Three Mercer County artists will have their artwork on display at the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 107th Annual Exhibition at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. 

Theresa Antonellis of Grove City, Stephanie Martin of Mercer and Nicole Renee Ryan of Mercer are three of the artists chosen to participate in the juried exhibition, which opens Nov. 9 in the museum’s Cantilever Gallery.  

“To be accepted is a huge honor because it’s really competitive,” Antonellis said. “They represent the highest and best of contemporary artists in the greater Pittsburgh area.”

AAP invites highly trained, “notable” artists famous for their critique of art to jury their work, according to Antonellis.

“It’s extremely, extremely competitive,” she said. “I’m very pleased and honored to be part of their show.” 

Director of the Martha Gault Art Gallery and a full-time art professor at Slippery Rock University, Antonellis digitally submitted a 30-by-30-inch ballpoint ink drawing on cotton paper called “Point Reyes Volute.”

“All of my drawings are based on observation of breath work and yoga work,” said Antonellis, a yoga enthusiast and former instructor.

Because artists submit their artwork digitally, Antonellis will deliver the actual drawing to AAP in person within the next few weeks, she said. 

“The artwork itself is always stunning, she said of the exhibition. “It’s always on par with museum-quality, contemporary artwork.”

Stephanie Martin of Grove City, formerly of Johnstown, will make her debut as a featured artist and speaker at the exhibition.

She also will participate in a roundtable discussion from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the gallery space, she said. 

“Knowing I was selected is a huge honor,” said Martin. “It has opened up a lot of opportunities for me.”

The Mercer Area High School teacher has a passion for both art and teaching, she said. Though it’s sometimes difficult to make the time, Martin hones her artistic skills nearly every day after school.

Most of Martin’s work is “interdisciplinary” art focused on ceramics with an environmental theme, she said. Her piece chosen for exhibition was a ceramic sculpture that “evokes a sense of living.”

“Art is very important to have in our culture,” Martin said. “The less we have of it, the less our humanity...truly.”

Martin encourages her students to work out their problems with art, she said.

“Art brings people together instead of tearing them apart,” Martin said.

For Nicole Renee Ryan of Mercer, participating in the 107th exhibition is about community. 

“It’s nice to see each other’s work, socialize and get to see new artists that we’ve never seen before,” Ryan said. 

She submitted an oil painting on panel called “Turn Left At Yesterday” for the AAP exhibition. This will be her first time participating in the group exhibition, although her work was on display two years ago at Point Park University. 

Ryan, who says she is mostly self-taught, completed the train station mural on the side of a building on the diamond in Mercer, across from the Mercer County Courthouse.

Ryan’s work in the exhibition will overlap with her solo show, “The Land of Little Thoughts and No Worries,” which will be on display Jan. 17 through Feb. 16 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

“I’m doing what I like to do and I’m very happy I get to do it,” she said.

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh is “the oldest continuous-exhibiting artist member organization in the country,” according to a press release. Juana Williams, a specialist in contemporary African American art, is the exhibition juror. For more information, visit www.aapgh.org

Recommended for you