An eye for ‘making the mundane exciting’ in selecting State of the Arts gala pieces

Patrons at the 2010 State of the Arts gala.

As an artist himself, Roeland Park’s Mark Mohr took his role as the juror for this year’s State of the Arts gala quite seriously.

“Art is its best when it takes something mundane and makes it exciting,” he said. “That was the core of what I was looking for — something that makes you perk up and say, ‘Wow.'”

A total of 317 pieces were submitted for consideration, and Mohr picked approximately 55 to be in the show over the course of a two and a half hour review process.

“With things like this, there are always great pieces that you have to leave out,” he said. “I tried to make sure we had a good variety. I suppose I do lean a bit more toward sculpture and painting, technical arts with a lot of craft involved.”

The annual gala, now in its sixth year, attracts upwards of 600 patrons. This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12 at Prairie Village City Hall. The Prairie Village Arts Council will be presenting nine awards to the featured artists this year, with the R.G. Endres Best in Show award carrying a $1,000 prize.