Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition
Starting the seventeenth year is something the gallery is happy to declare! This particular international exhibition brings together some very fine and impressive artworks from various parts of the world. Please enjoy!
TOM ACEVEDO of Dorchester, Massachusetts is a master acrylic painter. His ability to paint chiaroscuro is flawless. In his work "Idle Hands" a dramatic situation is developed with the nude male encased within a framed environment wherein the glazing is broken creating an intense dynamic. The distant onlooking face intensifies the drama. In the work "Sirens Song" five male figures are encased within a broken glass frame with the opening almost suggestive of a keyhole, with the front figure's hand extended beyond and out of picture. The figures in the composite all seem to be curiously looking on, adding to the mystery. And the work "The Collector" is compelling indeed, with the African American male reaching out to the little floating orbs, and the woman behind seemingly holding back the man who is also reaching out for the same. The many jars seem to contain these orbs, thus the idea of the collection. All of his works have something special to convey painted with outstanding skill.
SOHEYL (REZA) BASTAMI of Sari, Iran has some interesting developments about the idea of a "Shadow". The fiberglass work shows two slightly hunched over figures in a gold patina facing opposite each other with the thin black shadow shape in the exact middle. This dual presentation is quite sophisticated considering the idea of two figures with one shadow. The work "Smile" done in fiberglass and iron is delightful in terms of the balanced figure with birds all about the person. The execution is quite meritorious with making the whole sculpture stay balanced. And the work "Suitcase" with a similar construction of a circle made of iron shows a coated man carved out of wood with a suitcase. This use of materials and the high level of skill is remarkable. And too, the work "The Bird of Life" in fiberglass and iron is absolute perfection. The realistic man in overalls carrying a ladder with the colorful bird on the ladder in front of him is quite nice in terms of the contrast of materials. The highly decorated bird, abstracted to a degree, is a special artistic touch. Also, the piece "Extreme" with the small sculpted man balancing on the extension from the base of connected gears perhaps provokes thoughts about the human condition in contrast to industry.
DON BERGLAND of Victoria, BC, Canada is a genius with the media of digital expression. His works have such a creative involvement with unusual configurations that are remarkable indeed. His piece "Destiny" with the floating figures as blimps amidst a sky of turbulence created with red-orange swirling movements all of which are above a multitude of people. This scene gives a sense of strange happenings that are rather foreboding. The other surrealistic work "In Memoriam" makes one think about the symbology presented here with such creative expression. The ladder within the wheeled structure, the floating clouds through the top of it and the mirror, all present a mystery deserving of our contemplation. And, in the work "Requiem" one can perhaps grasp the meaning with the broken doll-like figure broken and lying on the floor. The pair of wings, the red-violet and red curtains and the brighter red balloon give rise to further investigation of what is happening. The window scene further enhances the strength of the interior scene. Another strong piece is his "Free Will" with the strange heads on the two sheep figures, giving a sense of the animal kingdom which suggests a kind of freedom. The open heads with the boy and girl within, facing each other, gives even further deliberation.
LUKE ENGLE of Petoskey, Michigan creates some very special works in charcoal. His drawing "Bound for Silverton" shows the rushing train enhanced by the massive smoke from the engine. The stationary telephone poles, single light pole and the hood of the car reinforce the strength of the moving machine. "Rocky Mountain Highway" is deliberately composed to show half land and half sky. The delicate treatment of the clouds and the rolling hills suggest the ordinary scene dramatized by the high tonal contrast. The winding road helps to show the great distance represented. And his "Sacred Sequoia - Ethereal Glow" captures the wonderful sunlight coming through the extremely tall trees and reflecting on the sides of the trees.
JOAN FITZGERALD of Athol Springs, New York has a special affinity with the color of red and black with white linear accents. Her acrylic painting entitled "Protest" comes through strongly with the wonderful shapes of the two figures and the expressive gestural lines in red and white, all help to express the idea. The rich expressive linear characteristics in her work "Defeat" really make this piece work. And the added violet about the figure enriches the overall quality.
ERNIE FOURNET of New Iberia, Louisiana is special acrylic painter wherein he is able to demonstrate a masterful depiction of the American Indian and their fanciful and colorful dress. This is apparent in the painting "Chasing the Rainbow". The character is magnificent and it is remarkable that he is able to paint all the details. His "Eagle Tail" is another perfectly painted figure of the dance. And in "Redheart" he shows his fine artistry in his use of pastel and acrylic. It is wonderful to see such a love for the American Indian and his gentle and powerful handling of these subjects, giving them deserving honor. Another outstanding painting is "The Elder" with all the great color of such a tremendous outfit. The colorful elder against the black and white background is an interesting approach that enhances the figure. And to show his facility with media, he creates "The Messenger" in graphite, charcoal and colored pencil. This is an artist to be respected.
DOUG GARDER of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota has a love for the landscape and in his acrylic painting "Rampant Stream" he develops a dramatic situation with the many trees amidst the rushing waters. The expressive manner of his painting style works well to invigorate the scene.
JOHN HUGHLEY of Durham, North Carolina creates with the digital media with much success. His sense of subordinated color together with black outline patterns is quite striking. The small sizes allow the viewer to intimately observe the several nuances found within. His "Patchwork" series demands attention with the subtle changes of color patterns, especially seen in his "Patchwork No. 2" organized with a sense of symmetry. And "Patchwork No. 3" is rich with activity throughout giving it a special kind of strength. And the more standard dimensions seem to add to the dynamics of pattern. The varying horizontal sections are another way to present this series and the more random sectioning seems to be a logical direction in "Patchwork No. 5".
JOSEPH KAGLE of The Woodlands, Texas continues to brighten the show with his combination of materials, that is, acrylic, collage and a photo process. In "172. Open the Door-Redefine Possible #24" the work is held together with the overall warm orangeness which makes the piece attractive together with the insertion of the several faces. And the piece "174. The Road Taken #313" with a title opposite from the idea of "The Road Less Traveled", gives an abundance of people, places and things in a polychromatic palette. The rather refined work "231. The Road Taken #370" suggests a dramatic experience with the floating figure in the center and the hand with the releasing lightning.
JAMES A. MAGES of Hays, Kansas uses his digital expertise to create two submitted pieces that are quite effective. His "God's Glorious Glory" shows a wonderful imaginative scene with dramatic characteristics such as the bright colors, the rainbow, the golden key and the lightning striking. Also, his work "Raining Radiant Rain" is quite nice with the surrealistic situation and the outside the frame construction wherein the rain comes through. This is marvelous indeed.
DR. PETER MAK of Hastings, Minnesota gives the show his masterful and engaging ceramic work. The piece "Cowboy Mad" is a tremendous display of the artist's talent showing the use of imagery and the delicate patterns as well as the boots interior yellow and fanciful curves at the top all of which add to this great work. Another special work is his "Submarine" with the rather humorous developments of the overall shape and the holes together with the extensions of coils. And his "Mother Hand" is outstanding too with the dark rustic patina and the glazed cones on top and at the tips of the fingers and the coiled fingers also give this work that strangeness making for a very creative piece.
MARTA NIZIOLEK of Morton Grove, Illinois is a special artist. The rather bizarre imagery is striking, especially as seen in "Dragon". The mixture of clay, driftwood, rope, fish skin and wire net make this so intriguing. "King of the Night" is another remarkable work, especially when considering it as a clay work with driftwood. Find the right driftwood and combining it to create a creature such as seen in the artwork "Last Supper" is a masterful feat. The combination of media is quite unusual and quite terrific indeed.
ADAM J. PETERSON of Sioux City, Iowa captures some dramatic themes with his lithographic prints. His work "Angst" is a strong statement of the situation. The blurred markings around the figure add greatly to the feeling. He captures "Melancholy" quite well with the handling of the face and head and the darkness and the limping hand which draws the view down, reinforcing the mood.
COLLIN RICHARD of Traverse City, Michigan does an ephemeral drawing of a white line on the grassy ground, entitled "Snail Line". The common white snail in this context works well because of the simplicity of the work.
BARBARA ROGOFF of Los Angeles, California has some small works with an abundance of imagery. Her multi-media collage "Admit One" has several mostly papier collé pieces all constructed around a strong triangular structure. The many colors strengthen the overall quality. And "Heat Wave" with the strong reds and red-orange and yellow areas together with the mapping, give credibility to the message. The looking-on cardinal bird makes one think of the delicate situation involved with such an environment.
CHAVA SHTRAYKHER of Brooklyn, New York has some strong messages in her oil on canvases. Especially effective is the painting "Blizzard" with the bending figures and the large wind/snow shape above make for a very strong sense of the cold wind chill. And the work "Heat" with the wonderfully expressive figures in the foreground and the large area of expressive brushwork in light and golden yellow and orange crashing over the heads dramatize the very hot situation.
TONI SILBER-DELERIVE of New York, New York has a signature style of painting imagery from above and in this case the subject matter is not sky high but a few feet above. "Assorted Chocolates" shows a very nice color work with various patterns on the candies, all on a unifying medium blue ground. And "Colorful Cupcakes" with the purple ground, helps to make the colors stand out strongly. And her "Greek Salad" is a wonderful display of the several parts of the salad, so inviting that one may want to rush out and get one.
RACHEL LYNN SYLVAN of Buffalo Grove, Illinois has some interesting artwork all done in colored pencil which she uses to provide clarity with the imagery. In her "Decide" she takes on a theme that is very important and she makes it quite forceful by using the street signs with the words of right and wrong, the family running with a picket sign and the dramatic expression on the face.
CRAIG WALKOWICZ of Stevens Point, Wisconsin has a great photograph showing a number of American Indians in the artwork entitled "41st Annual American Indians Reaching for Opportunities (AIRO) Pow Wow at UWSP's Berg Gym 5/3/2014, 7:29PM". The work is an honest depiction of the wonderful grouping of ancestry-rich peoples. And his other photograph "View from Custer State Park, South Dakota 08/22/2013, 10:32AM" is an artistic representation of the typography of the park. The close and distant relationship is well proportioned.
RALPH WHITE of Redondo Beach, California uses acrylic paint in a special legato-like manner wherein the paint flows seamlessly in part as seen in his piece "Distance". The movement and areas accented by special colors, is striking for such an organic method. "Maui Sunset" is incredible in terms of the way the pink and yellow of the sunset area meets the area of the blue water. The latter is one of the most successful of his works in his technique.
FAY WOOD of Saugerties, New York is a brilliant weaver. The three panel tapestry of mixed fiber work entitled "Cityscape of My Mind" represents an imaginative city scene with many tall buildings. The more abstract work is quite nice in terms of the several area treatments with paint, fiber and found objects. The title "Storm I" suggests a rather dramatic weather event. The several textural areas are intriguing in this almost achromatic work.
Upstream People Gallery wishes everyone a Happy 2015!
Curator, Professor of Art