."

In addition to promoting local professional artists, the PCPAA also does philanthropic work with Park City and Park City High School.

"We do a lot of work with Park City, including a scholarship that we raise money for every year," she said. "We make holiday ornaments that the city sells and the money is given to a worthy fine-art student.

The Park City Professional Artist Association will present a free show at the Park City Visitor Center, 1826 Olympic Parkway at Kimball Junction, from Friday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 18. The exhibit will open on Friday with an artist reception that runs from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours will be from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Monday's hours will be from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.parkcityart.com.