Upstream People Gallery

17th Annual Judeo-Christian Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

The 17th Annual Judeo-Christian Juried Online International Art Exhibition has proven to be a very inspirational showcase of some of the finest works the gallery has been privileged to host. Following are comments about those pieces that are especially moving and technically impressive.

DINA BOVA of Petach Tiqwa, Israel has a unique approach to expression. His striking work “Quaere Veritatem - Seek Truth” shows an intense balancing situation with followers holding on to the leader who has fire in hand but with a blindfold that seems rather concealing. The work “Spheres of Unconditional Love” bespeaks of the Madonna and Child iconography and this piece is tenderly displayed. The use of the bubble-like halo is quite contemporary. And “The Age of Innocence” is exceptionally effective in all regards.

ISRELAH BROOKS of Florence, South Carolina works well with mixed media and the use of Velvetone Film is rather unusual. Her work "Gia & Johnny 17" shows happy children with a lot of love. The triptych entitled "Homeless Not Hopeless" deals compassionately with a strong message. And "Psalm 139" is beautifully drawn. And "Jose (Hosanna Hosanna) Isa. 49:15" done with a strong light effectively showing the face in full frame, adds visual strength to the content.

JAMES ELLISON of Rowland Hts., California is an amazing artist. His oil painting “It Is Finished It Has Begun” shows the crucifixion situation, similarly composed like Salvador Dali’s work. However the multitude of people with such a perspective makes a very strong statement. His work "Spiritús Crëator" presents a lot to consider with the use of three faces and the action of painting in time. “Be Still My Soul”, perhaps reflective of the Garden of Eden, is brilliantly depicted. Another impressive, visually precise work is his painting “Pilgrim” with the awesome scenery. And also, his “Dawn” is nicely painted to reveal the wonderful ocean, beach and sky typography.

JUDI JORDAN of Taylor, Arizona chooses her imagery to reinforce her visual concepts. Her “Gifts of Grace” with mixed media are full of counting your blessings. The formality presented in her work “Power In God’s Word” is such an important statement indeed. Also, the amazing work entitled “Unveiled” draws a comparison to the wedding feast and Christ’s crucifixion causing the veil of the temple to tear apart — very interesting. Judi's painting "Christ Overcomes" speaks of the four blood red moons as well as the four horsemen and several other aspects which can be found on her upcoming blogs.

Judi Jordan's artist's statement about these works: "'The four paintings I submitted are all about our relationship with God thru Christ. "Worship Is Love" is about people returning the Love God gives us back to Him through our worship. "Gifts of Grace" tells us that our God given gifts and talents are given to us before we are born and are irrevocable. What we do with them is up to us. "Power In God's Word" shows that there is power in speaking God's word, because the written Bible was spoken by God thru Christ and the prophets and written down for us by followers of Christ. (John 1:1) "Unveiled" is about the changing from the old covenant of the Law given to people through Moses, to the new covenant given to us through God's son Jesus Christ. The old covenant required following all laws to receive salvation for sin, but through Christ's sacrifice we can receive salvation by our belief in Him and what His sacrifice provided."'

NOAH LATAILLE of Hampden, Maine makes a “Crown of Thorns” which is so impressive and dramatic especially because it is made out of welded steel giving it a very strong aspect. Recent scientific studies from the Shroud has revealed that the crown was actually a cup, covering the whole head. Noah’s work gives this sense of all over the head.

PATRICK LUBER is quite creative in conceptual integrity and in his use of aluminum beverage cans recycled to make the work “Trinity” which is wonderfully portrayed with the three parts but also with the important arrows which helps to be all inclusive of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a triangular oneness formation.

JESUS MARIN of Orlando, Florida has some very descriptive messages, all richly presented in acrylic. The significant symbology works well together. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all there in this important message of “Presence of God”. Another one of his particularly special works is called "The Key" with all the rich symbolism that are deserving of contemplation!

Jesus Marin's artist statement about these works: "The Key" is a painting with so much in it, first Jesus is the key to our salvation that's why He holds a key and the Ten Commandments and we are the body that's why you see people in Jesus body, only those who knew Him will see Salvation. The word become flesh and
the flesh our savior.......Jesus Christ!

"The Presence of God" is about being in that intimacy with God, deep in His dark place."'

BRIAN PARKS of Bellevue, Washington takes significant references to passages that are important and impressive. His “Elijah’s Offering” and especially “Elijah’s Ascension” are exceptionally depicted. The visual effects are amazing and the perspective gives them a strong appeal.

Brian Parks artist's statement about these works: "'"Elijah's Offering" and "Elijah's Ascension" are two of the initial releases of 'Forged by Faith; Artistic impressions of timeless stories contained in the Bible', a fine-art series by artist and photographer Brian Neel Parks of Bellevue Washington. The series features realistic, believable, true to the texts images, and somewhat look like Hollywood movie posters for the Bible. This series was initially conceived in April 2012 and four initial scenes released in October 2014.

Brian Parks seeks to accurately and realistically depict Scriptural characters and their events in order to draw the viewer to seek out these narratives for themselves and consider their own faith. While these stories have been represented in paintings and other art, they are rarely depicted in the graphic realism of photography.

Brian said "As I approached being a commercial photographer in the area for 30 years, I felt compelled to produce a personal series of the great, ancient, biblical examples of faith, as I envision them. I wanted them to appear not so much like prior paintings, sculptures, and carvings over the centuries, but rather as "timeless impressions in stone".

"I've found many never take the time to read the Bible for themselves, trusting what others have said or passed-on out of context. I love the Bible and these stories which show me who God is and much about myself. God speaks to people, through people, and these stories often provide a compass for what I'm experiencing at the time; never regretting the direction I've applied."

He spent 6 months choosing a team and preparing for the first photo-shoot in early April 2014. He found Middle-Eastern looking models to be "Elijah" and "Ruth", as well as a costume maker, makeup effects, photo stylist, and prop artisans.

These serve also as "Proof of Concept" as he seeks benefactors to enable this as an on-going series of Biblical fine-art prints, posters, and gallery showings. "I'm just trying to get o my next character, Lord willing we are able to raise funding for more Biblical reenactments."'

MICHELLE VEZINA PETERLIN of Evansville, Indiana has such a wonderful composition with the two bending over to give and receive “The Blessing”. This acrylic on canvas work is very rich conceptually and technically. The warm color scheme adds to the meaning.

DUANE J. PIEPER of Gretna, Nebraska adds a special dimension to his subject matter with the use of cold and encaustic wax together with various mixed media. His “Back to the Garden” shows the moving toward and the peace in the garden. The cool overlapping scene and the warm garden scene work well together. His “Lion of Judah” really becomes effective with the wax as well as the added media. And “Watchmen on the Walls” again with the strength of the media, make the scene even more dynamic.

O YEMI TUBI of Dagenham, Essex, United Kingdom presents a work entitled “The Bleeding Roses”. The amazing handling of the Christ figure and the other devoted characters with all the rich colors in the foreground as if lit up with the darker and desaturated sky and background make for a wonderfully expressive oil on canvas.

O Yemi Tubi's artist's statement about "The Bleeding Roses": "I was horrified to see pictures of mutilated bodies of Christians killed because for their faith on television screen and online. It is even more sickening to see pictures of Christians literally nailed to crosses. Islamic State terrorist executed and crucified Christians in Iraq and Syria. Seen Churches being blowing up in Egypt, Kenya, Northern Nigeria and Christians being the victims of Pakistan abuse of blasphemy laws; Pastors and Church leaders are the target for kidnapping by South American guerrilla fighters and Church leaders jailed in Iran and China for their faith make me see Christians like roses growing in the mist of the thorns that is why this painting is titled The Bleeding Roses.

Unlike many of renaissance paintings of Crucifixion, I chose to paint the body of Christ (the Church) as roses. I painted Roses in rainbow colours as persecution of Christians cut across every race. St Pauls Cathedral among the buildings in the background is most noticeably Christian building in London the city where the painting was made. Pope Francis was included in the painting as the head of the persecuted church. In the foreground right side of the painting is an African King representing part of Africa where Christians are being persecuted. On the left side are an Indonesian woman and a Syrian woman praying for freedom of worship for Christians in their countries."

KEVIN vonKLUCK of Lemont, Illinois is quite prolific with his creative work. His piece “Martyr” uses unusual media to show the giving of life. Another work called “Flight of Faith” uses wood, bamboo, stone and copper in a dynamic composition in the form of a cross shape. Also, quite nice is his “Shrine to the Book of the Dead” specially arranged upon an antique table. The work entitled “Sticks and Stones” takes the idea of the passion in a way that deals with the jeering crowd. And too, his “Time is Ripe” is most profound and important to contemplate!

RALPH WHITE of Redondo Beach, California has a signature style with moving, dripping paint and he is quite successful. The work “Ascension” is a great abstraction of the concept. And also, “Genesis” is richly dramatic in color, texture and especially movement.

Please know that these specially recognized artists and their work may have personal statements included after their statements are received.

Thanks to all the artists whose works were selected in this juried show. And a special message of love and appreciation to artists who share their talent in such a faithful manner.


Laurence Bradshaw
Curator, Professor of Art