Cultural Council’s Art Exhibit & Juried Show Opens June 14

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County is showcasing art by professional Palm Beach County artists working in a wide variety of media in its latest exhibition, “County Contemporary: All Media Juried Show.”

Set to open Friday, June 14 in the Cultural Council’s Main Gallery (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth), the exhibition is a selection of diverse works chosen by a single distinguished juror, Mark Richard Leach.

The exhibition, underwritten by Mr. and Mrs. Herbert S. Hoffman, runs through Sept. 7.

Leach, executive director of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C., has held curatorial posts in contemporary art in Arkansas, Montana, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Ohio. The juried process for this exhibition was handled through Juried Art Services, an organization based in Palm Beach County that has juried some of the nation’s leading juried events.

“We offer this exhibition as an exciting and unique display of the talented, diverse pool of professional artists in Palm Beach County,” said Rena Blades, president and chief executive officer of the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. “Juried shows are a great opportunity for artists to show their works to the larger public and to get their works in front of a distinguished juror to critique.”

Blades said the Cultural Council is honored to have Leach serve as juror for the “County Contemporary: All Media Juried Show” exhibit. “His exceptional background and renowned reputation as an industry art expert lends the tone and level of professionalism amongst the exhibiting artists,” she said.

“County Contemporary: All Media Juried Show” comprises 44 works by 36 Palm Beach County artists. In all, 133 professional artists who either reside or have a studio in Palm Beach County submitted 445 works for consideration by Leach. The criteria of “professional artist” is defined as one who devotes a major portion of their time to creating, practicing, performing or teaching any of the arts.

Cash prizes for the “All Media Juried Show” will be awarded in the following categories: Best of Show – $2,000; second place – $1,000; third place – $500; and People’s Choice – $500. Public voting for the People’s Choice award is open through Aug. 17 with one vote per visitor.

A native of Pittsfield, Mass., Leach is the executive director of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. He is formerly the founding director of the Mint Museum of Craft & Design. There he also held the post of chief curator.

Leach is a graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Management. He received a bachelor’s degree in studio ceramics from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and graduated from Harvard University with a master’s degree, specializing in 20th-century art and nonprofit administration.

Leach has held curatorial posts in contemporary art in Arkansas, Montana, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Ohio. He has taught, lectured and moderated panels on public and environmental art, art criticism and curatorship. He has authored numerous articles and texts for publications such as The Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society, the American Association of Museum’s Excellence & Equity newsletter, and numerous texts, including Michael Lucero: Sculpture 1976-1995, co-published by Hudson Hills Press, New York, and the Mint Museum of Art; and Turning Wood in to Art: The Jane and Arthur Mason Collection, for which Leach served as curator and editor.

The jurying process for “County Contemporary: All Media Juried Show” was handled through Juried Art Services. Some of the nation’s leading juried events have chosen JAS. These shows have included the Smithsonian Craft Show, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Oil Painters of America, the Museum of Art & Design, Disney,, the American Craft Exposition, the GRACE Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, Crafts America Shows and more.

The Cultural Council is Palm Beach County’s official arts agency and serves nonprofit cultural organizations and professional artists throughout the county. The Cultural Council’s responsibilities include marketing the county’s cultural experiences to visitors and residents, administering grants to organizations and artists, expanding arts and cultural education opportunities, advocating for funding and arts-friendly policies, and serving cultural organizations and artists through capacity building training and exposure to funders and audiences.

Admission to the Cultural Council is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Cultural Council’s web site at


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