Nearly 150 people gathered within GAR Hall on East Middle Street Thursday evening to celebrate local artists in the opening night of the annual Barn Art Show and Sale hosted by the Historic Gettysburg Adams County (HGAC).
Show attendees sipped refreshments and engaged with artists involved in the showcase, which featured more than 70 paintings, drawings and photographs of barns or barn-related items. Featured artwork was created with colored pencils, Sharpies, and watercolor, showcased on a number of mediums.
More than a decade ago, the HGAC Preservation Society began the Barn Art Show with the purpose of raising awareness and collecting funds for historical barns in Adams County. According to Bob McIlhenny, director of development for the society, barns are an important part of the landscape in Adams County, and this is why the society shifted focus to preserving historic barns nearly 15 years ago.
“You look around, you see these old barns, and they’re important to our cultural heritage,” McIlhenny said.
From this shift in focus the idea for the art show was born. For more than a decade, local artists and photographers have submitted artistic works of various mediums to the art show for adjudication and sale. Anyone is eligible to submit art into the show, and each participant can submit a maximum of three pieces.
During opening night, the results of the adjudication were announced.
In the fine art category, Amy Lindenberger’s piece “Just East of Somerset” took first place, with Dianne Lorden’s “McAllister/Debany Farm” and Tom Rooney’s “Spangler Barn” taking second and third places, respectively.
In photography, Linda Toki’s “Treat Yourself” took first place, with “Haunted?” by Ted Scarpino and “The Blue Barn” by MaryJo Bennet taking second and third places.
People were also allowed to cast ballots for a “People’s Choice” award. Ballots could be purchased for donations between $1 and $5. Don Rinehart was named the People’s Choice Award winner with his piece entitled “Granite Hill Farm #3.”
Artists also had the option to sell their art at the show. A percentage of funds from the artwork sold helps to fund the Barn Preservation Project, which gives grants to local historical barns that need renovations.
In order to be eligible for grants, barns must be surveyed by the HGAC Preservation Society. According to McIlhenny, the HGAC Preservation Society has surveyed about 350 barns in Adams County.
“We’re not just talking about preservation, we’re actually doing it,” McIlhenny said.
According to HGAC Preservation Society President Anne Zabawa, the Barn Art Show and Sale is an annual event many HGAC members and Adams County locals anticipate.
“It has become an expected part of what HGAC does,” Zabawa said. “People look forward to this show every year.”
The showcase is free and open to the public June 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., June 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and June 9 from noon to 4 p.m.