Upstream People Gallery

12th Annual Judeo-Christian Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

As we enter into this year’s special season of Easter and Passover, the gallery is very happy indeed to have planned this exhibition for this time. “Many are called but few are chosen" can be considered when thinking of those who have been selected for this smaller international showcase; nevertheless the works speak well of faith and creativity. Following are some comments about some of the works that deserve recognition because of the impact felt in expressing the theme of the show.

ANNA AJTNER of Bydgoszcz, Poland deals with repetition to capture a sense of church interior space which she entitles as “Church Echoes Inside” series. In the first one she gives an overall formation of a large cross. The fourth of the series shows the intricacies and delicacies of the church. And in the fifth she creates a sense of lightness.

MONTANA BLACK of Boulder City, Nevada considers individuals in various situations giving them angel-like wings. In the piece “Jonathan” she shows the handling of fish which calls to mind the idea of the fishermen in the Bible becoming fishers of men. Also “Ritchie” with more pronounced wings and a halo together with some text, gives credence to the playfulness in the works. The piece “Janet” also shows the wonderment felt in creation.

DAVID BLOW of Hickory Creek, Texas has a great facility with the newer technology of digital manipulation. One of his most successful for this show is “Violet Haze” in which he places butterflies amidst the rather evenly spread motif of the violet flower. The metaphorical reference of the butterfly is rather significant to ponder.

LINDA BOURIE of Leicester, Massachusetts uses mixed media in a square format with the framing to enhance her messages. In the piece “He Gathers” she references music as it is scored along the movement into a vessel which in abstract terms is rather effective.

VACLAV CESAK of Nepomuk, Czech Republic works with strong and lasting media to create the strength of his subject matter, that of crosses. In the church setting of “Saint Trinity Chapel - Altar Cross with Tabernacle” there is an atmosphere that is both peaceful and strong. The “Cross with The Holy Trinity” series is highly sophisticated and polished in the contemporary mode showing its importance still in today’s world. All are outstanding indeed. And with resin, stainless steel and stone emerges the sculpture entitled “Saint John Nepomucene” with the clean lines and simplicity of form. Also with the elegance of the curvilinear form he develops the image of “Saint Virgin Mary” with tenderness and gentleness.

BEVERLY CHICK of Boise, Idaho masters watercolor and colored pencil with a rich textural treatment in her piece “Angel Aura”. The fluidity and softness of the clothing and hair and of course the serenity of the face looking upwards is quite beautiful. This is contrasted to the more roughly treated surrounding of complementary coloration. Also quite nice is the powerful effects created in “Three Crosses - John 3:16”.

OLIVER T. CLARK of Columbia, Missouri is a master of detail as seen in all of his works in the exhibition. One of the most significant ones is “Mark of Cain” with the expert detailing of the hair and the downward expression on the face. Also important to this show’s theme is “Pentecost” in which he details the hair with the formation of pentecostal-like fire above the head. The use of pyrography on sugar maple sets these works apart.

DeLYNN COPPOLETTI of Cincinnati, Ohio has a rather large acrylic painting called “Parable of the Sower Triptych” in which the sower in the upper left plants the seed which in the second panel begins to grow and then produces the fruit of the harvest in the third panel. The use of the rising and setting sun in sequence helps to relay the time passing and the arching shapes help to give a sense of importance.

JELENA EROS of Tempe, Arizona dramatically develops the “Creation of Adam” in acrylic on canvas. The large hands above the image of Adam is quite striking and the sense of movement adds to the act of creation in process.

JACEK FRACZAK of Springfield, Missouri uses printmaking to develop spiritual themes as seen in his depiction of the “Pieta” with the woman figure dressed in contemporary clothing to show that the imagery is still relative today. Continuing with the bold and high contrast seen in his works he develops the idea of “Resurrection” showing the threading of a cloth-like shroud splitting, while the light is exposed glowing above. Using etching and aquatint and soft ground he shows the bloody aspects of the face and the crown of thorns of Jesus hanging over a neighborhood of homes in "Veraikon-I”. This is quite effective. And as seen in “Veraikon-II” the imagery is correlated with what is happening in the news of today.

PHYLLIS I. GILLIE of Washington, D.C. creatively envisions the wonder and richness of the concept of “Baptism”. Herein she uses the color of water and the upward movement to enhance the transitioning that occurs in the holy sacrament.

MARTY GNIECH of Peoria, Illinois works well in linocut color reduction. His work “Crucified” captures the scourging of the body of Jesus using the red color of blood and the cutting away patterning reinforces the horrible cruelty of the passion. The black at the bottom adds to the intensity of the torture. In a more beatific sense he shows “Heavenly Light” with the peaceful face of a man with hands reaching upwards. The softness of the brush strokes harmonize with the idea.

ANDY GONZALEZ of Katy, Texas has a wonderfully developed sense of abstraction with a flavor of the Cubistic mode. In his very colorful works he gets to the heart of the matter as seen in such beautifully orchestrated works as "The Baptism", "The Sermon on the Mount" and "The Storm".

JANET HART HEINICKE of Indianola, Iowa is adept with various media as seen in two of her works. In "It Comes to All of Us" she uses pen and ink showing a person in the foreground contemplating in front of a graveyard scene. And in her acrylic painting "Sweet Communion" she produces a kind of glow from above that connects to the earth-like realm below.

JULIE RODRIGUEZ JONES of Sparks, Nevada adds an interesting set of veil images she creates successfully with digital airbrush. One that is most familiar perhaps is “Mary of Magdala - Transformation” wherein she uses the image of the golden butterfly. Each of the others are wonderful in terms of her interpretations. Another interesting one is “The Women at the Empty Tomb” which shows the women merging with the dark tomb. The small light inside the tomb is very effective.

JUDI JORDAN of Taylor, Arizona gently uses acrylic to show the metanoia theme in “Cleansed by His Blood”. The beautiful woman all in white clothing with the light of the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit hovers above. The fountain is seen overflowing with red blood to further describe the cleansing power of His Blood.

STEVEN KELSO of Indianapolis, Indiana has some beautiful renditions of the Mother and Child iconography, showing a gentle tenderness with the bold outlining. Perhaps most attractive with the detailing is his piece “St. Jean” with the elaborate halo depiction and the colorful background. It is wonderful to see the bold outlining which seems to make the softness of the faces even more tender.

KEVIN RAYE LARSON of Reseda, California has an expert facility in handling acrylic to create tenebristic and chiaroscuro effects to accurately show the human figure masterfully. In his painting "Penance (St. Gabriel of Our Lady of the Sorrows)" he gives an interpretation of a penitent with a sense of holiness represented with the glowing halo. The detailing in the patterning, like that of a stained glass window, adds beautifully to the concept.

CHRISTO LINQUATA of Granada Hills, California does the unusual with taking the holy imagery to the streets, so to speak, in a kind of street ministry, as seen in his skillful use of pastel on blacktop in “St. Cecilia”. His “St. John” in the traditional egg tempera and gold on panel is excellent in all aspects of true icon painting.

MILENKA LION-KAHN of North Miami Beach, Florida develops some wonderful and instructive works in ink, collage and acrylic. Especially rich is the work “Faith - Jewish Faith - Yom Kippur” with the sounding of the horn, the colorful heart, the Star of David candles and the Torah.

TANYA MIKAELA of Sherman Oaks, California creates dramatic effects in her vertical piece “Release” with the golden woman developed out of torn reclaimed paper on canvas. The many parts of light and dark colors and the very moving hair makes for a very exciting and expressive work. In contrast to that work she develops a very calming work in “Silence” whose subject, Mother Teresa, is continued in her piece “With Great Love”.

JOHN MURDOCH of Holicong, Pennsylvania tenderly uses oil on wood panels in his paintings of angels. Because of the very high key coloration his works “Angel Playing Lovesong” and “Angel Transmitting Light” seem to capture the spirit beings quite well. Nevertheless, all his works about angels are effective in the soft manner of his paintings.

JANET OSTERN-LONG of Drewsey, Oregon takes on the theme of creation quite well. In her ceramic work “Creating Eve” she shows the egg-like formation together with the bone-like ribcage. This is a wonderful piece.

JERRY PRICE of Miami Beach, Florida has a mastery of the digital media. Especially strong is his piece “Christ the Redeemer over Rio” in which he panoramically shows the Christ figure with the outstretched arms over the land. And with a successful treatment of text and image using mixed media on canvas he creates “Seek His Face”. This is interesting in the sense of seeing and reading the text which tells the viewer to find the face which is there indeed!

BONNIE ROTH of Upland, California uses brilliance in color to show the jubilation of the event in her watercolor “Praise The Lord”. People with musical instruments, the Torah, flowers and the text all add to this quality piece.

HEATHER SILVERMAN of Cincinnati, Ohio in her ink jet print, photographically captures the imagery entitled “Ner Talmid”. The two subdivisions reinforce each other in that the top shows the circular and the bottom half shows the rectilinear parts. Another of her works “A Mere Reflection” is quite interesting. In the bottom left she shows a red dress with the foot touching what shows to be water, yet reflecting the sky above - an intriguing use of spatial effects.

THOMAS TEAMOH of Chongqing City, China uses photo collage and ink to create some compelling and thought provoking imagery. Especially strong in this series is “Come Unto Me” with the draped American flags over the caskets; “Last March Home” too is strong wherein the men carry the casket as the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe appears to be praying; and with the Crucified Christ in violet color on a red cross with the glowing yellow sun juxtaposed with the draped caskets he creates "Psalm 23 (Laid Beside Quiet Waters)".

YAEL VANGRUBER of Dallas, Texas has a colorist sense in her works in the square format. "Transformation" is rich as well in terms of textural interplay. And "Creative" in the curvilinear orchestration is brilliant and moving.

ROSALIND FAIMAN WEINBERG of Urbana, Illinois has a beautiful collection of Torah covers. “Eternal Flame Torah Cover: Design for the High Holidays” is very nice with the elaborate handling of the colorful warm flame.

STEPHEN WIGGINS of Portland, Oregon takes on an important theme for Christians in turning over our troubles and placing them at the foot of the cross. “Lay Your Burdens Down” is a great message of hope.

JERRY WRAY of Shreveport, Louisiana always shows some strong, colorful works in her water media works. “Seven Days of Creation” shows the wonderful parts of creation and her other work “The Scroll” is also effective. In both she enhances the imagery with the dark, cool background.

ANNETTE ZALANOWSKI of Altoona, Pennsylvania has a signature style with her amazing use of multiple patterns. Her mixed media work “Atonement” is very important conceptually and her simplicity of form complements well with the expert detailing.

As you can see in all the works, these artists have given their gift of artistry in very creative and honorable ways, thus giving back and certainly giving glory to God!


Laurence Bradshaw
Curator, Professor of Art