NAC Corner

Annual holiday ‘small’ art show expands entry parameters

The Norwich Arts Center is preparing for its annual unjuried winter art bazaar — version 2.0. Previously known as the “6x6 Show,” artists who showcased their work in past years were allowed limitless possibilities in medium and style, but challenged with a size cap of six inches in any direction.

This year, that size restriction has been doubled, and the result is NAC’s “Holiday Show 2010: A Sale of Small Holiday Treasures,” with a few new rules but still offering a prime opportunity for artists.

Work can be submitted on any one of the four receiving dates this year: from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 19, Nov. 20, Nov 24, and Nov. 27. The exhibit runs from Dec. 1-24 with a First Friday opening reception at 6 p.m. Dec. 3.

The size requirement is a significant change to the tradition of NAC’s biggest art exhibit of the year. An annual call to artists of every imaginable medium with no juror to decline work, the one limitation has been those infamous six inches. The new parameter — 12 inches in any dimension, frame included — broadens the options for composition and eliminates the elusive hunt for a 6 inch by 6 inch frame.

Susan Parish, president of the NAC Artists’ Cooperative, sees the extension as an advantage to artists who might consider entering this year.

“A lot of artists (including me) found the square format difficult,” said Parish, who is a photographer. “The art can now be any shape ... as long as it is under 12 inches.”

Covering more square inches on the walls and surfaces of the NAC Gallery, the number of pieces an artist can submit at a time is now three per artist. However, when work is sold, it is sold off the wall, pedestal or jewelry counter, so artists are encouraged to replace sold work (as immediately as they like) at no extra charge. Entry fees (which are nonrefundable) start at $10 per piece or $25 if you submit three for NAC Members.

The rules vary for hanging ornaments, jewelry and wearable accessories. These items are not restricted to the three-piece-per-artist regulation, and the entry fee is $10 for all pieces. For $25, artists may also reserve space for a self-provided 6-foot table for these wares. Reservations must be made ahead by calling (860) 822-8412.

Important opportunity

Parish believes this show is not only a popular event but also an important opportunity for local artists to show and especially sell their work.

“It is non-juried, so it’s very non-threatening,” Parish said. “The work is small, great for gifts and inexpensive. I buy a lot myself at this show.”

The exhibit attracts a generous crowd every year. During the First Friday opening reception, the gallery is generally packed all evening with artists and gift shoppers, some of whom are one and the same.

“A recent elected artist, Sue Kenney, found us through this show,” Parish recalled. “It brings in a lot of people.”

A prospectus with full details about entering work, as well as gallery hours and updates, can be found on the NAC website at Questions may be directed to the show’s coordinator, Carol Dunn, at (860) 822-8412 or by e-mailing her at

If you are a first time exhibitor or a professional artist, NAC’s “Holiday Show” is worth the entry. Exhibitors are not at the mercy of a juror’s approval to enter, sold work can be replaced without cost until the end of the show, and it comes during the high-retail-traffic part of the year.

This exhibit also thrives on variety. Open to all genres of art and artists, this annual event proves to be a truly diverse showcase of local talent, according to Parish.

“This show attracts a wide range of media and styles,” Parish said, reflecting on past years. “There is something for everyone.”

-Joe Matovic


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