JUDGES for 2018     Art Category 

Lenora Palonder  has a BA from Chatham College in Art and was the Art Curator for Gallatin, National City and Integra Bank as well as Westinghouse.  She has taken classes with Nat Youngblood and in addition to volunteering as a judge for the Art Competition will offer a select artist or artists for an individual art session to develop their personal style after an analysis of their entry presentation. She is the Chef at Lenora's, an award-winning restaurant located in Perryopolis. The Inn At Lenora's, is a family-owned and operated establishment for almost twenty years.

Susan Sparks  is a professional artist and entrepreneur who returned to southwestern PA after several years on the west coast. Susan has worked in the art field professionally since 1974 and prior to moving to the west coast was very active in the local art scene in the metropolitan Pittsburgh area.  She previously served on the board of directors of the Creative Arts Council of the Mon Valley and the Arts Council of Washington County and currently is the Music Hall Manager and Arts Program Director for the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, PA.. Sparks has 30+ years as an exhibiting professional artist and illustrator.  Susan has also offered art classes for select artists in the competition to further develop their artist expression.

​​​Mid Mon Valley Cultural Trust

A.Parker Burroughs  spent 45 years in the newspaper business before retirement, more than half of that time as chief editor of the Observer-Reporter in Washington, for which he still contributes historical articles. He has also been a painter for most of his life. His work has won awards from Wheeling to Westmoreland County, and he has most recently exhibited paintings at Art in the Garden in Washington. He is the author of two books, “Enter, With Torches: Recollections of a Grumpy Old Editor” and “Washington County Murder and Mayhem.” He is married to the artist Alice Burroughs, and their children, Brody and Caitlyn, are accomplished artists, as well.

James B. Bove is a practicing artist and educator.  He is an Associate Professor at California University of Pennsylvania and has served as a board member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG).  He recently completed an artist residency in Portugal where he explored landscape inspired forms. Jim’s artwork was selected for Metalsmith magazine’s Exhibition in Print, 'Fresh'. His artwork has been featured in several books, including Lark Book’s 500 series, Humor in Craft, 500 Art Necklaces (2013)and most recently in On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets. His artwork resides in collections in the United States, Japan, the Dominican Republic, and Malaysia and was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2013 Cheongju Craft Biennale, South Korea and was accepted into the prestigious 2015 Schmuck, Munich, Germany as well as the Taiwan International Metals Crafts Competition.

Mary Ann Kopach-Laber  has been painting and drawing since childhood.  Mary Ann spent many years in the advertising business and after retiring devoted more time to painting.  In 1999 she went to a small art school in the state of California and after one year was ready to exhibit.  She was juried into the California Art Club and did her first show in Burbank, CA. in May of 2000.  After moving back to Pennsylvania in 2006 she joined the Valley Art Club, exhibiting with them for the past eleven years.  She has affiliations with the Greensburg Art Club and Latrobe Art Center where Mary Ann has exhibited and sold her paintings. She has taught privately and enjoys painting in pastel, oil pastel, oils and acrylics and explores artistic expressions in mixed media. Her favorite subjects are landscape, still life, animals and abstracts and believes creating art can have a healing effect on the mind and body and is good for the soul!