Upstream People Gallery

16th Annual Judeo-Christian Art Juried Online International Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

Welcome to the "16th Annual Judeo-Christian Art Juried Online International Exhibition".

It is a pleasure to host and recognize selected artists throughout various parts of the world, who share their great artistic gifts that offer inspiration and hope to the viewing public.

Following are some brief comments about some of the works that the juror felt touched by, in terms of the beauty of creation or the love expressed. Many of the works tipped the scales regarding technical excellence, while others are heartwarming in various ways.

Natalia Afonina of Sankt-Petersburg (Saint Petersburg) Russia shows an endearing quality in her pastel work entitled "Lamb". The gentleness captured in the little lamb held lovingly by the little girl warms the heart. The smile seals the mood of this special piece. Another of her works is also quite good. "Light" also in pastel, captures the tenderness of the little lamb with the special effects of light hitting both. As if to show a great love of animals, Natalia presents a loving embrace of a beautifully rendered dog who seems to be a true friend in "Sun". The upward glance of the dog is nicely depicted with the young child holding on in a gentle manner. Both are rendered in expert fashion.

David Blow of Hickory Creek, Texas has achieved a high mastery with digital tools. His giclée print "New Morning" is certainly refreshing in that one may sense a kind of desire to make order out of nature's sometimes chaotic vision. The wonderful tree branches in various sizes and lengths makes for a rich symmetrical pattern with the doves giving a kind of peaceful setting. Another work "Born Again" in its warm symmetrical arrangement and its radiating display, abstractly presents the richness of the new life. And "Yellow Cross" with the yellow rose at the cross' intersection is masterfully displayed with the curvilinear background movement in desaturated color reinforcing the strength of the cross.

Tim Botts of Glen Ellyn, Illinois uses text to communicate inspirational passages with calligraphic expertise sensitively written as seen in "I Am Convinced" giving blessed assurance. In his "The Plans I Have for You" with the high value contrast and special treatment in color and display whereby he curves the lettering at the bottom - outstanding! And in "The Joy of the Lord Is Your Strength" he adds more color behold the titled phrase to emphasize the message and make it stronger. Another outstanding work. His other works are also beautiful with strong, important messages too.

Ioana Datcu, one of our prolific artists, shows some interesting semi-abstract and surrealistic works. Her "Hanging in There" is so important a message for all of us. Her use of ladders and the face looking on, is so caring and special. Also, her painting, "He is Coming" with the wonderful color and uplifted hands and upward looks together with the ladder imagery, is quite strong and is certainly an important message.

Charlie Donahue of Marysville, Michigan displays a strong textural work in "Isaiah 53" creating visual strength in media to reinforce the scriptural passage. His work "John 1: 9-13" gains it visual power especially with the many groups of faces around the image of Jesus.

Adrienne Egger of Adnet, Austria is a master painter, indeed. Her works use children to depict the virtues as captured in "Charity, The Divine Virtues". The two little girls in their delicate pink dresses framed inside an automobile is nicely and carefully painted. The cute little girl in pink and blue reaching up on her toes, with even dirt on her feet, is precious as she reaches up knowing on the door. This piece "Faith, The Divine Virtues" is another successful work. And perhaps one of the strongest works, in terms of tonal dynamics, is "Hope, The Divine Virtues" where the beautiful child in a white dress, looks through the doors into a lighted room.

Robert Eustace of Meadville, Pennsylvania masters construction with mixed media in his work "Canticle of the Celestial Night Rose". The arched piece and the circular qualities are richly and strongly presented. And the cool night rose in the framed with the warm environment is striking, indeed. Another highly successful work is his "The Enclosed Garden: Field of Stars". The central use of blue, the hand and the circular treatment is quite engaging. And the wonderfully shaped construction "The Nurture: Flowering In Paradise" is another brilliant work with the touch of a hand coming in from above is rich.

Eugenia Algaze Garcia of Fulshear, Texas captures various christian iconography in her very colorful and abstract work. The image of Christ, a cross and an angel are readily detectible in her work entitled "Christianity Thru The Ages" (a.k.a. "Faces of Christianity"). In another rather moving piece "Inner Spirit" she succeeds rather well, especially as felt in the inner light area, seemingly moving down from above.

Betty f. b. Gusta of Davenport, Iowa senses in "Christ's Passion" the journey toward the crucifixion with various aspects placed about the moving areas of violet, green and blue. The rich textural and solid areas play well together. This same play is richly presented also in her piece "Thy Rod & Thy Staff". And in her symmetrical, rather geometric orchestration "From Cradle to Cross" the baby Jesus, centrally position in the cross formation shows the concept very well.

Linda Witte Henke of Indianapolis, Indiana in her mixed media work "Stabat Mater" captures the solemn mood with the darkness and the blue and violet coloration. This piece shows great sadness. Her work "Wholly, Holy, Whole" is quite hopeful and beautifully made, also in mixed media. The dove symbol of the Holy Spirit radiating out on all creation and presented in a circular form, says so much!

Barry Woods Johnston of Baltimore, Maryland is a highly successful sculptor as seen in all of his creations in this show. "Faith, Hope and Charity" are magnificent in its modeling in the curvilinear formation. The interconnectivity of the figures is like a legato melody. His striking sculpture in bronze entitled "The Good Samaritan" captures such love and tenderness in the strength of bronze. "Jacob and the Angel" is another magnificent creation with the same beautiful flow toward an upward point. And "St. Francis" depicts the saint almost dancing with the birds, orchestrated with exceptional beauty showing his love for God's creatures.

Judi Jordan of Taylor, Arizona shows a kind of dwelling that looks a bit abandoned and in the background is a rather faded cross in her acrylic painting, "Have You Forgotten Me #1". The statement is a strong message which is thought-provoking, especially to those who are cognizant of the experience of 'the dark night of the soul' and Jesus' phrase, "Lord, why have you forsaken me?". Her wonderful work "Dancing in the Light of Splendid Ruin" created with acrylic and collage on canvas is very engaging with several clues from scripture.

Joo Kim of Winter Park, Florida shows with great simplicity a photographic piece entitled "Holy Night" with the single glowing golden cross within the darkness. This is quite strong in its minimalism, yet powerful message! The photograph, "Sign of the Cross" is also rather simple but strong with the great cloud tonality and the central cross. One wonders how this came about.

Glen LaMar of Olympia, Washington has a wonderfully textured work entitled "Job on the Ash Heap" showing an original interpretation that is quite arresting. Another dramatic and striking work is his "'Job..."If a Man Dies, Will He Live Again?"'. This is the question hopefully answered by one's strong faith that he will live forever following God's plan of life. The warm brown and orange color is also well selected and again the human form is greatly presented with a kind of heartfelt expression. And "'Job..."Naked I Came from My Mother's Womb, and Naked I will Depart"' hits home quite poignantly and its presentation is pure and simple, displaying Glen LaMar's signature treatment of the human form.

John Lawler of Hattiesburg, Mississippi captures in this one photograph the wonderful experience of "Baptism". The man with the hat and white shirt and the hopeful young girl looking up is a precious scene - and rather profound too.

Patrick Luber of Grand Forks, North Dakota is quite talented in using unusual materials in combination making ingenious constructions. His work "A, E, I, O, U" is somewhat of a challenge but with a sense of wonder regarding where the vowels are used this way. Singers often warm up or practice pronouncing these; also they are fundamental with language. His "Icon: Model No. 206" is more descriptive with the glowing Christ figure. And for the display representing the Ten Commandments entitled "Menu" one gets an interesting take. The cords suggest that these light up as well, making an even more significant impression. And even more imaginative is the work "Prayer Offerings for Ailments Both Real and Imagined" which is wonderful to consider.

Jesus Marin of Orlando, Florida makes a strong statement using plaster cast hands to emphasize the important message in his work "Breaking Chains". And continuing along the same lines he creates "Freedom" in a strong tonal work whereby figures are free from the chains that bound them. His work "From Dead to Life Only with Jesus Christ", in a triptych way, shows the stages of the transition, like Lazuras resurrected. Another richly descriptive painting is "I Will Open Your Red Sea" wherein much can be read in the imagery in the parted sea. Also, "Prayer" is very strong with all the informative imagery surrounding the triumph of being in Jesus' arms!

Giuseppe Mariotti of Terni, Italy has captured a marvelous depiction of Jesus taken down from the cross. The bent backwards body of Jesus in the oil painting entitled "The Deposition", the bent over heads of the mourners and the glowing cross with the blood are truly characteristic of a master painter and a sensitive disciple artist who uses his talent for the glory of God. The painting "The Light" further demonstrates the artist's understanding of realist and expressive painting. And too, his "The Source of Light" is wonderfully orchestrated.

Michelle Vezina Peterlin of Evansville, Indiana in her acrylic work "Shema Tree" captures the wonderful multi dimensional aspects found in the image of a tree to illustrate the "Shema" -- developed from the three biblical paragraphs (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21; Numbers 15:37-41). This work is so rich and shows a high level of understanding and artistic skill.

Duane J. Pieper of Gretna, Nebraska has a rich assortment of spiritual artwork. In his "Jacob's Dream" (Genesis 28) he deals with scale and a nice combination of media. The depiction of the angels on the steps of the ladder are an interesting depiction of the scriptural passage. And his "Hallelujah" (Psalm 150) shows several images to help display the wonderful joy.

Jay Spilker of Lincoln, Nebraska presents a very touching and exquisite photograph with a great light and dark play with a woman cupping her head with her worn hands in "Light in the Darkness". In the similar way he captures another outstanding portrait entitled "Peaceful Smile". Also, his "Praying Hands" photograph makes a strong impact with the way light hits the folded knuckles together with the veins of the hand. And finding this image with the special color makes "The Trumpet Will Sound" also quite effective with the harmony of the light rays and the tilt direction of the angel's trumpet!

Mandarin Swift of Dunedin, Florida, in a digitally developed work entitled "First Christmas" shows a rather contemporary view of the Holy Family. The understanding of this rather new media is admirable indeed.

Nami S. Yang of Whittier, California captures a bit of the struggle in "Conversation with Job 2" wherein the frowning mouth and the downturned head with all the movement and cubistic character, makes for a good expressive work. Another strong piece is her mixed media "Transform" which, with the strong textural treatment suggests the changing is somewhat rough.

Annette Zalanowski of Altoona, Pennsylvania has a signature style represented in this show by her mixed media treatment in "Life, Above All". The simplicity of shape and the highly developed patterning speaks strongly.

So, there you have it. Several wonderful and expressive works highlighting faith in art action. Complements go out to all who participated in this years international exhibition. Thank you all.


Laurence Bradshaw
Curator, Professor of Art