Upstream People Gallery

13th Annual Color: Bold/Subtle Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

Hosting a "Color" show is always invigorating and seeing the many uses of color to enrich the artistic statements coupled with competent technical ability and aesthetic sensibility makes for a worthwhile endeavor. Following are remarks about some artists whose works excel.

LOUIS ESPOSITO of Gilroy, California uses digital manipulation to present rather rich contrasting color. In his "Alien Peninsula" the cantilevering of the arrowhead shape from above, in yellow and orange dramatizes the organic character. The work "Echelon Fissure" is staged in such a way as to show bold color on the left contrasted with the more subtle right side.

SHEILA GRABARSKY of Waretown, New Jersey has a rich painterly signature style which is elaborated in her work "Orange Segment" done in acrylic. The predominant orange area sets the platform, hosting a rich interplay of smaller shapes and color in a celebratory manner. In "We Need Bees" this elaborate shaping and marking is fully orchestrated with an awesome visual sound with cymbals.

MARCIA BERG HASKELL of Watertown, Massachusetts photographs a variety in here repertoire and one of the best is "Reflections on Water" wherein the main blue and yellow and admixture promotes a strong textural quality reflecting something that is not readily known and this mystery adds to the flavor of this work.

DARREN HOUSER of Duluth, Minnesota combines graphite, acrylic, gouache and colored pencil to enrich his work entitled "Mortal by Design", a thoughtful sense of the design of life made significant by the central bones, the tangled rope and the rainbow of colors framing this strong message.

J. HOWARD of Alvin, Texas displays her strong talent as a realist in her work. Of particular note is the work "Joy of Light and Life". This work captures the fluidity of water as it cascades down a beautiful face and hands which frames the face. The smiling and expression on the face is wonderful and refreshing. The work "Italian Fruit" is another outstanding use of soft pastels in the photo-realistic presentation. Her "Peking Ducks" using reflectivity of a window, is quite accurate. "Water Celebration" also shows the high level of artistic achievement especially realistically showing the moving subject matter of water.

DEJUAN HUNT II of Niagara Falls, New York makes a strong social statement about immigration and judgment showing a man with a gas mask for protection. The hand-printed text: "Don't cancel a man, woman, or child out of a country. Because of their religion" sent "To Earth, Fr New Persuasive Art" shows a striking message.

COURTNEY JACOBS of Pleasanton, California provides a number of rather lyrical expressions in acrylic. "Burmskadeedle", a fanciful title, is so rhythmic that one may feel like dancing all about. Her "Zimstramaloo" skips and slides as well. The tonal drama and the textured areas which seem to slow the movement is like a night parade. The favored piece "Igzeedoo" is like a Cy Twombly but with a jubilance that uplifts.

JOSEPH L. KAGLE, JR. of Kingwood, Texas continues his rich celebration of color and imagery expressing himself in a number of ways. His "My Life in Parts- 69-144" he uses a triangular composition with a playfulness with the eye, a music graph, treble sign and upside-down hearts. His "My Life in Parts- 69-146" is quite delightful with the interplay of fish, birds, animals, basketballs, footballs and other balls large and small. There's even a frisbee. There's something mysterious in his work "My Life in Parts- 69-93" in that the bridge between the two circular shapes, is paper dollar bills. The cartoon section and the world/flower shape provokes an unusual symbology. Another "two-centers" work entitled "I CHOSE- 58-30" is interesting especially with the face cantilevering from below and all the other parts makes one think further. "I CHOSE- 58-75" with its surrealistic imagery is also mysterious with the tubular eyeball moving in under the arched canopy and the seven pyramidal cones all of which adds to the strangeness. This is one of his more spatial pieces.

F. M. KEARNEY of The Starlite Collection of New York, New York has some fine close-up photographs that bring into focus the delicacies of a flowers subleties. "Lily #4" captures the bold and subtle in the colors of this flower. The transition from lime green to ochre yellow to lemon yellow to light blue and lavender with dots of magenta is outstanding in understanding color harmony. The central seven seem to star with such a beautiful stage. "Lily #5" works well in terms of the complementary yellow and violet with the dark red seven standing out.

ANNA KERN of Pensacola, Florida orchestrates a rich composite of textural sections all incorporated in the upper center. The bold and subtle coloration, the warm and cool, the vertical and diagonal all come together in "New Beginnings II". Her "Niagara" is created with a high white contrast intertwined with her signature intersectioning which is counter balanced with the intricacy of linear markings in the lower half. Also, the work "No No Kimono" does give a sense of a Japanese Kimono which by its light and dark contrast, the orange and black and the white accents is definitely an impactful piece.

NIKKI LAVI of Clinton, Maryland has a striking style developed strongly in her piece "My Tongue is Red". What looks to be a collaged mouth with tongue sticking out is a special way of working and admirable with a touch of humor projected. The outlining and the highly dramatic eyelashes are well put. Also her use of color is bold as well as desaturated to make for a wonderful piece.

STEVEN MAHEU of Portland, Connecticut works with metallic photography which makes his work rather special as photographs. His "Color Shape" is definitely bold and the contrasting red and green with a hint of light blue-violet, all amidst the black ground is striking. Structurally sound the piece works well with the criss-cross green diagonals opposite the underlapped red diagonals. His work "Shredded" has a feel of a ticker-tape parade in that the excitement of the diagonals, the full frame color spread and the creative use of black and white, all make for a rich work as a photograph!

CHASE McCLAREN of Lincoln, Nebraska has a good facility with the organic. The triangular positioning of the rocks, the cut-away sections and the square shape all placed on the wood grain which has evolved over time. This process in the wood helps to promote his concern for the "Processo de Natura". The work "Sospendere" also exhibits his use of organic processes. His arrangement of the textured stick attached in two places and the rust area on the metal, placed on a piece of wood, rhyme together in terms of approximate size and length.

MARY JANE MILLER of San Miguel Allende, Mexico is a promoter of neo-iconography. In "Divine Face with Birds", her use of the iconic image of Christ framed by the several birds gives the work an expansive quality considering the flying birds of the wide sky. Motherhood is also portrayed with the bird and the little younglings in the nest, all add to the richness of her egg tempera piece.

JOAN NORTH of Stevens Point, Wisconsin has some fine artwork in the form of rings as seen in her piece "Comforting". Here she uses silver, pearl and copper ring (2-inch wide band). This combination is striking. Also her "Dropping a Hint" has a 2-inch wide band. Both show the hammered look on the main part contrasted with the other smooth parts of silver and jade. And with her earrings of silver and jade the jewelry ensemble is complete.

SEONGYUN PARK of Iowa City, IA is a credible realistic oil painter. The painting "Sleeping" is nicely done showing her smooth brushwork in a composition that works very well with the rectilinear background contrasting the more curvilinear bed covering and sleeping woman. The color too is appropriate to express the calming mood of sleeping using desaturated warm and cool colors.

MICHELLE VEZINA PETERLIN has some flowery acrylic paintings and one of the best ones is "Poppy Tapestry". The red and green with accents of red-violet in an even-spread composition is quite engaging as a work that's 30" x 40". Want a happy mood, look at this one.

LOIS SCHLACHTER of Spring Mt, Pennsylvania is an illustrious artist with joyful acrylic paintings that are remarkably brilliant. The painting "Feathered Friends" is very moving and certainly colorful and the indications of birds mostly suggested by the little eyes in the bird-like shapes. "Guardian Angels" is also fantastic in terms of color and the whirling arrangement with dancers twirling about in a lyrical manner. In a geometric abstraction, she develops "Olympian Ripple", successful in the formal symmetrical staging. The work "Under the Sea" reminds me of elaborate fish tanks and "Finding Nemo", but this one is congealed and is a very rhythmic orchestration that is very moving and delightful and colorful, containing a number of aquatic specimens. This work is marvelous indeed!

ELISABETH SEKULIC of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil has a simple, yet dynamic work entitled "Like a Wave" using acrylic, gold live (Leaf) and rust on canvas. This unusual media combination gives a rich movement and texture.

EMIL SENNHOLZ of Grove City, Pennsylvania makes a strong statement in the work "Darkness Encroaching" -- a sensitive piece concerned with the future. The movement of the dark with the active line work on the edge, is very descriptive of the message.

MICHAEL SIKORSKI of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a piece that is composed of little egg shapes like beads. Created in acrylic makes it quite amazing in terms of his process. The violet, lavender and turquoise coloration is quite good in basic two-tone. Not knowing the technique enriches its quality.

JAMES 'JAKE' SNYDER of Groveland, California has a remarkable sense of play with an explosion of primary and secondary colors using Sharpies. His work "Hearts" S508 is like a royal carnival atmosphere. "Jake's Jungle" S504A is wonderfully flowing and has a sparkly movement with fanciful trees and leaves. "On the Beach" S507 is also rich in color and the open space at the top reinforces the delightful dance of the shapes. "Space Needs Time" S501A displays the artist's amazing interplay of his geometric abstraction. "Vertical" S502a is another dynamic orchestration with a dominance of the verticality.

CAROL STAUB of Port Saint Lucie, Florida is able to create rich visual effects using only acrylic. Her piece "Celestial 5" is quite strong in black and white and sepia tones. The textural areas are also full participants of the overall richness. Her piece "Countdown" with the addition of color accents helps to secure the center of interest. The work "Portal 6" because of its very strong circular shape has the strength and integrity similar to the musical sound of a tuba solo. The three-dimensional aspect of the gray paint in the middle and the underlying yellow adds a nice depth for the overall work.

CRAIG WALKOWICZ of Stevens Point, Wisconsin has a somewhat serious image down at the bottom of the work and a rather comical image above. The digital collage "Death Could Be the Event that Sets the Soul Free…" is quite effective expressing his message. The raw umber presentation also helps communicate his idea. In contrast, the work "Native American Women at 42nd Annual American Indians Reaching for Opportunities (AIRO) Pow Wow at UWSP's Berg Gym 5/2/2015 6:21PM" is bright and colorful and the letter "C" composition provides an openness to mood.

RALPH WHITE of Redondo Beach, California is very prolific with a style that cannot be missed. His luscious acrylic on canvas pieces are texturally rich. In his work "Positive Thoughts" he definitely expresses an upbeat with the warm and cool, high key painted melody of art. In a different mood, "Territory", vertically oriented with a mass admixture next to the larger yellowish movements upwards.

PAULINA WONG of Hong Kong, Hong Kong has developed a collection of various shapes and colors in "Duality" whereby the two light gray curvilinear shapes as two centers strive to maintain their space. The arrangement is certainly a counter balancing maneuvering which she successfully brings to a vibrant connectedness.

Thank you goes to all you selected artists for your successful artwork shown here in this international exhibition. There are many viewers worldwide who will share in this rich experience of a kind of enlightenment.


Laurence Bradshaw
Professor Emeritus of Art & Art History / Curator