Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition
Upstream People Gallery is happy to present this year's Summer All Media International. Many of the selections are by notable artists who have an extensive exhibition record and as a result of their artistic achievements have received several awards. Following are some comments about some of the works that trigger a response due to the special character of the artistic expression.
ESTHER AKRISH of Mercer Island, Washington has a delightful, investigative approach with watercolor as seen in her refreshing piece "Enchanting Gardens". The visual portrayal of the people in the colorful scene is light and airy. The artist states this about this special artwork:
"I snapped a photo of my sister while visiting the Botanical Gardens in Victoria, Canada. I was experimenting with taking liberties with color and applied unrealistic tones of color to the foliage behind the figure to see what would happen. I liked the outcome and decided to go with it. Apparently, it worked!"
MICHELLE ALLEN of Miami, Florida captures the brilliance of the terrain with warm yellow flowers amidst the rather tropical setting in her mixed media work entitled "Harmony". The artists has this to say about this work: '"Harmony": The symbiotic alliance of water and flowers in nature displays a new way of life in a world where selfishness reigns."'
DON BERGLAND of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in his surrealistic approach and digital expertise presents three masterful works. "Road to Eternity", "Memorial" and "Lost Regret" are gems of the highest calibre in terms of imagination and mystery.
GAIL BUTLER of Chesterfield, Virginia is a master of detail and super realism which shines in her work "Spotted" with its flowing curvilinear forms in the environment highlighted with the connection of the cat and frog which is delightful. The work "Summer" also captures that special moment, in this case a joyful young child time at the beach.
The artist states this about this special artwork:
"'Spotted' was inspired by my deep affection and concern for the world's rainforests. The Golden Poison Frog is an endangered species found only in Colombia. The ocelot in this image has 'spotted' our little frog, who bravely faces his 'spotted' rival. This piece was also accepted into the First Annual National Juried All Media Show at The Bower Center for the Arts in Bedford, and is currently on display in their gallery.
Her name is 'Summer', and this lovely little lady is all that summer should be. She stands on the beach, her blonde curls floating in the breeze, a precious smile on her face, and eyes full of wonder. In my mind she is a marvelous representation of the special summer memories we all posess."'
JOHN CINCO of Staten Island, New York is a genius with digital abstraction. His works are inventive and full of exciting movement, color and shapes. "Ovum", "Pangaea" and especially "The Promise" are stellar examples of contemporary artistic forte.
JANELLE CROCKER of Rock Hill, South Carolina gives a strong statement in her acrylic and mixed media work called "Endurance" with text that has significance in maintaining strength of character. The artist states this about this special artwork:
"For this piece, I revisited a tumultuous time, from the end of my junior year of high school to the end of senior year of high school, which involved two people I held dear in my life. I wanted to communicate that the events, which separated me from one but brought me, over time, closer to the other, greatly affected my life and who I became. God got me through this time period and helped me persevere and become stronger than I was before. The piece is about strength and endurance even when there is a war occurring all around, because there is always God and there is always a solution to a problem."
DUSTIN DAVIS of Cumberland, Maryland is a master sculptor as seen in his pieces "Figure Holding Bird", "On the Hunt" and "Time is Money". In each there is a unique collection of various parts to represent in a rather symbolic way, the message given in the titles.
BRYON DRAPER of Springville, Utah has a signature style with his bronze figuration combined with stone as seen in his one submitted piece "Left-Handed Offering". The 31" height gives it a rather strong presence.
FRANCES ELSON of Somis, California has a very interesting use of media, i.e., silkscreen and fused glass. Of particular note is the piece "Jordan River" wherein the overall presentation suggests an unusual space around the river. The artist states this about this special artwork:
'"Jordan River" is composed of a silk-screen on clear glass fused to several layers of glass providing the depth of the background and another layer of fused glass over the silk-screen to provide texture. The mystical quality I felt when taking the original photo is captured in glass to an extent I don't feel could be achieved in any other medium. This is the mystery and magic of fused glass!"'
ERNIE L. FOURNET of New Iberia, Louisiana is a talented realist using various media to accomplish his masterwork. "Fais Do Do" in pink, is a curious work with interesting characters. His artwork depicting the American Indian is outstanding as seen in "Fancy Shawl Dancer". And this is also true of his colored pencil and pastel piece entitled "Hawk Circle". "Tante Coo Coo" is especially rich in all the various items added to the interesting outfit.
JACEK FRACZAK of Springfield, Missouri is a great printmaker using the intaglio technique. "Postcard from My Friends" is meticulously executed. And "Ritus" as an ink and pen drawing is exceptional as well. With the addition of tints of color, "Missouri Waltz" is amazing. Also, "Great Wandering - 1" is another outstanding work with a rather ghostly depiction of a child with a stroller.
BENJAMIN HERSH of San Francisco, California uses ink, red wine on special wood panels to create his outstanding, detailed artworks. Of particular note is the work "Bosphorus Blues" with the dramatic rendition of an exciting turbulent water scene. And "Four Horseman" is another great illustration of the Biblical imagery. Also, "St. Martin and the Beggar" is depicted strongly in its simplicity and natural wood grain.
MICHAEL HOWER of Enola, Pennsylvania has a keen eye for creating photographic masterworks. In his "Michters (2012)" he captures the fine details of the brick and window patterns of a classic building. The artist states this about this special artwork:
"'The photograph "Michters" is of the abandoned Michters Distillery in Schaefferstown, PA. Formerly known as Bomberger's Distillery, it was believed to be the oldest operating distillery in the United States at the time of its closing. It had its origins in the 1790's and by the 1970's it had been listed on the National Historic Register, but two decades later they sold off their famous Michters Sour Mash brand and closed up shop. The building has sat abandoned since.
I shot this picture using a zoom lens from a quarter mile away. I was situated on the road at the top of the hill leading to the distillery. The shot is of the building's upper levels. I wanted to get a good side perspective to take advantage of the nice geometry. I cropped slightly for a tighter composition, and then worked at balancing out the deep color via highlights, shadows and saturation sliders."'
JOSEPH L. KAGLE, JR. of Kingwood, Texas is probably a kind of visual genius. His visual orchestrations bespeak of strength in creativity and an understanding of the human dimension as seen in such works as "148. Open the Door - Redefine Possible #1", "150. Open the Door - Redefine Possible #3", "153. The Waiting Room - I.See.U. and #15, Redefine Possible". The artist states this about this special artwork:
"The three works receiving Special Recognition come from two series that have dominated my work over the last year and a helf: Open The Door and The Waiting Room-I.See.U. (completing over 967 works in that time- about 200 works which I would call major that these three come from, 400 collage works which are ideas in progress-sometimes used as stepping stone for major works-completed works but not as major as their successors, and 300 drawings, mostly from the Waiting Room series- pen and ink/collage works). The two 'open the door' works took imagery from a very major work, sponsored by the French Consolate of Houston and the Houston Mayor's Office, using artists from Paris and Houston to create 50 steel doors, 3' x 6', placed all over the city until December 2013, to open doors for ideas, images, and pathways of friendship between creative artists. I take the photo process of that image and surround it with other images to blend new works, new creations. The philosophy behind these two Open the Door works is 'the butterfly effect' or 'chaos theory'- a small change can create a major change. With The Waiting Room, this series just started with drawings of patients in hospitals, especially ICU which I changed to I.See.U, but grew to reveal all the wonders that these people waiting missed in life that surrounded them each moment of a day. All five works that got into this exhibit that I entered gives me great pleasure and a growing pride in concept and execution."
JENNIFER MYERS KIRTON of Mt. Dora, Florida has a fine signature style of pointillism wherein her sensitive approach to spiritual and flowery imagery show a wonderful sensitivity. Her "For God So Loved" she captures the visual essence of a fine tuned spirit. And her doily depiction and fruit is wonderful in her piece "Illusions of a Pineapple".
The artists states this about this work: "Both works were completed recently
for God so Loved was my Christmas Card for 2012. It depicts the hand of God bestowing the greatest gift, His only begotten son, to the world. The surrealistic nature of what surrounds shows the alignment of Gods will being brought to earth. It is based on John 3:16-17
illusions of a pineapple. This picture was begun with a discussion of the rhythm of natural design. I began the pineapple from a pineapple brought by a student. Unfortunately the student took it home so I had to rely on memory and ad lining to get the illusion to work. The lace was added and made up to carry out the design. The pineapple is a sign of welcome so I tried to add items that one might prepare for the arrival of a guest. I chose illusion in the name because when I was a young artist trying to duplicate what I saw My friend Charles Turzak got upset with me and showed me an apple and a piece of paper. He said " This piece of paper will never be an apple. It is illusion,illusion,illusion". This is something that freed my art.
Interestingly Illusion of a Pineapple was at The Orlando Museum Of Art First Thursday juried Florida Artist Registry Show
I enjoy doing the Upstream People Gallery show as it has an established world wide audience. I have done a number of these shows over many years."
WADEANE KUNZ of Hanover, New Hampshire composes strong stained glass works, reflecting light in dramatic ways. Her "A Flower with Green" is quite nice in the rather thick glass piece. The irregular and varied sizes of the glass parts makes her works even more compelling.
DEVI ANNE MOORE of Chesapeake, Virginia has several excellent constructions in which she expresses major themes in a dynamic manner. "Armageddon at the Great Winepress" descriptively represents the message with a visually interesting concept. Also with wonderful symbolism she beautifully creates the graphic scene. And "Living Torah and the Witness" is another great arrangement is near symmetry. Her assemblage entitled "Messianic Huppah" with its strong, bright color, shows her rich artistry and understanding of imagery and materials.
DARREN MORAWITZ of Hutchinson, Kansas has a mysterious and dramatic diptych with a strong sense of deconstruction in his acrylic painting "Interverse". The figure with the intense facial expression with the grasping hand which reaches toward the right panel that shows the fragments of the human character immersed in the overall connected motif of triangles.
IP PANG of Hong Kong, Hong Kong is a master realist oil painter. His "Classic Capitalism: Coca Coca Number 3" touches upon a realist commentary in exquisite technical proficiency. The artist says this about the work:
' "Classic Capitalism: Coca Cola Number 3" oil painting ====
Coca Cola representsinternational golbalism , powerful international mega-corporations, people consumerism, brand name and smart advertising campaigns. Coca-Cola has such powerful branding that they practically own the rights to Santa Claus and american dream.
"Classic Capitalism: Coca Cola Number 3" = USA coca cola, it is the first USA capitalism product moved into china market in 1979. it's a symbol for globalism and mass production = it's the symbol of a classic capitalism. Classic question : is capitalism perfect ? is there no any new ideas better than golbal capitalism? ...... ?
SHIRLEY RUDOLF of Kirkland, Washington shows a kind of Georgia O'Keefe vision and format of close ups of flowers. Her "Peony" in its asymmetry is quite delicately portrayed. The artist states this about this special artwork:
"I bought the peony when it was very young. Every year I kept waiting for its blooms in early spring, and there were none. I continually cared for it as it was pretty expensive at the time I bought it, and it was planted in the best place to grow, I couldn't bear to dig it up. After three or four years, I finally had a bloom, and every year after that, it flourishes with blooms. I really miss that plant, but when we relocated to another state I couldn't bring myself to move it with us since it was in a perfect spot."
TONI SILBER-DELERIVE of New York, New York is quite accomplished with her signature style as seen in her acrylic paintings "NJ Subdivision" wherein the rich coloration is quite striking in addition to the aerial perspective. The wonderfully varied greens and reds are awesome together. And the very colorful "Coastal Town in Normandy" is another rich display of buildings from above. The artist states this about this special artwork:
An aerial view of tract houses in a typical suburb. The repetition of similar houses tells the story of a certain type of development. The flattening of the picture plane reduces the details to their graphic essence.
Coastal Town in Normandy
This is an aerial view of houses in Normandy.The architecture and houses are vibrant in color and typical of parts ofNormandy with the building styles and roofs. Working through the lens of the camera my painting captures the moment, and lets the image tell the story about a this city without showing any people.I tried to extract the graphic essence and use my color sensibility to pull the composition together."
So, in conclusion, let us be thankful for the successful and talented artists and their works that make up this year's small but mighty international exhibition. Please tell your friends.
Curator, Professor of Art