WESTERLY — The Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly opens this week with one of its most anticipated exhibits. The 26th annual Regional Art Exhibit, featuring the newest and best work of artists across the northeast, will open Friday. It will be the first time for the well-known and prestigious exhibit to show in the gallery's new space at the Westerly Train station.

Rhode Island artist, teacher and restaurateur Anthony Tomaselli will be this year's guest juror. Tomaselli, who owns a number of restaurants, all called "T's," is a member of the Providence Art Club who maintains an busy studio at Fleur De Lys Gallery in Providence.

Artist Madeline Beaudry, a member of the gallery's publicity committee, said inviting a new guest juror each year has always been a highlight of the show.

The guest jurors always bring fresh and energizing perspectives, she said, and help create "a unique and exciting exhibit."

In addition to selecting all work for the exhibit, Tomaselli will be responsible for selecting the winners of fine art awards including The Washington Trust Company Award of $250; the Blick Art Supply Award; the ACGOW award for $100; the Jerry’s Artarama Award; the Watch Hill Oysters Watercolor Award and the Louise Pittaway Award for excellence in oil painting, which includes a $500 stipend. In the category of fine craft, five prizes of $200 from the Katherine Forest Crafts Foundation will be awarded.

The awards will be presented during the opening reception this Friday at 7 p.m. The show will run through June 2.

The Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly is located at 14 Railroad Avenue in downtown Westerly. The opening reception takes place Friday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The public is more than welcome to attend.

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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