Upstream People Gallery

18th Annual Judeo-Christian Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

For another year, this 18th 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.

KATHRYN BELL of Greenville, South Carolina has some important messages in her special collage works. One of the most emphatic and clearly effective is "Purity" wherein a beautiful older woman's face, nicely tilted, together with the doily makes for a great statement.

Kathryn Bell gives further information about this work: '"Actually the four collages you are displaying are all part of my entry.

Titles are sacrifice, purity, growth, and eternity. The curator made a very observant comment about "purity." The series portrays the spiritual progression of a person through Christ's sacrifice, which purifies us, so that we grow to be more like Him, and will enjoy eternity with him. The collages started out as pages for a book, but I felt they were interesting enough by themselves to be displayed in frames."'

DAVID BLOW of Hickory Creek, Texas introduces fractal techniques to present some very fine digital pieces. Of particular note is "Live in Harmony" which in the colorful palette and the bright two golden fish, shows the artists expertise conceptually and aesthetically.

EMBER CANADA of Lexington, Kentucky tackles the awesome subject of the cloth believed to be the wrap used to cover Jesus Christ. Painted in oil with an enhancement tonally, she brings to light the dramatic image of Jesus in "The Shroud". The large size helps to impress the viewer.

Ember Canada gives these comments about he work: "My inspiration for this painting came from a dream where I saw Jesus. I remember thinking that his face looked like the Shroud of Turin, a subject I had no former knowledge of at the time. So I began to research the Shroud for myself and because I am an artist I knew I had to express my supernatural encounter on canvas."

ANTHONY DE MONTE of Sayreville, New Jersey paints a fantastic oil painting entitled "The New Day". The curious reddish cloud movement in the sky makes an impressive statement in the wonderful landscape showing a figure looking on to the sunrise. Nice to see the attention to detail.

Anthony De Monte gives these comments about his work: "'I believe there is a great emotional and symbolic potential in landscape painting. Sunrises always conjure up pleasant associations and The New Day is intended to create that hopeful sentiment in the viewer. As a Christian, I usually have a Bible verse in the back of my head while painting, and this one’s was “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8). The Christian moral of this painting is that though the beauty of morning rapidly fades away, the hope God gives never does."'

ELIZABETH HAMPSON of Saunderstown, Rhode Island is a master artist with the media of scratchboard. Her "Step Into The Light" clearly shows a depiction of a stained glass window showing the raising of Lazarus.

Elizabeth Hampson gives her comments about this work: "This piece was based on a photo that I took while visiting a church in Cornwall, England. It is completely done with pointillism and line work, and took (on and off) a couple years to finish. I edited some aspects of the original photo to create a more fitting composition for the scratchboard medium that I chose. The stained glass window was from the medieval period and although it is likely that I will never know the name of the original artist, I would like to give them credit for creating such a beautiful image of Christ calling Lazarus from the grave. It was an honor to both emulate their work in the foundation of my piece and to bring it further into the light!"

GEORGE LANGBROEK of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada has a definite signature style with colorful etching. His "Free From Burden" clearly shows the struggling on the one side of the crucifixion and walking away in freedom on the other side. The use of dark and light adds to its effectiveness.

George Langbroek says this about his work: "This work draws it's imagery from my life as a Christian. I believe Christ has liberated me from the burdens of this life. He is my Saviour and redeemer who gives us new life, that allows one to walk into the light an upright person with renewed vigor and purpose."

GABRIEL LAVOIE of Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada presents some wonderful descriptive works in oil. "Arrival of a New Born" celebrates the miracle of life! The work "Mom in Prayer" shows a deeply pleading lady with eyes closed and with hands folded. Another beautiful painting is "Renewal" with all the glow about the figure.

Gabriel Lavoie says this about his work: "I truly believe that art allows human beings to bring out their soul-qualities. Sometimes, I have the impression the painting already contains the imprint of its destiny in the invisible world. The message of the work seems pre-determined and guided by a Force that is much greater than me."

ELLEN LEFAVOUR of Gloucester, Massachusetts excels in a rather graphic approach with a strong outlining of imagery. "Exaltation of Larks" with the circular movement of the birds is nicely composed and gives a sense of continuity and framing. And "Holy, Holy, Holy" has the drama all about in the radiating background and the patterning of eyes on the wings of a fantastic bird.

Ellen Lefavour says this about her work: "Exaltation of Larks and Holy, Holy, Holy (aka Revelation Eagle) are two of numerous paintings in an ongoing body of work called the Revelation Series. Although many of the paintings are coming from the Book of Revelation, the final book of the Bible, the series will create an overview of the Old and New Testament, and reveal God and His Yeshua (Salvation) in some of His many attributes, as well as His plan for mankind. With His guidance, may some who do not know Him come to know Him, for to know Him is to love Him, and to love Him is to follow Him to unimaginable freedom, peace and joy. These paintings are Divinely-inspired images of God's Word, created in a state of worship, to His Honor, Glory and Praise. Viewers are asked to try to view them that way, no matter what their personal belief system might be. The series is painted in a contemporary medieval/iconic style, utilizing some non-traditional symbols which bring the messages to a visually more current and world inclusive view. The thirty-five completed paintings in the series can be viewed at www.hobbithousestudio.com and will be on exhibit this summer at Hobbit House Studio on Rocky Neck in Gloucester, MA beginning in May."

SEBASTIEN MAILLARD of Nice, France has some delicate masterful works in this year's show. Especially fine is his "Noah's Art" (Illuminated Text) wherein the story is illustrated in such wonderful detailing. The ark framed within the highly decorated outer illumination is beautifully rendered. Also, his "Unicorn" is rich in exacting detail to perfection.

LEAH McCHESNEY of Parker, Colorado makes a direct point in including the scriptural message of Proverbs 17:22 and together with the happy smiling child the point is well taken in the work "Be Cheerful".

Leah McChesney provides further information: '"Leah McChesney resides in Parker, CO. She was born in Long Beach, CA and her love of little ones, animals and the sea followed her to Colorado. "Be Cheerful" reflects Leah's appreciation of the spiritual simplicity of children. Her artistic inspirations include Mark Hollenbeck, Peter Lik, Laura Eichenger and her father."'

WILL MICKEY of Heart Wood Studio, Webster, Wisconsin has a unique approach to carving, creating the imagery inside a piece of red cedar wood. "Jesus Carrying The Cross" is quite nice with the two colors in the wood. His "Messiah" is also richly stated with the imagery carved to represent the three scriptural passages.

MARY JANE MILLER of San Miguel De Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico uses egg tempera to create a striking portrait of the crowned Jesus entitled "Rest". The work "Transitions" also in egg tempera shows various aspects of the characters of the Bible. Also, "Tenderness" depicts in the Icon tradition Mother Mary and the Child Jesus adding the rich treatment of sculptural pewter. "ICXC" is another fine depiction of Jesus.

Mary Jane Miller gives further information: '"Mary Jane Miller has been a long term resident of Mexico and full time artist for many years. Her work is outstanding and unique, perhaps one of finest egg tempera artists you will find in and around Mexico and the US. The selected collection of four in Black and White was recently given outstanding recognition. The entire collection of 15 pieces focuses on the human portrait and women in particular.

The body of work represents a challenge deciding to use a limited pallet of four colors”. Egg tempera is ground stone, mixed with egg yolk; the finished image resembles ancient marble. The collection of human portraits has to do with humanities illusion we are eternal when really we too are dust, we are brief snapshots of divine unfolding. The work may be seen on the web site; moderncatholiciconography.com."'

CHUCK MOUNTAIN of Moskegon, Michigan is a master graphic designer using text with a multi-color palette. His works "Grace", "My Hope", "The Three Days" and "One There Is, Above All Others" are outstanding in message and technique. Making them as a glossy metal print makes them even more special indeed.

DUANE J. PIEPER of Gretna, Nebraska creatively combines encaustic and mixed media. His work "Anointed" emphasizes the process of being blessed in this special manner. "Inscribed" is rather interesting in terms of combining the heart with the ten commandments.

Duane Pieper gives these comments about his work: The “Inscribed” creation was inspired by the fulfillment of the scriptures written in Jeremiah 31:33. “I will put my teachings within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.” This is a point of continuity and bridge between the old and new covenants. This promise is reaffirmed in the Book of Hebrews, in both 8:10 & 10:16.
The climatic time had come when God would write the law internally on their (our) hearts. The external law has been place within them (us), reflecting the forgiveness and the omniscient love of God for His people. He has truly brought us out of bondage, through the waters, to his holy mountain and given us the road map to eternal life. Wow! All of this was written personally by His finger on each one of our hearts, a love letter from God.

“Anointed” is part of my “Olive Tree Reflection” series of works inspired by the significance of the olive tree. It has been a symbol of Israel and its people throughout the Scriptures. It reflects the attributes of fruitfulness, life, light, longevity, promise and holiness. The Hebrew word for olive oil, shemen, is used over 150 times in the Bible.
The first pressing, the precious virgin oil, was essential for use in Temple worship services and the anointing of their high priests and rulers. Psalm 133: 1-2 refers to the precious oil running down the beard of Aaron, down the edge of his garments."'

MARLENE SIFF of Westport, Connecticut in her work "Fallen Heros / Afganistan 2010" has a rather large work of the framed U. S. Flag with shell casings from West Point at the base of the display. Her "Entente Cordiale 2012" created with acrylic on linen is another large work with striking construction and shadows.

Marlene Siff gives these comments about her work: Both paintings above are part of my body of work entitled "Elements of Peace”.

At the base of the flag there are shell casings from West Point.
When I decided I had to include shell casings I knew I didn’t want them from a regular shooting gallery. I wanted authentic military ones in keeping with this memorial assemblage. I contacted a friend of mine who graduated from West Point and he graciously got them for me. Each one is glued individually at the base of the plexiglass box… resting on sand.

I am attaching an article from Westport Now which explains the work. (see below)

"Fallen Heroes" was removed from Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes’ office in The Capital Building in Washington DC temporarily so it could be exhibited in my “Elements of Peace” Solo Exhibition at The Walsh Art Gallery in the Quick Center at Fairfield University from September through December 2012. “Fallen Heroes” was returned to The Capital Building after the exhibition, where it remains.

A selection of the paintings from this body of work manifested a dramatic departure from anything I had done before. Color has been my muse forever, but for this show, some of the works were painted in shades of white. White represents an environment associated with peace and rest. It is soft, quiet, spiritual, unadorned, and full of infinite possibilities. Scientifically, a white surface reflects light of the entire color spectrum. Conceptually, the act of keeping a painting white became an exercise in self-restraint and sacrifice, indicative of my need to somehow respond to the war, and symbolically give something of myself.
The metaphor of a perfect union is the pulse of the show and speaks to the formal and conceptual concerns of the paintings. A union between people of all races, creeds and religions is necessary for contemporary society to experience peace, just as a union between colors is necessary for the color white to be experienced."'

O. YEMI TUBI of Dagenham, Essex, United Kingdom has several outstanding oil paintings that speak about the life of the African people. "Hope for Africa 1" shows the drought and dying animals with the mother and child with empty bowls, yet there is a sense of hope in the middle ground imagery. "Hope for Africa 2", "Peace in Our Time-Arab", "Peace in Our Time-Eagle" and "Peace in Our Time-Syria" all have imagery that's worth a thousand words. These are all very great heartfelt works!

O. Yemi Tubi elaborates further about his these works: "'PEACE in Our Time - Eagle: This work was done in oil painting. O Yemi used Giant American Bald Eagle as a Chinook war plane to carry American soldiers into the war front. At the background of the painting, soldiers are parachuting down from war planes and at the bottom are burning houses and burning armoured tank. In the middle ground, O Yemi showed the soft side of an American soldier sobbing on a dead Iraqi baby wrapped in a blanket. Beside the sobbing soldier, O Yemi painted American soldiers leading away the natives accused of terrorism. Next to this are NATO forces engaging the insurgence in battle while the man in blue shirt, an innocent causality of war, lied on the ground in front of the NATO forces.

The images in the foreground convey the message of the painting. O Yemi painted three women- A Syrian, an Afghan and an American; they all felt the horrors of war. Since the horrors of war that affect everyone, O Yemi uses this painting to advocate for HAPPINESS and PEACE for every human race. American’s Dream of PEACE and pursuit of HAPPINESS should be for all human race.

HOPE for Africa 1: is saying something about the paradoxical situation of Africa- a continent blessed with many natural resources but still poor.

In the foreground, O. Yemi puts an African mother breastfeeding her baby while there are two empty bowls in front of her with nothing to feed herself. Surrounded with drought afflicted land, dead vegetation and livestock. In the middle ground is a woman tilling the dry ground with her crude tool, a hoe

The background shows fertile part of Africa that produces enough food to feed the people of the land but the products are exported to other parts of the world. At the top left corner of the painting, O Yemi puts a cargo ship that takes African products to other parts of the world. African’s natural resources and agricultural products are being exported leaving Africa in poverty.

HOPE for Africa 2: As an artist who originated from Nigeria, O. Yemi was moved by the plight of his people from Niger Delta in Nigeria where oil pollution affects the lives and livelihood of the people. Very few Nigerians have made themselves very wealthy from Oil money while Oil pollution of air, water and farm lands has made many Nigerians very poor.

In this painting, O Yemi painted the sky with cyan blue and white colours which he later went over with black and white colours to turn the beautiful sky to grey to reflect the polluted air produced by thick smoke emitting from the burst oil pipe from the far left of the painting. Under the polluted air He painted a rusty-roof shack village to show the level of poverty of the people living in the oil-rich part of the country with some of the fishermen boats stationed idle at the bank of the oil-polluted river and in the foreground are the children fetching water and drinking water from the polluted river.

The hope of the artist is that all Africans will benefit from the wealth of the land.

PEACE in Our Time 1: O Yemi empathise with people that live under the tyrannical leaders of some of the Arab nation. The main image in the painting is to represent the portrait of an Arab tyrannical Leader. In the middle, women and men stood together to fight tyrannical leaders with their mobile phones as their weapons. The ultimate goal of Arab revolution is PEACE and JUSTICE. People that had enough of violence and abuse from their tyrannical leaders rose up in PEACEFUL Demonstration to call for change.

It is a shame that the PEACE that Arab people yearned for still eluded them with wars still going on in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

PEACE in Our Time 2: The Fishers of Men is about the horrors of Africans victims of human trafficking and Syrians that are running away from war from their own country. Some of the Africans and Syrian refugees were lucky enough to be fished-out from the sea while many of them were not so lucky but drowned.

The painting is about the horrors of Africans victims of human trafficking and Syrians that are running away from war from their own country. Some of the Africans and Syrian refugees were lucky enough to be fished-out from the sea while many of them were not so lucky but drowned."'

RALPH WHITE of Redondo Beach, California continues his signature style with the organic expressions in acrylic on canvas. The work "Kingdom" shows a sense of upward movement with many nuances in the created textural passages.

Ralph White gives this comment about his work: "Kingdom - An abstract interpretation of the realm of heaven."

Thanks to all the outstanding artists in this year's exhibition. Upstream People Gallery is very proud of each of the selected artists!

Sincerely,

Laurence Bradshaw
Curator, Professor Emeritus of Art & Art History