Upstream People Gallery

16th Annual Contemporary Art Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

Upstream People Gallery celebrates this month the "16th Annual Contemporary Art International" with forty-three artists who exhibit remarkable skill with exquisite artistic talent, emotional expression and dramatic statements. For this we are most grateful.

Following are some comments about various particular works that manifest a rather strong impact on the juror sensibilities.

SHELLY BARTEK of Omaha, Nebraska has a fascinating work with various iconography gracing a branch-like passageway wherein a figure is facing. This depiction in oil and gold leaf is quite handsome and rather adventurous. The well selected gold leaf gives not only a special appeal but seals it as an important and meaningful message in the work entitled "Passage".

KAREN CRUICKSHANK of Portland, Oregon is direct in her commitment to painterly quality especially seen in her work "Textured Abstraction IX". The richness of the texture and colored linear passages creates a delicious visual tastiness.

WALT CURLEE of Phenix City, Alabama is one of the favorite artists in the show. His careful handling of farm scenery is spectacular. The sentiment felt in "Baling The Hay" is precise and engaging as it is developed on the rolling hills of the farmland. The overall green and gold warmth gives the scene a harmonious setting. Conversely, his "Small Town Winter Landscape" is definitely successful in terms of showing the chill in the air. The exquisite detailing of the tree bark down to the gray squirrel on the tree to the tracks of the rabbit and the glowing sky makes for an outstanding piece. And "Horn Of Plenty" is quite marvelous with all the fine details in all the many fruits, vegetables and grains, the rows of trees and plants and the wonderful perspective altogether with the cumulous cloud formations, all showing his outstanding skill and understanding of visual virtuosity.

ERNIE L. FOURNET of New Iberia, Louisiana is another specially talented artist. In his piece "Gentleman's Dance" he combines pastel and acrylic is masterful ways, achieving a super realistic image of the great indian. Capturing again the special dress of his subjects, "Louisiana Lao" in acrylic is so well done it looks photographic. Speaking of outfits, "Mardi Gras Mischief" shows the outlandishness. And even in simple graphite he shows his masterful skill in the work "Sun Dance". Perhaps, in an even more special way, using spot color, in the acrylic work "Thunder Spirit" he captures a sense of the movement in the dance because of the multi-color shifting contrasted with the gray background.

BILL FULK of Centennial, Colorado has a signature style with expressive acrylic painting as seen in "Man with a Cardinal". The simplicity of subject and the spot treatment of dark outlining, make for a dynamic presence.

MANUEL J. GONZALES of Lubbock, Texas also has a signature style in his mixed media treatment of the subject. His "Not a Word They Say, Can I Hear" wherein he combines black and white figuration with a colorful gridwork which speaks to the sounds and business of the city. And the other mixed media monoprint "On the Inside Out" is an interesting interpretation using the grid patterning with the shadow of a figure.

MICHAEL GRIESBGRABER of Las Vegas, Nevada is a contemporary colorist. His acrylic paintings definitely pack a punch that is unforgettable. "Cracked" is one of those wonderful upbeat works with the polychromatic palette with geometric abstraction formation. The near symmetrical, yet asymmetrical arrangement in "No Direction Home" is rich in color and direction and too works very well in a square format. And "Over vs Under", somewhat unsettling in direction, yet intriguing in concept and awesome in color tonality. Yet, with a more controlled orchestration, "Receding Square" is quite nice in terms of the color as well as the sense of the implied three-dimensionality.

NANCY HART of Odessa, Texas displays a kind of homage to the organic. The achromatic development of the intriguing organisms lends a credibility to their existence as seen in "Il Mondo Vegetale". And "La Vita Degli Animali" diptych is also a fantastic development. Another rich arrangement equally strong is "La Vita Degli Animali 3". Her "La Vita Degli Animali Book" is a fine concept, handsomely presented in book form. And with human figures, the work "Natural Sciences" is very fine indeed.

RICHARD HELMICK of Portland, Oregon takes braille to a high level in his artwork with larger presentations with color. His "In Case of Fire - Break Glass" is a wonderful developed concept and successful with the thirty-seven inch width. The work "Optic - Haptic" is exciting with the idea wherein the letters of the words are placed to capture the visual as well as a tactile interplay.

MICHAEL HOWER of Enola, Pennsylvania explores digital photography and orchestrates some very nice works. His "Invader", with the complementary red/green helps to emphasize the invading natural growth in contrast to the manmade brick structure. And "Vibrant Decay" is outstanding with such awesome warm and cool contrast with the worn wood, lathing and plaster composition. And "Overflow" is also rather nice in concept and color.

ANN ISOLDE of Santa Monica, California has some fine-tuned geometric abstractions with handsome color choices. "Structural Disruptions 2" shows a sensitivity to structure but with pointed acute triangular interruptions to the formation. And here "Twin Meditation" the geometric and organic, the fetal position of the baby and the cellular display all help to give something to think about.

KATARZYNA JABLONSKA of Manchester, United Kingdom uses graphite and dry pigment to express a delicate work entitled "Asleep" wherein the delicate handling of the face with eyes closed, yet using a warm ochre color to enhance the calmness. And with a more tenebristic approach, with graphite she succeeds in showing "Matthew W" as the figure floats within the plane as music floats in the air.

JOE KAGLE of Kingwood, Texas uses a photo process and collage to create some very dynamic works with all the art elements orchestrated with a kind of genius understanding of visual power. His revelation series speaks volumes as seen in "332. Revelation One - 2014", "333. Revelation Two - 2014" and "334. Revelation Three - 2014". All three works shows an abundance of imagery, enough to contemplate and get excited about.

WADEANE KUNZ of Hanover, New Hampshire is prolific with stained glass works. The piece "Green Sun" is especially strong with the contrasting red and green. And too it has an impressive presence due to the choice of thick glass.

YACHI LAI of Taipei, Taiwan uses acrylic with its opaque and transparent watercolor qualities. "Traversing across Mountains and Rivers 2" is quite effective with the realistic presentation of the automobile covered with a sense of capturing the terrain of rivers and mountains. The blue and green color helps to convey the concept of traveling across the country.

MARY LEWIS of Bellevue, Nebraska has some interesting photographs. Her black and white work entitled "McComb, Mississippi" is a wonderful capture of an everyday genre of hanging out the wash. And "Mt. Hermon, Louisiana" with the strong light upon the little child, is quite nice.

MA SING LING of Taipei, Taiwan has a special technique creating expressive linear works. Of particular note is "The View with a View / Colorful". The movement toward the center is quite effective with the density that occurs therein.

MOU LU of Taipei, Taiwan has some ingenious works in mixed media with the visual vocabulary that is quite striking. "Scent of a Woman - Diamond Heart 33" is highly delicate with the large rose flowers together in the near symmetrical arrangement of two stylish ladies. The added "bling" adds to the refined quality. And with more figures which provides more movement and interaction, the fineness in "Scent of a Woman - Friends 12", with the teacups with the flowers on them, the butterflies added, all give a wonderful melodic artistry. And too, "Scent of a Woman - Friends 13" is also outstanding in its own warm- colored way. And then "Scent of a Woman - Friends 3" works well with the cool blue and violet palette. Mou Lu's signature style is impressive and awesome.

NEAL McDANNEL of Hilton, New York is a master drawer. His lithograph "Subway Scene" is outstanding in terms of the fine detailing of the stairway and tiling of the wall outside the train's window and the four male figures drawn to perfection - all kind of wonderful indeed!
Also, his "Dan and Paul (Diptych)" is absolutely masterful in the controlled artistry using pastel. The facial expressions, the chiaroscuro and play of color is terrific. And the detailing in the pocket seams is remarkable!

CHRISTOPHER McGEE of Clarence, New York has a fascinating concept of the internet. His glue and acrylic painting entitled "World Wide Web" is rather curious in the sense that it is quite organic which is interesting when considering the high technology - this makes it more wonderful.

DAVID McLEOD of Omaha, Nebraska deals with a variety of textural treatments in his "Arrangement of Individuals with Light Complexions" wherein fifty-four variations of collaged items presents a grid that is rich and visually tasty.

JIM PEARSON of Lawrenceville, Illinois creates via digital inkjet drawing. His "Anonymous Plants OM", "Anonymous Plants QY", "Anonymous Plants VL" and "Anonymous Plants UA" are all master works that are visually invigorating with all the nuances found in the overall textural treatment. The black and white helps to bring out the multi-faceted complexities.

NELSON REINHARDT of Cincinnati, Ohio takes on the machinery subject matter is this year's show. His "NKP Train Ave" is an interesting use of the complexity of the two structures amidst the clear light blue-violet sky.

MARISA RHEEM of Santa Fe, New Mexico has some fascinating pieces as seen in the coyote bone and acrylic on wood artwork entitled "This Can't Be Happening". The symmetry and the imagery is quite arresting. The piece "Anywhere Else But Here" is another strong work and "All At Once Without Hesitation" also captures the attention, especially with the snake on the quick move.

SHIRLEY RUDOLF of Sequim, Washington ha a very fine acrylic painting of a flower with a great sense of color in "Blue Anemone". The blue-violet flower staged amidst the yellow, green and red makes for a striking piece. And the large size helps it stand out.

DAVID SAPP of Berlin Heights, Ohio is a master of gestural energy as seen in his "Untitled" (1) with the rich build up of graphite with areas of various black and white shapes . The work "Untitled" (3) is interesting with the two areas of the black shaped movement together with the circular clearing area.

LOIS SCHLACHTER of Spring Mount, Pennsylvania is certainly a favorite. The sense of composition and color is tremendous in the work "Bathing Beauties" - such a quality work playing on the idea using multi-colored fish as bathing beauties. "Corner Pocket" is curious in the sense of the several circular areas, yet the aim is rather focused at the one pocket in the game of pool - the colors are delightful. Her concept of "Gold" with the abundant green and the swirls that are suggestive of the golf swing, is all well conceived. And the strong tonal contrast and the interplay of the horse motif well titled "Horse Play" is another fine work.

DOROTHY SHEPHERD of Sunland, California works with digital photography to present such fine symmetrical works as "Sunflowers". The symmetrical approach works well too in the piece "Landscape" wherein the decorative and spatial coexist.

KAREN SHORT of Cookeville, Tennessee is involved with a dramatic use of ink, acrylic and charcoal. "Ascendance" shows various images in part in a vertical context with a more full figure delineated at the base.

TONI SILBER-DELERIVE of New York, New York excels again in her aerial perspective paintings. "Dubai Roadways" is an interesting pattern of winding roads amidst a lot of trees. "NJ Subdivision" is perhaps one of her most striking due to the choice of red and green color tonality. And "Interchange with Garden" works well in an organized manner with the large X representing the highway.

KEITH WALDRUM of Dallas, Texas succeeds with the tools of digital photography. "Halo Vessel # 421" shows the smooth and glowing contrasted with the rougher center. "Halo Vessel # 158" also has this contrast coupled with the contrast of intense and dull colors.

GO GO YU of Taipei, Taiwan presents and highly delicate and high key acrylic painting entitled "A Cosmos by Itself - A Fish in the Water No. 1". The movement, the little circle patterns and the images of fish is nicely done. The fabulous intriguing use of pattern is well presented in "Dream - Somewhere in Time". And "Flower - Sleep" is wonderfully and delicately composed and painted in mixed media.

KRISTINA ZALLINGER of Hamden, Connecticut has a definite signature style that is awesome and the freedom felt in the brightly colored and textured paintings are fascinating and stimulating. Especially strong is the rather humorous piece "Not That Yellow Again" giving a kind of dialogue with the painting and the artist. Another rich and wonderful work is her "Carnival" with all the wonderful colors, shapes in varying sizes. And oh!, "Faulty Fuse Box" is a major accomplishment too with the interplay of the rectilinear and the curvilinear and of course the strong vibrancy in color.

Thanks to all the great artists!


Laurence Bradshaw
Curator, Professor of Art