Arts Council announces judge for 2017 show

The LaFontaine Arts Council is pleased to announce Penny French-Deal as the judge for the 2017 Regional Art Show. The show will be held at Huntington University’s Merillat Centre for the Arts in the Robert E. Wilson Gallery.

There are few artists who can capture the essence of minimalism and meaning like Penny French-Deal. By implementing a warm impressionistic style, Penny understands the importance of both forces, and bridges together layering compositions in her work, as a result.

Over the years, Penny French-Deal has worked hard to make a name for herself as an award-winning contemporary oil painting artist. After studying at the Fort Wayne Art Institute, French-Deal took her career to new heights by collaborating with artists such as Ken Auster, Carolyn Anderson, Kathryn Stats, Dee Beard Dean, and Roger Dale Brown.

Growing up on a farm in Indiana is what first inspired Penny to begin the lifelong pursuit of capturing her surroundings. Traveling throughout the United States and Europe only further stimulated the artist within, leading French-Deal to create works of rhythmic depth with an emotional stake. She focuses on landscapes and portraiture.

Working primarily in oils, French-Deal is known for her contemporary impressionistic style and vibrant colors. Furthermore, all of her works continue to be subject to interpretation. From their energy and continuity to the integrity of shapes and color, French-Deal has married artistic components to a canvas by staying loyal to her signature style.

In the past, she has been featured in a number of prestigious competitions, such as the International Painting and Mixed Media Competition in Sofia, Bulgaria and the Hoosier Salon in Indianapolis. In addition, she has also been awarded the honor of the Hoosier Women Artists Award sponsored by the Lieutenant Governor’s office in both 2009 and 2016. She has had numerous solo exhibits.

Given the various national and international exposure, her paintings can be found in private, corporate, museum and university collections throughout the United States and Europe. Her chosen home and studio, however, resides in Indiana. She manages her own gallery, French-Deal Fine Art in Roanoke, where she strives to bring all viewers the beauty of presence and a place to step inside her paintings.

The opening reception for the show will be held at the Merillat Centre for the Arts on Thursday, August 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Viewing begins Friday, August 5 and continues through Wednesday, August 30, 2017. The Wilson Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with some summer schedule exceptions. The Merillat Centre for the Arts telephone number is (260) 359-4261.

Anyone interested in entering work should direct their questions to Debbie Dyer, executive director, LaFontaine Arts Council, (260) 358-0055, or by email at

Entry forms/fees are due by July 27. Entry brochures are available on the Lafontaine Arts Council Facebook page as well as by contacting the office at the number above. Entry forms are also available at the Huntington County Visitors Center in downtown Huntington.