Photo by Dave Warner – The Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts is located in Canal Place, Little Falls.

by Jeanine Kawryga

What is the purpose of “art”? Pablo Picasso said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Art gives meaning to our lives and helps us understand our world in different ways. It’s what we crave in the human experience. Art is an essential part of our culture because it allows us to have a deeper understanding of our emotions, increases our self-awareness, and allows us to be open to new ideas and experiences. Therefore, art continues to open our minds and hearts and shows us what could be possible in the world. Scientific studies have shown that art appreciation improves our quality of life and makes us feel good. When we create art, we elevate our mood, improve our ability to problem-solve, and open our minds to new ideas. Art is a gift to the world.

Since 1982, the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts has been a strong advocate for the arts in upstate New York by nurturing and supporting regional artists by promoting, displaying, and selling their work, along with developing art appreciation and educational programs. These programs, through generous community support, have served the Mohawk Valley by creating a welcoming hub for all people to explore, collaborate and experience the many benefits of the arts. The organization’s continued vision is to enhance the region’s quality of life by creating opportunities for learning, personal creativity, and artistic expression.

One of the many ways that the MVCA has sought to support this vision is in offering the opportunity for regional artists, whether amateur or professional, to showcase their work in its annual Regional Exhibition. This year, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the MVCA, the Exhibition will be held from October 9th to November 17th at the Art Center at 401 Canal Place in Little Falls. The show will be open to all visual artists throughout the Mohawk Valley working in any medium.

Mary Ellen McGillan, Executive Director of the MCVA, states, “I believe that organizations such as the Mohawk Valley of the Arts are vital to the fabric of a community such as Little Falls.” One may ask: how does an art exhibition of local artists benefit the community? For the artist, it’s a perfect way to showcase their original works, communicating to the world their feelings and emotions, and inspire creativity. For the community, art exhibitions act as the catalyst of art and in bringing ideas to the public; representing a way of displaying and contextualizing art that makes it relevant and accessible to contemporary audiences. An exhibition brings people together to discuss ideas, transcend cultural boundaries, and provoke creative thinking. People attending an exhibition bring revenue to the community.

If you are an artist, either amateur or professional, consider showcasing your work in this year’s Regional Exhibition. The show is open to all artists throughout the Mohawk Valley working in any medium with the opportunity to showcase their talents.  Artists will compete for prize money up to $500 and the opportunity for a solo exhibition of their work. Submissions are due by September 15th in electronic format with all submissions original to the artist, offered for sale, and not previously exhibited at MVCA. The show will begin with a reception on October 9th from 2:00-4:00 pm at the MVCA 401 Gallery in Canal Place, Little Falls, and will continue through November 17th. There will also be a virtual show on the center’s website. For the full prospectus, artists may contact the Center directly at (315) 823-0808 or check the website at

Tom Montan, an award-winning artist with more than 35 years of experience, and Executive Director of Sculpture Space in Utica will serve as Juror for this exhibition. The MVCA is grateful to Mr. Montan for offering his vast experience and time to serve as juror given the recent devastating vandalism that occurred at Sculpture Space in late August. A vandalism recovery fund has been established to offset the costs to replace many items damaged during this devastating incident. For more information about Mr. Montan and Sculpture Space, visit their website at

For more information on the programs and offerings of the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts, or are interested in becoming a member or volunteer, visit the website at Better yet, drop in for a visit!

Entry fee for members is $20 and you can submit up to 3 pieces.
Entry fee for non-members is $25 and you can submit up to 3 pieces.
Deadline for submission is September 15 at midnight.