Upstream People Gallery

10th Annual Contemporary Art Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

This year's "10th Annual Contemporary Art International Juried Online Exhibition" reveals some very talented artists with personal as well as universal concepts from many locations, including throughout the United States, Brazil, Canada, Finland and Turkey.

Following are a few thoughts about those that seem to show a level of skill together with an interesting statement in visual terms.

CORINA ALVAREZDELUGO of Branford, Connecticut creates a trio ceramic piece called “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy” with protrusions radiating out like a nest. The triangular shapes on top of the three spheres suggest the open mouths of birds awaiting their feeding from their mother. Another fine work is “Spikey” showing an animal-like creature with the smooth face contrasted with the richly textured body and tail.

LUCIE BOSWELL of Los Angeles, California achieves something unusual in that the painting “United Nations - (World Pulse)” is on two garage doors. The bold and expressive text together with a lot of red and black add strength to the many thoughts.

MATT DeFORD of Natchitoches, Louisiana constructs sculptural pieces that tend to emphasize the relationship between man. In “Temporal Tug” a small man tugs at pulling the “big man”. Both happen to be without arms. In his “View 1” and “View 2” the man is on top of the ladder. All seem to indicate a reference to status.

R. J. HARENBERG of Brevard, North Carolina paints with a rich painterly quality. In the piece "Lamb" there's an ambitious use of brush strokes creating an image of a mother and child together with an onlooking man and of course a lamb.

MARY DI IORIO of Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil creates quite a presence with her ceramic pieces in terms of their shapes and sizes. One of the most interesting and compelling is “Ceramic” (3) with the stacked saucer-like shapes on a stick. "Ceramic" (1) creates an impact in is placement in the environment.

HALINA DOMANSKI of Yuba City, California has some very special works. “Chinese Wisdom” is rich in warm colors and an ambitious textural treatment with the word partner giving the idea of interrelationships. “The Wheel of Fortune” is a masterful accomplishment of
abstraction that gives a play of depth and surface with a kind of energy felt in the wheel motif repeated giving a kind of implied kineticism.

AYSEM ES of Izmir, Turkey calls attention to the city and the lives within the buildings. Of particular interest are “Lives 2” and “Lives 7” both showing the cityscape with birds perched above on wires that could suggest communication. The vertical presentation helps to emphasize the spatial concept, one in a cool coloration and the other in warm colors.

BENJAMIN ETTEN of Roseville, Minnesota, masterfully presents “Alcatraz”, a highly skilled drawing that floats amidst a white space enhancing the idea of its separation from society as well as the fact that it’s on an island. “Kobenhavn State 1” and Kobenhaven State 3” are excellent depictions of structures and the idea of construction.

JOAN FITZGERALD of Athol Springs, New York explores figuration in dramatic and expressive gestural calligraphic manner. “Confrontation” is quite direct and effective in the red, black and white palette.

ANTHONY FOO is an accomplished ceramicist. All of his pieces are strong and significant in today’s contemporary ceramic art. “Daily Assault” is a dramatization of the effects of a daily bombardment. Dealing again with the ovoid spaces, “Empty Calories” interestingly handles the idea of poor nourishment in some of our food choices today. Another striking piece is “Forest Gone”. And “Last Boat Out” continues with his play upon the circular element.

DENA J. GERSHON of Kent, Ohio gives us some fine examples of body art in a kind of avante garde mode. “Bering Strait” with the soft wool cascading in the large collar as well as the light teal color surely strikes attention. In “Kates Vessel” she gives a wonderful textural treatment with the vintage notions and fabric. “Montaña de Oro” is also very strong overall with the subtle use of a varied, colored circular pattern.

ELIZABETH HIGGINS of Denton, Texas tackles various issues with direct and impactful simplicity especially in “The Patriots Act (Section 217)” showing the overseeing scrutiny using a magnifying glass over the secured and bent over man with a kind of worried face.
Also compelling is “The Section 81.08 of the NY City Health Code” indicating the government ruling for the protection of the public from trans fats in restaurants. The handcuffed woman seems perplexed with only water and a paper plate of what looks like plain iceberg lettuce.

KIM EDWARDS KEAST of Tubac, Arizona uses encaustic, oil and collage to develop richly textural statements; one of the strongest is called “Weaving” in which a centralized grid structure is surrounded by more amorphous colored areas and more loosely created markings.

JEAN B. LAMAN of San Marcos, Texas has several textural works that abstractly tell about experiences or reflections as seen in “Days Past”. In “Interrupted Melody” the dark rough ground serves as a stage for an interesting ladder-like structure. And in her piece “Passage” the use of a key hole suggests going from one place into another.

JENE T. LAMAN also of San Marcos, Texas creates an interesting handmade paper vessel entitled “Mistrail” which shows a strong linear pattern inside in earth tones with the contrasting dark and violet patterns on the outside. The strong black steel base is a good contrast to the organic edging on the top.

JANA PEREZ of Plano, Texas brings interesting commentary regarding our cultural preoccupations. “50% Whiter” deals with the notion that white is important. In a more humorous yet serious diptych is her work “Electrify” showing a sunbather next to fried bacon.

CHUCK QUINT of Chicago, Illinois creates “Fire Keeper” as a dramatic presentation of a metal-grayed individual whose fists and face are covered with barbed wire, the fists holding a screw-like instrument going into the head whose mouth is open but with bars. The rigid band over the eyes with the padlock showing the 11 o’clock hour with the fire in the foreground and the cross shape together with the six vertical stripes, all contribute to a forceful impact. His “Mind Circus” is a wonderful graphic cacophony of messages about the many thoughts that go on in one’s mind such as the past and the future and other thoughts, all presented in a poster-like format. Additionally the mind theme is repeated in “Mind Spin” with the joker’s outfit and the carousel head, good and bad thoughts going on continuously.

MARTIN ROWE of Rhinelander, Wisconsin has developed a style in which he incorporates the function of the frame as part of the painting. His oil piece “Night and Day” contrasts the geometry of the outside with the loosely brushed inside using the complementary colors of red with the green framing. This relationship is strengthened by the lighter band connecting the inside to the frame.

MAYDA RUMBERG of New York City, New York is an avid photographer. Some of her works are rather autobiographical in terms of her everyday life. One of the most striking is “Line Outside Theater” showing a view from above with the camera angle rotated to show the row of theater goers moving horizontally, adding a unique perspective. Another interesting one is “On the Subway” which has a bit of a blur which adds to the crowded and moving nature of the subway ride.

PHIL SPAULDING of Denver, Colorado has a mastery with the graphite medium. Several of his rather haunting, eerie works takes a look at life and death issues as well as aspects of the human condition. “One” and “Screams of Silence” are quite engaging emotionally. “Seasons” takes a view of life in the beginning and at the end. It’s nice to see the hand holding the child. And perhaps the most arresting is the visualization of the head with the living eyes in "Vision" with the remaining portion of the head as skeletal showing the skull from the nose down.

REBECCA THOMPSON of Tuscon, Arizona is an accomplished sculptor. Her work “Bronze Fish Panel” is impressive in terms of the bronze material and the rich patterning throughout the six foot bas relief.

JOSHUA WATTS of Vermillion, South Dakota has some very rich mixed media pieces with the use of photography. “Plotting the Course to Gepetto” is curious with the woman dressed in a very nice lace dress holding a little man in her hand with blue liquid dripping down onto what could be water. The work “The True Message Winds to its Recipient” is also mysterious in the blurred text with the woman with her head down and the connection of the dotted line and the spirals at the bottom. Also intriguing and quite effective is “All the Nations with Their Machines” with the child holding her purse and the planes overhead. “Abundance Through Hope (Haiti)” is quite striking in the contrasts suggestive of want of food with the overflowing represented by the boat overflowing with water.

PHILLIP A. WINDELL (aka paw fotograf) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvannia plays symmetry with his digital photograph “Shade”. The central intensity of the black shade with bright red transitioning to orange, to yellow, to yellow green and a duller red makes for a kind of twisting movement, reminiscent of Renato Bertelli's "Continuous Profile of Mussolini" and Dan Collins' "Of More Than Two Minds".

It appears that coining the term "Contemporary Art" suggests what is going on in our contemporary culture from expressionism to the new global art related to neo-expressionism, utilizing multimedia and installation to express human diversity and synergy; and from the use of synthetic materials to produce three-dimensional art forms.

Thanks go out to all who entered and participated in this year's worldwide showcase.


Larry Bradshaw
Curator, Professor of Art