Event illustrates there’s no age limit on creativity

On the walls of the Greenwood Public Library, creativity of all kinds came together from throughout the community.

Detailed oil paintings hung with three-dimensional ceramic pieces and abstract acrylic work. Next to those, children had painted portraits and landscapes in crayon.

For entrants in the Art for the Ages community show, being an artist is only about the creativity in your soul, not your age, experience or skill level, said Lisa Guckelberg, local artist and chair of the Art for the Ages event.

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“Art is important for a community, and that’s the whole goal — to bring art to the community, in a venue where a lot of people traffic,” she said. “People can meet some of the local artists, and it’s a good promotion for the arts in general, and the promotion for the artists themselves.”

Art for the Ages will return for the second consecutive year after a successful first run last spring. More than 50 people participated in the show last time around, with entrants ranging from preschool-aged to nearly 90 years old.

That diverse range helped make it unique among area art exhibitions, and reinforced the idea that anyone can be an artist.

“We had very young artists who took part, and then the artist who won our best of show was 88 years old,” Guckelberg said. “Our goal was to reach all ages, and we were able to do that.”

Art for the Ages was organized in 2016 by the Greater Greenwood Arts Council, which had been hoping to organize a community show for many years. As an art instructor, Guckelburg had organized shows for her students in the past, and this would extend that effort, she said.

The competition was separated into nine categories, ranging from preschoolers to high school students to adult amateurs to professionals. Nearly 90 pieces were submitted, with $1,200 in prizes awarded.

The painting that won best in show was a portrait of a woman in Victorian dress titled “Ida Rose” by Greenwood artist John Manicke. He had done the painting nearly 25 years ago during a class he was taking at the Indianapolis Art Center, inspired by the way the model in the class held herself and how her dress carried an air of elegance.

After winning, Manicke said how happy he was that the Art for the Ages competition gave him a chance to showcase his work alongside that of dozens of other local artists.

“I was very pleased to be chosen,” he said. “They did a wonderful job with the show, just presenting an opportunity for all levels of painters.”

With the success of the 2016 show, organizers made very few changes to the Art for the Ages event. Youth and adult artists will again compete in nine categories ranging from students to amateurs to professionals.

The artwork will all be mounted throughout May at the Greenwood library, which has set aside additional space in the event the competition receives more submissions than last year, Guckelberg said.

The festivities will begin with a special opening reception on May 5, where awards will be distributed.

After the success of last year, buzz about Art for the Ages has been building, Guckelberg said.

“For the past couple of months, we’ve been getting inquiries from artists asking if we’re going to do it again,” she said. “So I think we’re going to have a good turnout.”

The competition has the potential to be a keystone for the Greater Greenwood Arts Council, serving as a core event every spring, Guckelberg said.

The council, which works to promote all forms of art throughout Johnson County, has increased its visibility with projects such as Greenwood’s Art Trail of public artwork and Art Uncorked, the annual contest with Mallow Run Winery to design a special wine label.

“Hopefully, we’ll have as big of a show this year, and for it to grow each year as the word spreads,” Guckelberg said.

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What: A community-wide art competition focused on judging the best amateur and professional work from Johnson County and surrounding communities.

Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St.

When: Entries and fees must be turned into the library from either 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28 or noon to 4 p.m. April 29.

Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m. May 5, Greenwood Public Library

Prizes: Ribbons, cash prizes and art-related gifts will be given to winners in the nine categories.


  • Preschool
  • First and second grades
  • Third through fifth grades
  • Sixth through eighth grades
  • High school
  • Adult student/amateur original composition
  • Adult student/amateur copy: Your rendition of another artist’s work. A photo of the original artist’s work must be attached to the back of your work.
  • Adult non-professional original composition
  • Adult professional

Show length: May 5 to 26

Art pickup: Work will be returned to the artists from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 27. There will be no early pickups.

Entry fees: $10 for one entry, $15 for two

Information: greenwoodarts.org

Contact: Lisa Guckelberg, 317-796-4723 or longrunningartist@gmail.com