Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition
This year's Contemporary Art Exhibition is a fine representation of what is going on today in the studios of several contemporary artists. Upstream People Gallery is proud to have put together a small example of selected artists in this year's showcase. Here are a few comments:
STUART BAY of Omaha, NE is a well-respected artist widely known for his highly creative digital works. In this year’s show he further demonstrates his visual acuity in terms of three-dimensional work as seen in his “Deconstructed Piano #3” wherein the various parts are formed in a rather triumphant ‘V’ construction.
SABINE BLODORN of Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia has an affinity with super-textural paintings. “Ballistic Bee Keeper” is exemplary showing the various circular movements and faces in abstract form. On a much brighter note she creates “Elephant Hunt” with bold red, yellow and blue with black and white features, all organically manipulated. And her "Intergalactic Treasure Hunt Beasts" brings in more tonal contrast with linear patterns.
PAM BREKAS of Gardnerville, Nevada has developed a wonderful sensibility using various mixed media. One of the most striking works is her "Native Jewel" with the sense of the organic with feather imagery surrounding a jewel form.
E. EILENE CARVER of Frisco, Texas combines a rough dark atmosphere to stage a stacking of playing cards, with a strong reference to our economic condition, all of which is quite impressive symbolically.
RAY CHEN of Terre Haute, Indiana has again demonstrated his great visual sense of abstraction in his porcelain works: The Mother and Child Series. All five sculptures are of a very high caliber in terms of pure abstraction.
MICHAEL GRIESGRABER of Las Vegas, Nevada has a keen sense of visual communication in each of his works in the show. Especially poignant is his work “The Last All White Jury” which shows an impressive grouping of faces all wrapped up.
PAVIA JUSTINIAN of Grand Junction, Colorado adds a bit of humor this year with the mixed media collage entitled “All the Rage”. The small man on top of the woman’s head, mowing the hair is funny indeed.
JOSEPH KAGLE of Kingwood, Texas has masterfully presented twelve very outstanding works in acrylic and collage. His use of color and pattern are brilliant and collectively the body of work is quite remarkable. His "Little Bit of Everything Series" is par excellence. And considering the large sizes of each, the impression is delightful indeed!
SHIRLEY D. LEYRER (aka DANI) of Ramona, California has three exquisite bronze figures. “Sachia’s Bouquet” shows the tenderness of the young woman and the skill of the artist in balancing the form. Another fine piece is her “Reflections” with the green patina adding handsomely to the female body. Also, “Lotus Blossom” draped in a gown, captures a kind of pure elegance.
MAUREEN McAULIFFE of Silver Spring, Maryland has achieved a visual lyricism in her works, especially in “Beguile” which is quite moving and stunning at the large 36” size. And her symmetrical work in green and brown is quite appealing with the juxtaposing of small details at the top supported with the large bottom portion.
MICHAEL W. MORGAN of Virginia Beach, Virginia has an interesting concept working with the figure eight. His most accomplished piece is perhaps “Figure-Eight Study No. 21” wherein the circular movements take authority over the pictorial space.
LYNN PALUGA of Archer, Florida has a fine sensibility with found object construction as seen in the folding work “Corset”. The use of necklaces, complementary colors and various patterns add to the strength of the work. In much the same light using various metal parts, the work “Reset” is quite engaging.
DEBORAH ROCKMAN of Grand Rapids, Michigan has some profound works that are most touching. Her “Potential for Disaster Series” are not only masterfully created, but the thought of the baby being destroyed is a grave matter. To live is truly a most precious thing. Backward thinking about ‘live’ (when you spell live backwards) gives ‘evil’. Let us hope that these beautiful works will help to prevent the killing of babies by misguided souls. Her other works in her “The Space Between Us Series” are also very touching and thought provoking, especially No. 7 and 9.
LOIS SCHLACHTER of Spring Mount, Pennsylvania has a wonderful signature style that is quite a delight to behold. “Construction Site” shows her sense of play and strong sense of color. Ad her “Party Time” is jubilant with the buoyant circular motif with dancing figures. “Pearls” also plays the moving circular theme. And on a more subdued note, “Smoking Fish” is a little bit humorous.
RICHARD SCHNEIDER of Cleveland Heights, Ohio has achieved a high level of artistry in his ceramic earthenware. His “3 Ducks in a Row” is a testament to his masterful skill.
MARLENE SIFF of Westport, Connecticut creates dynamic painting constructions. “Breaking Free, 2005” shows the interlay of triangular forces with strong and bright diagonal passages. Another work “Turning Point, 1994” done in more desaturated coloration, is strong in the contrast of the geometric shapes.
ANNETTE ZALANOWSKI of Altonna, Pennsylvania uses mixed media to achieve a highly active play of rich patterns as seen in her “River Valley at Dusk”. The contrast of the darker foreground together with the lighter middle and distance is quite nice.
Curator, Professor of Art