Blue Line Gallery selected for Crocker-Kingsley show

Longstanding art competition opens Saturday, runs through Jan. 15
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Crocker-Kingsley Art Competition

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays Nov. 17 through Jan. 15. 3rd Saturday Art Walk is 7-9 p.m. Nov. 17.

Where: Blue Line Gallery, 405 Vernon St. in Roseville

Cost: Free admission. Artwork for sale.

Info: Call (916) 783-4117 or visit

More than a century ago, a group of women in Sacramento joined together to enjoy and promote the local arts.

They formed the Kingsley Art Club in 1892 and later the Crocker-Kingsley Art Competition, which is now regarded as one of the most prestigious exhibits featuring the work of California artists.

The longstanding exhibit has been held annually at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento for some 70 years, with two exceptions. The first occurred during the recent construction of Crocker’s new wing when the exhibit was housed at the Sacramento Public Library downtown.

Now, for the first time, the Crocker-Kingsley exhibit will be displayed at the Blue Line Gallery in Roseville from Saturday, Nov. 17, through Jan. 15.

“The Blue Line is very big in the community and we want to get the art out to as many people as possible,” said Thea Givens, secretary of the Kingsley Art Club.

The exhibit will feature 75 pieces selected by Michael Duncan, an editor for Art in America magazine. A total of 380 artists submitted 1,300 pieces for the competition.

“This is a very prestigious art show,” Givens said. “The artists themselves say that.”

Appearing in the Crocker-Kingsley exhibit can make a career, Givens said. Prominent artists such as Wayne Thiebaud earned early recognition in the Kingsley show.

Petaluma-based artist Jon Gariepy earned a spot in this year’s exhibit with his three-piece sculpture called “Dead Eye.”

“It’s an anti-war piece in reference to a battle during World War II where 12,000 sailors were killed — both British and German,” Gariepy said. “I’m not really a war nut. I’m an anti-war nut.”

The dramatic battle was captured on film and shows the ships sinking. Gariepy spent about 50 hours creating the sculpture, which he considers a way to honor those lives lost.

Duncan will select six winners from the 75 pieces when he sees the art in person for the first time during a visit to the Blue Line Gallery. Award winners will then be exhibited at the Crocker Art Museum from Feb. 3 through May 5.

Proceeds from the art competition benefit the Kingsley Art Club, which provides arts education and scholarships for local students.

“We’re really grateful they’ve reached out to us to have this longstanding competition,” said Julie Hirota, CEO of Roseville Arts, the nonprofit organization behind the Blue Line Gallery.

Hirota said the Crocker-Kingsley exhibit shows the potential of Roseville’s role in the region’s arts scenes and the plan to make this an ongoing partnership.