Online photo contest adds a new twist to the Art in the Valley studio tour this year

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By Ted Allen
Try to #findPiggieNB. Does this mean anything to you? How about #tour2016pix or @tweet4fun2win? Fear not, all will be explained.
Organisers of this year’s Art in the Valley Studio Tour and Gallery Hop have a mascot by the name of Piggie Newton-Beauregard. He (or she) appears in all the publicity — posters, websites, etc. — looking very happy with his very red tongue hanging out. The real Piggie might also be visiting some of the studios and galleries during the two-day event next week. But there’s another story behind all of this.
Newton-Beauregard was born in Drummond NB, near Grand Falls, in the studio of noted clay artist Denise Violette Michaud. She recently sent a message to this correspondent saying that “Piggie has run away… please help #findPiggieNB in time for the studio tour by posting any sightings online.” Then the little rascal set up his own account and started posting but “he seems to be evading me every time I get a clue about his whereabouts,” says Michaud.
“All this ‘find Piggie’ shenanigans is just a prelude to the fun that we hope will encourage people to tour and tweet for Art in the Valley,” commented Jamie Dehnke of the McCain Gallery in Florenceville-Bristol, one of the presenters. “On the event days (Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1) visitors can have a good time with some of the suggested photo-ops from the ArtintheValley.ca website or just invent their own as they travel the cultural corridor from Woodstock to Grand Falls,” she continued.
Once an image is posted to a visitor’s own account on Instagram or Twitter and tagged #tour2016pix, they are eligible to win one of three cash prizes worth $100 in total when they follow either of the official Tour sites (Art in the Valley on Instagram and @tweet4fun2win on Twitter). Prizes will be given based on the greatest combined number of likes or retweets. The contest rules are on the above-mentioned website.
So, is all of this clear now? If not, ask anyone under the age of 20, maybe 30, and they’ll show you what to do. Better yet, just bring them along for a fun (and perhaps educational) autumn outing with friends. There’s a chance that you’ll meet meet Piggie Newton-Beauregard at one of the 12 tour venues. Who knows what might happen then?
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