DANSVILLE — It brings creative people a safe place to express themselves, and be around others who share their passion for the arts.


The first-ever Juried Art Show was held at Dansville ArtWorks on Sept. 1 during the famous NYS Festival of Balloons.


Dansville ArtWorks Board Member Salome Farraro said this show excludes photography, so that other artists can have a chance.


There is a Juried Photography Show every year for those whose passion is photos. This one centers around other mediums like painting, sculpture, and jewelry. There were five brand new artists here this exhibit. The Juried Art Exhibit runs from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27.


“It is important that artists know they can come here,” Farraro said. “If we have new people participating this helps us grow. Artists can invite other artists to come and submit their work. It is all about networking.”


Farraro added this is the first time they had two jurors on the show as well; Jeff Swift and Mark Stash.


“We have two people who work with different mediums coming together to evaluate the work,” she said. “We wanted to give other mediums an opportunity. We love photography, but there is a lot more out there.”


This is something that ArtWorks plans to repeat every year, and they hope to see more and more people submit.


Farraro said that ArtWorks is the place to come for gifts, or things you want for your own home.


“This is how our doors stay open, and these artists produce this work to make a living,” she said. “Support local art by supporting local artists.”


Swift said that show like this motivate artists to work on achieving something.


“It is great for artists to put their best foot forward. They get that better sense of accomplishment. We are validating people’s response to their work,” he said. “We have an understanding of the work. People who are just starting out in art need that validation. People are always learning, and developing their own style. I like seeing other artists.”


Swift added that it is always good to have your peers look at your work, and bounce ideas off of them.


“We don’t realize how much art touches us in our everyday lives,” he said. “Think about all of the creative people out there. It is great to be able to see it all in person. You have to experience the art for yourself.”


Swift mentioned that art for him is a lifestyle whether it is building a car, making a sculpture, cooking dinner, or helping others it is all the same.


Laura Jaen Smith is one of the new artists at ArtWorks this exhibit. She did a painting of the Middle Falls in Letchworth State Park.


“I have only been to Letchworth a couple of times but it is beautiful,” she said. “I wanted to challenge myself, so I did a project like this on the 50 different waterfalls in the Finger Lakes area.”


Smith said she was amazed by how many beautiful waterfalls are right in that area.


“I have been a professional artist for about five years, but I have been doing this kind of work my whole life,” she said. “I have always been creative. I put a lot of detail into each of my pieces. I did a lot of research on each waterfall, and I hiked up to all of them.”


Smith said that there is a lot of different tones and colors that go into each waterfall.


Dansville ArtWorks Board President Nicole Alioto said this is a celebration of the four years they have been on Main Street.


“We have decided to switch it around a bit. The People’s Choice Award will be called at the end of the exhibit. We had a lot of people who told us that they would like to vote, but can’t always make it to the show,” she said. “We have decided to do Best of Show and three Honorable Mentions at the show.”


Gloria Betlem got second Honorable Mention and Best of Show. Kevin Hammon got first Honorable Mention. Christine Ferrigno got third Honorable Mention.


The Juried Art Exhibit artists: Gloria Betlem, Emily Bowers, Syrena Carver, Samantha Davis, Jackie Donohue, Christine Ferrigno, Kevin Hammon, Deborah McAfee, Jeff Miller, Alex Segovia, Laura Jaen Smith, Sarah B. Smith, Anthony Tremblay, and Jane Williams.