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Arts Playlist: Delaware Art Museum's 'No Jury, No Prizes'

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Courtesy of Delaware Art Museum

A century ago, the Society of Independent Artists was started in New York City. For over 25 years, thousands of established and amateur artists eschewed the establishment to show their work on a grand scale.

In this week’s Arts Playlist, Delaware Public Media’s Mark Arehart talks to Delaware Art Museum Curator Heather Campbell Coyle about the museum’s unique exhibit focusing on the society’s work, "No Jury No Prizes: The Society of Independent Artists, 1917-1944."

Today a simple Instagram post can give an amateur artist national exposure. But back in the early 1900s, it wasn’t so easy.

There weren’t many ways for artists outside the establishment to get their work seen by the masses.

Enter the Society of Independent Artists, a coalition of famous artists and amateur artists alike, that debuted grand exhibitions in New York City .

"And this was revolutionary at the time. It was a time when their just weren’t many opportunities for younger American artists to show their work," Campbell Coyle said. 

She said the SIA exhibits featured works of different skill levels. "Some artists who showed in the SIA shows were not professionally trained artist. Some were basically Sunday painters."

The Delaware Art Museum’s exhibit runs Feb. 4 - May 15.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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