BENNINGTON -- To start this summer season, The Bennington Center for the Arts is hosting the 23rd National Juried Exhibition of the Oil Painters of America (OPA), running June 7 to July 27. Artists, collectors and art enthusiasts will find an unparalleled collection of traditional oil paintings representative of the high quality of work being produced by professional oil painters today.

OPA’s membership is comprised of 3,400 artists from across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Over the years, OPA’s National Exhibition has garnered a reputation for being one of the premier art shows in the country receiving just over 2,000 submissions each year for consideration. Of those, only two hundred artists are selected to be a part of this exhibition. Total awards for this year’s National Exhibition are expected to exceed $75,000, including a $25,000 Gold Medal award.

In addition, painting demonstrations and other educational events will take place throughout the opening weekend beginning Wednesday, June 4, through Sunday, June 8. The public is welcome to attend these ticketed events but should register in advance. Demonstrations and lectures will be given by such distinguished artists and art professionals as Daniel Keys, Charles Movali, Zhiwei Tu, Kristen Thies and the editor of Southwest Art, Kristen Koerth. To register online visit the OPA website at www.oilpaintersofam-erica.com or call (815) 356-5987. To preview the paintings go to www.TheBennington.org. An opening reception will be held for artists, collectors, the public and press on Saturday, June 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Bennington Center for the Arts is located on Vermont Route 9 West. For more information call (802) 442-7158 or go to the website at www.TheBennington.org.