Upstream People Gallery

13th Annual Abstraction Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

This 13th Annual showcase about abstraction reveals a rather vast range of expression, style and media which gives a level of interest as found in many group shows. Many sculptures and paintings are masterful indeed, capturing the essence of the abstract movement that is alive and well today. Fifty-five artists have been selected from worldwide entries, including from Australia, Czech Republic, Japan, Germany, Latvia, Portugal and across the United States.

Following are some comments about some pieces that are most impressive in terms of their originality and high level of artistic skill.

ERIC AKCEVAK of Lemont, Illinois works with a combination of materials that are handsomely composed. “Glacial Kiss” is an interesting concept with the two mounted rocks juxtaposed just right together. Another strong work is “Trophy” with the rather lyrical interplay of fluting and overall curvilinear structure. Yet another striking work with more variety in the use of materials is “WMD I” which has the feeling of aggression as suggested in the title.

CAROL ANN of Tucson, Arizona uses mixed media and successfully composes the work “Glass House I” on canvas. The inner light with the surrounding darker values shows a strong organization.

STEVE BARYLICK of Cambridge, Massachusetts presents an engaging large horizontal work in acrylic and mixed media which captures the strength found in abstract expressionism. The bold gestural markings and the delicacies of the smaller areas of texture bespeak of something grand in "A Story of Involvement". Also his work “When I Left” shows a staging in much the same manner with darker tones and accents of bright colors.

SABINE BLODORN of Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia has a unique style adapting her exquisite use of acrylic with rich painterly quality. One of the most engaging is “Lucias’ Dream” wherein the top half of the painting shows a rather amorphous floating figure. Again with more figuration she creates “Mrs. La Ramla” which is fanciful in construction and strong in color. More abstractly she develops “The Secret Space” which shows elements of the figure here and there.

ELINORE BUCHOLTZ of New York, New York expresses well via abstraction and in her most different piece “Slow Down” she uses larger shapes to present the idea.

FIDALIS BUEHLER of Mapleton, Utah uses a rather high key palette and in the oil on canvas work “Through the Green Vines” she shows some literality with the linear development that seems to emerge out of the more abstracted areas.

ALEXANDRA CHEHY of Northbrook, Illinois gives a strong, high value contrast digital photograph entitled “Burnt Feathers” which is curious in terms of the process used in its development. “Silver Vortex” is rather unusual as well. The circular movement is nicely slowed in the main two brighter areas of silver.

IONE CITRIN of Los Angeles, California is most prolific in her art studio and it shows well in her piece “Abstract Galaxy” with its rich watercolor and collage work, contrasting the organic and fluid with the strength of the grid work. Her work “Cairo” captures the essence of the city with the feel of the shapes and the warmth of colors.

BRYON DRAPER of Springville, Utah has a signature style as a sculptor and professor. His use of stone and bronze is awesome in execution and concept. Literal figuration is used just in the right amount as seen in the exquisite work “Principle Guide”.

DMITRI FREUND of Lee, Massachusetts creates “Hope” in oil on linen using abstracted city shapes with the upper right section done in a lightness and gold coloration. With abstracted tree forms framing both sides of the painting he creates “Menace”.

ROSEMARI GOLLEDGE of Mortagua, Portugal uses mainly rich reds and blues in an even spread, color field oil and acrylic painting entitled “Hidden Image 6 (2011)”. The loosely patterned piece works well with the gestural markings.

JOSEPH L. KAGLE, JR. of Kingwood, Texas gives the show a colorful presentation. In his acrylic work “Building America #8” he successfully composes the parts as if there is building going on. In “Crystal Rainbow No. 55” he shows a richness in texture and color combining shapes together for a strong composition. And with a repetition of rectilinear shapes nicely arranged, he shows another strong work with the contrasting curvilinear aspectsin his work "Matrix Series No. 13". In a more subdued color palette in terms of using more white, he develops “Nola Series #3” which is well held together with the red circular element in the lower portion of the upper right quadrant.

COURTNEY KENNY of Omaha, Nebraska works with wet applications of enamel and acrylic to present rich color and curvilinear patterns as seen in “Encounter”. With other creative painterly applications she creates “Kinetic Jive” with areas of fast and dancing movements contrasted with smooth and more subdued areas.

CHRISTOPHER McGEE of Clarence, New York achieves something unusual with the media of acrylic and latex paint on canvas. His work "Rose Planet" depicts abstracted rose petals complimented with green in a luscious overall pattern.

ANDREW NANCE of San Marcos, Texas captures the essence of figures in a dance movement in "Tanabe 11". The blurring technique helps to abstract the staging and shows a kind of softness or sfumato quality.

SELENA NAWROCKI of Douglas, Georgia is a master constructionist. All of her works are brilliant in terms of the interesting metal framing devices and the imagery of stairs in space. “Facets” is one of these. Another strong work is “Plane Aero” with the use of the circular framing which works well with the curves of the stairwell. And the combination of the straight and curving linear movements in “Translumination” are nicely organized, moreover the simpler framing works well with the additional bright colors.

BAIBA OZOLA of Riga, Latvia creates varied painterly qualities in the work “A Phantom”. The strong straight line sections work in contrast to the loose drippings and other gestural marks. The work “Sense of Direction” combines the wonderful areas of gesture and definition with the addition of saturated warm and cool colors. And on a light note with a kind of wash technique “The Sun in Winter” is handsome and lyrical.

JOHN LYON PAUL of Ithaca, New York brings to the show his highly textured works on mylar. With acrylic ink on clear mylar he creates three main areas of warm and cool color in “Study #2”. And with a sense of more free form, he creates “Study #20” in a high value contrast in an orange monochromatic scheme.

MARISA PETERSON of Fullerton, California has a sense of delicacy in her use of watercolor and gouache. In her 12” x 6” space she shows a richness of textural qualities in the piece “///46”.

TODD POSPICHAL of Granger, Indiana has captured the show with a symphony of brilliant achievement as seen in “Dora” with its delicate small areas of mixed media with small areas of text as well. With the same magnificence he creates “Layered Ideologies” with the radiating shape motif taking the stage. With a hint of Gustav Klimpt patterning, he creates “Marathon” which is aptly titled with the sense of the continuous wonderful movement found in the many smaller shapes and color changes going on in the center. “Quagmire” is another outstanding work. It’s all so engaging and wonderful indeed!

CHARLA PURYEAR of Burbank, California combines acrylic, oil and oil pastels showing a serene atmospheric work entitled “Forest Spring”.

MORGAN RICHARDSON of Milpitas, California uses a brilliant polychromatic scheme to delight the visual senses as seen in his acrylic and spray paint piece entitled “First Summer”. The many colors and shapes are delightful. And with a bit of humor and playfulness he presents “Holy Cow”.

EMILIO HECTOR RODRIGUEZ of Miami, Florida achieves a nice quality in his mixed media on canvas work “Ecclesiastics 1:14” which shows a strong dark base with a delicacy in the upper portion.

LOIS SCHLACHTER of Spring Mt., Pennsylvania has a signature style which shows wonderful colors and patterns. In “Mineral Springs” she creates a curvilinear composition which curves about with a centralized resting area at the tip of an ‘S’ shape. “My Brother’s Keeper” is quite engaging with all the wonderful rounded shapes and the flowing movements.

ELIZA M. SCHMID of Santa Fe, New Mexico has a rich sense of texture, especially seen in her concept of nature and mechanization. Here oil painting “Natura ex Machina” shows a kind of connectedness in the various patterned shapes with a sense of figuration as well.

RICHARD SCHNEIDER of Cleveland Hts., Ohio is a prolific ceramist. In his stoneware piece “Cat” he gives honor to the feline nicely abstracted atop a pedestal structure.

JOAN SOWADA of Gillette, Wyoming brings textile to the show. Her concept of “Four Directions” shows a near symmetrical composition with warm and cool coloration. “Showers with Bright Periods” is a well conceived image in the vertical context.

EDITH SUCHODREW of Aachen, Germany has a great sense of pattern and with her expertise with computer graphics she develops richly delicate works. Especially nice is the piece “MBMUS.79” from her series “My meeting with unknown Stars”. The kaleidoscopic imagery of “MBMUS.297” from the same series is another handsome work.

HARUHISA TAKANO of Chiba-shi, Chiba, Japan uses a radial effect in the work “Neon Beat” done in oil. The detailing in the process of this oil painting is rather meditative and succeeds in creating a sense of energy.

ROB WARDELL of Boulder, Colorado has a unique piece entitled “Nassau” which is curious with the two centers composition amidst the circuitry-like organization. The use of blue seems appropriate in the sense of that is almost like a blueprint.

GARY WEATHERFORD of Sausalito, California paints in acrylic on acrylic panels. His work “Interlude” shows a light blue linear section in the middle amidst soft colored shapes.

ROSALIND FAIMAN WEINBERG of Urbana, Illinois has some interesting works. “5 Canvas Cicada Killer Wasp” shows a symmetrical arrangement of parts of the cicada. This sectioning seems to give a mastery over the insect as if having dissected it. And in a quite different work, “Attracting Fixed Point III” is wonderfully colorful and moving showing a lot of energy and excitement.

VALERIE WOLF of Rexford, New York has a bit of the cubistic touch as seen in her acrylic “Empathy”. Expressing the idea of ‘feeling into’ the emotions of another is applaudable and in this work it does seem to come across especially in the area of the eyes.

ANNETTE ZALANOWSKI of Altoona, Pennsylvania is another successful artist in terms of the attention to detail and rich patterning. This is unusual for her repertoire in the use of dark tones contrasted with the bright colors as “Canyon at Dusk” shows admirably. Her work “Love Fest” is somewhat special because of the exuberance felt in the motif of the heart shape.

Thank you artists for sharing your work. And thank you for spreading the word about our shows.


Laurence Bradshaw
Curator, Professor of Art