HANCOCK — Area artists and art enthusiasts met for the “nearly annual” Party With the Arts and Shaft exhibition at the Copper Country Community Arts Center Friday evening. Party with the Arts is a membership drive and social event while the Shaft is an annual competition in which local artists submit pieces based on the Copper Country’s mining heritage.
“We’ve been doing the Shaft exhibit since we opened 27 years ago and we’ve only missed two in all those years,” said CCCAC Director Cynthia Cote. “We knew we wanted to engage the community, so the art center wouldn’t seem like some hoity-toity place that was only for people that have lots of money.”
This year there are 39 total Shaft submissions by 16 adult artists and 13 youth artists. Media include paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and digital media. Guests at Party with the Arts voted for their favorite at the event but voting is open to the public until the exhibition closes on Dec. 6. The piece with the most votes wins a cash prize with funds raised by the entry fees.
“I couldn’t give the award,” said Cote. “Even for me to pick my favorite is really difficult.”
Cote is particularly excited about the youth turnout this year, driven by the new art teacher at Jeffers High School who encouraged her students to submit pieces. Over half of this year’s youth submissions come from her students, though at least three of the youth artists are under the age of 10.
“I’m a big fan of kid’s art anyway, so these entrees are really inspiring for me,” said Cote.
Cote also said that she hopes that having their art in a gallery with adult pieces will be…