Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition
For the 9th year Upstream People Gallery is honored to showcase some of the most interesting artists we have been watching. Following are remarks by the curator:
Scott Baker of Alliance, Nebraska again brings forth his keen photographic vision in a number of works. One of these is the piece "Barn" in which the stark shadow of a barn is paired with the intensity of a warm sunset. Another more colorful work is his photograph "Crop Duster" with its small airplane amidst the pattern of horizontal bands of warm to cool. Setting a different mood is "Putt" wherein two figures are positioned with two trees in silhouette.
Joani Barnett of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada brings landscape to the forefront. Especially strong is her work "Shadow of Self Photo on Earth Matter" showing the ingenuity of employing her shadow onto earthly matter.
Fred Bower of Muncie, Indiana has works with a social commentary. "Bureaucratic Instruction #1 and #3" speak loudly with expressive content.
Rebecca Brackett of Elon, North Carolina metaphorically commits to the tree form to communicate. "My Life as a Tree No. 3" is rich in warm reds and oranges.
Diane Caudle of Monroe, North Carolina has a sensitive touch in terms of her imagery and her exquisite handling of the brush. "Kanae in a Red Hat" shows the figure in thought peering out the window. The light and dark placement and the warm and cool configuration seal the artfulness of the pastel piece. Another interesting play with a spacial concept is "Elisabeth Reflects" wherein a child looks into a hand mirror and this is reflected into a wall mirror. The opposite diagonal movements shows a subtle strength of composition.
Hae-ryong Cho of San Francisco deals with a subject matter somewhat unfamiliar to the everyday genre. In the oil painting entitled "Wisdom Tooth" (1) she stages the small square formatted work with not just any tooth but a wisdom tooth. The rather antique-type patina implies the idea of the relationship of age and wisdom.
Marian Christy of Belmont, Massachusetts has a lively and colorful approach with watercolor. One of the strong works is "He Told Me He Loves Me!" showing the array of polychrome amidst the dancing tree landscape. Another moving piece is "Stay Sunny When Life Throws You a Curve". Herein is a richly painted row of colorful expressive trees along the continuity of the flowing river.
Joan Lebold Cohen of New York, New York gives us "San Raphael Glacier" (from the Series "Absolute Blue"). Her work is striking in the use of a blue monochromatic schema which speaks well for her subject matter of water and ice. Particularly punctuated in this piece is her use of scale to create quite an impact.
Maya Gatewood of East Orange, New Jersey has a group of interesting works in terms of her ribbon imagery. This visual vocabulary is expansive from "A Color Flyer" with its warm light to the cool dark to "Bound in Heaven" with its dark bottom to light top. Also wonderful is the rather large NuPastel piece "Ribbon Network #2" in terms of the fluidity of movement and the depth of space.
Ekakiya Gem of Cliffside Park, NJ has a delightful way of expression. The lyricism in this style is refreshing as noticed especially in his painting of "Japan" and others. The wet and drybrush approach mixes well here.
Devon Govoni of West Roxbury, Massachusetts has a variety of subject matter. The overall patterned mixed media on canvas work "Fish" captures a kind of depth and movement with painterly qualities.
Michael Gray of Miami, Florida takes an unusual approach to the subject of "Clowns" showing a rich interplay of line quality and subtle coloration which brings dramatic character which goes beyond the surface of the clown icon.
Larry W. Green of Chicago, Illinois highlights his work drawing special people. The piece "Xizyan" is drawn in a gentle and light manner to show tenderness and understanding.
Kate Hansen of Blairmore, Alberta, Canada graces the show with her oil painting of "Losing Lily" in which honor is given to the woman with the golden glow surrounding the figure, yet realizing the passing of time.
Kevin Haran of Oviedo, Florida engages in the strong subject of war and memorials to war. All of his pen and ink pieces work well because of the alertness of the vertical arrangement staged on a pedestal arrangement. This "War Memorial Series" is treated honorably with the golden tone overall.
Jeffrey Haupt of Starkville, Mississippi develops some fine personality studies, all of which handles a kind of self-actualization. Of particular interest is his "Self Satyr" in which the slant seems to reach out beyond the surface plane. The rather neutral yet warm setting allows each piece a kind of strength of character. All three works are quite admirable.
Lynn Hill of Kirkland, Illinois uses digital photography as the media of choice. Bringing imagery from a far away land is insightful. One of her most engaging works is "Cycle & Handicraft, Jaipur, India".
Dan Hittleman of Melville, New York also works in the digital realm. In a number of his pieces an ovate structure reappears. Especially nice is his "Afternoon Shadow" which costars the graceful shadow of a tree with the sheep on the other side facing in. Another similarly structured piece is his "Morning Light" in which the sun is gently seeping through, adding a kind of glow which is also shown in his other works as well.
Jennifer Hughes of Arlington, Massachusetts expresses with the human form, particularly in her use of arms. In these four monoprint woodcuts she achieves a dramatic effect with tonal and textural contrasts. "Alice", "Gemini", "Perception of Virtue" and "Whole Faith" are significant contributions to this year's showcase.
Jason Jilg of Kearney, Nebraska has a marvelous ability to deal with successful panoramic visions. His digital photograph "River Run" shows the special vantage point looking out on the winding blueish river's natural pathway amidst the natural tones of the land. Another fine work is "Winter Gathering" showing the starkness of the dark horses behind the snow covered fence and surrounding ground. The harshness of the barbed wire fence adds to the coldness. And "Years Fading" is remarkable in the dramatic capturing of the dark and light.
Hun-Jin Jung of San Anselmo, California has a kind of "Hopper-esk" flavor in the smoothly painted simple forms. Unique however is the viewpoints and the effects of color and light on architectural structures. "Morning Time", "View 2" and "View 3" and the other works are all similar in orchestration.
Reenie Kennedy of Oceanside, California is able to use acrylic to model the plasticity of flower imagery. Her close up works are somewhat reminiscent of Georgia O'Keefe's approach to nature, including flowers. There is a wonderment when reflecting on the given beauty of such orderly arrangements. Perhaps the strongest of her pieces is "Opening Act" in which the title gives the flower top billing.
Lyudmila Kogan of Pacifica, California in her oil painting "Being Watched in a Dark" is richly handled with linear passages with eyes discreetly peering out.
John R. Math of Jupiter, Florida has mastered subtlety in his soft interpretations of waves. "Wave #5", "Wave #6" and "Wave #7" seem to capture the moisture of the atmosphere in fine and smooth gradations of tone and color. The latter seems to have the greater depth in the diminuendo suggested by the saturated blues in the forefront transitioning to the smaller lighter areas.
Scott Mickelson of San Francisco, California in his oil paintings of miners, "3 Miners" and "4 Miners", evokes a rather closeness of the men as miners grouped closely in the two compositions. The brightness of the lights in the dark and the neutralized earthly coloration adds to the underground character.
Tracy J. Montoya of Bloomington, Illinois shows a vibrant source of inspiration in the family. The strong tonal contrasts make his works quite attractive as seen in "Christmas Lights 2003", "Sleep (Day 7)" and "Reflecting on Two-Stockings-to-be"; the latter is interesting in terms of thinking about something to be.
Jeff Musser of Sacramento, California speaks strongly in his rather tenebristic portrayal in "Friends Forever". The strength of friendship can be tied to the strong shoulders and sincere facial expression. This is one of those very special works in honor of two friends, one being pointed to in the picture who still remains in friendship.
Leon Oks of Niles, Illinois has such facility in his ability to show a depth in pattern. His "Childhood Town" allows this dimension to take place.
Ronald C. Parisi is one of our star artists in that he is able to see the star quality of the personalities he highlights in remarkable settings. His "Circle Dress" series and his "OBX" series give the show that remarkable quality of a true artist with sensitivity and strength as reflected in his photography.
Charles Pate of Greenville, South Carolina paints with authority. His painting "Pink Dress, Blue Couch" recognizes the marvel of opposites in terms of color and in terms of the delicacy of the woman in contrast to the boldness of the couch. Artist's personalities are quite fascinating in many ways. "Portrait of an Artist" is one of those admirable works.
Alice Pedroletti of Milan, Italy presents diptychs as digital prints from analogic films. The dynamic use of high value contrast is remarkable in all of her pieces. "Last One", "Leave Alone", "Tomorrow" and "Where is" create a double impact in the juxtaposed imagery allowing for an expansive comparison.
Kate C. Ploussios of Newton, Massachusetts has several interesting digital photographs. Quite interesting in the line up is "Beacon" in which the square format stages a wonderful play of light with a great tilt.
Shravan Rajagopal of Bloomington, Indiana has some masterful digital prints. "Border Aliens", "Ornabot (Ornamental Robot)" are strong in the patterning and the symmetry. "Shiva's Penance" in the figure-ground departure is quite strong in overall character and imagination.
Bruce Rigby of Flemington, New Jersey understands textural richness. Especially nice is his "Earthly Endeavor 9" in which a mystery might be found in a sense of space suggested.
Radmila Sazdanovic of Bethesda, Maryland recognizes the wonderful patterns in the environment which are marvelously framed in her digital photographic works. "Beyond The Front", "Infinity", "Ni Na Nebu Ni Na Vodi" each show this sensibility. "Rabbit on a Bike" is an unusual capture. And "Three Worlds" is quite masterful.
Nicky Y. Schleider of Baltimore, Maryland again enhances the show with her deeply rich oil paintings. Able to express her understanding of the human dimension is mastered in such works as "Inner Turmoil", "Nowhere to Go" and "The Stranger".
Javaria Sikander of Karachi, Pakistan has a rich and varied imagination. The mixed media work "Experience" combines acrylic, photography, charcoal and graphite to compose an engaging six foot vertical piece. "Faith" is also provoking especially in the clothing and the positioning of the head.
Judith Sol-Dyess of Chicago, Illinois has developed a handsome set of digital works. One of those is "Buenos Aires" which captures the flavor of such an environment in insightful abstraction.
Gary Stutler of Vallejo, California has some marvelous oil paintings indeed. "Camellia's Doorway" is an open door out to a heavily foliaged wall fence depicted in fine super realism. On a brighter note is his "Ginkgo" in which the yellow leaves dance around in a lively manner. Most colorful and quite attractive is his oil pastel entitled "Koi". Here all the character of hue, value and intensity shine out. And "Passion Fruit" is another fine tuned painting fully developed with healthy vegetation.
Dina Taschler of Newport Beach, California shows the expansiveness as seen in "Shimmering Grand Canyon". Her understanding of atmospheric perspective is enhanced from her vantage point in the middle of the water.
Lucia Trifan of Quartier d'Orleans, Saint Martin, FWI again contributes a melody of visuality in her "Blessing of the Deep" series. The gentle interplay of organic shapes move gently around and about. Their encompassing size magnifies the legato rhythm.
Allison VanKanegan of Gibonville, North Carolina shows a woodcut monoprint entitled "Blitzkrieg 5" that demands attention even in it's almost 12" square size. The energy sensed in the mostly dark area has a forceful visual integrity.
Nicole Willbur submitted two signature works for the show. Both works "St. Mary's Lake, Glacier National Park" and "View from Many Glacier Hotel" are powerfully created in graceful typographical rhythms in the mountainous subject. Additionally the intensity of the blues and violets makes the scene a kind of royal setting.
Phillip A. Windell (aka paw fotograf) has an interesting digital image "Light Stripes" in that a wall pattern shows the cast shadow of another space adding an extra dimension to the wall series.
And Thomas A. Yezza of Vernon, New Jersey has an elegance to this year's show with his geometric abstractions. "Dimension" is one of those and herein the fine symmetry and vibration in the linear pattern has a kind of energy of it's own.
So it is our hope that you enjoy the show and even learn something about what is going on in the art world these early days of the 21st century. We appreciate all our exhibiting artists and wish them all continued success.
Professor of Art, Curator of Upstream People Gallery