Upstream People Gallery

9th Annual Faces Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

Welcome to the “9th Annual Faces International Juried Online Art Exhibition”. As indicated last year, we were amazed that there would be this much interest. We realize that this subject matter is used quite often worldwide as a means of expression.

The criteria of selections for this year’s show were determined basically upon the overall character of the piece and those receiving special recognition were those that represented a wide range of original style and content.

Herein are some observations about some particular works.

Matti Allison of Chicago, IL continues in the vein of an impressionistic style. In her acrylic painting “Pope Benedict XVI (3)” she captures in profile a religious figure with the apparent smile lines around the eyes as his head is tilted toward the crucifix which he holds firmly with both hands.

Desmond Ambrose of Patchoque, NY shares two very notable super-realistic portraits. In his pencil drawing “Olesya in Greenlawn Cemetery” there is an outstanding portrayal of a woman with a forward glance and with an excellently rich depiction of individual strands of hair with the soft shadows falling on the face. The patterned clothing and jewelry are amazingly and accurately drawn. In his “Portrait of Alexis Williams” he creates a dramatic effect with the darker tones but with the same exactitude typical of a master artist.

Seth Charles Balliett of Long Beach, CA uses the “New Yorker Magazine” in papier collé to create “Humor” (timSAMPLE)”. The play of the rectangles repeated in the shirt and the more irregular shapes makes for a nice counter play. This same process is enhanced with the contrast of the warm and cool colors in his piece “Gramps” (charlesBALLIETT)”.

Tony Butler of Merriam, KS has some exciting works in this show. His use of acrylic and oil stick on canvas is quite expressively rich in color and texture. All of his works in this show are remarkable especially his work “Child Development” in which the lower format are of darker shades and less developed while the upper format is more detailed, lighter and more colorful. The playfulness and spontaneity felt in his works are really refreshing.

Kathy Carvellas of Pasadena, CA uses mixed media for profound effects. In her work “Fragmented” the face is fragmented into a grid formation as the point of emphasis, while other items are placed about in a shadowbox. In an upbeat setting she collages large faces on smaller bodies playing with the idea of how clothing and the various hats one wears in life may or may not depict the individual wearing them. She aptly titles this situation as “Life’s Masquerade”.

Greg Clark of Carpenterville, IL is one of those rare artists who chooses to use the media of ink washes which he uses quite successfully. In his work “Private Investigations” the outside/inside and dark/light contrast enhance the drama.

Robin E. Clark of Mason, TX gives importance to the idea of war in her digital imaging piece “War Bride” in which the delicate framing device and the mother with two children on her lap, toned in a gentle pink adds to the tenderness yet the overall “X” overlay suggests the negativity of war.

Rebecca Cooper of Orem, UT uses a full frame close up of an older man with a great big smile revealing only one tooth. “This Old” expressively painted, is a delight in that older people can smile and be joyful too. The rich palette of red and green add greatly as well.

Kurt E. Fishback of Antelope, CA shows his master level photography is several wonderful pictures of the playful gestures of children. All are well presented, especially “Dario” in which the diagonality of the stretched mouth plays well with the more horizontality of the line on the child’s shirt. What an interesting body of work recognizing the youthfulness of children.

Regina Free of Newkirk, OK creates a rather unusual surrealistic depiction of an original concept of what it seems like in abstract terms, when in conflict or when there is hope in her graphite drawing "Conflicted or Hopeful". This rather contradictory state is awesomely imagined.

Larry W. Green of Chicago, IL shows some gentle and light drawings in pencil. His subject matter is extraordinary. In the work “Mom on Wheels” thoughts of a mother taking care of others, of being nurturing are considered perhaps together with the mother’s situation of being challenged from a wheelchair situation. Green’s works are quite thought-provoking.

Willow Heath of Seattle, WA has mastered painting with acrylics. One of her highly-skilled paintings is “Silver Dandelions”, a subject matter not that cherished, yet with the child holding dandelions in his hands as in a bouquet calls this into question which makes for an interesting painting. The fragility of the plant is a nice association in connection with the child.

Rodney Jackson of Carrollton, GA has a good grasp on handling the pencil medium. In his work “My Grandaddy at Age 22” not only does he give honor, but objectively he keeps the value range close, yet the overall medium grayness suggests the earlier time period.

J. R. Kabot of Spring Green, WI presents this exhibition with several interesting assemblages with playfulness in his depictions of faces. In “Dan Visits the Dental Arcade (Nr. 33)” he uses the letters: happy teeth in the mouth. The idea of curly hair is played out nicely in his piece “Nozekoat Formula 48 (nr. 48)”; and in “TV Time (Nr. 40)” the use of light and wiring with the bluish cast is very striking.

Jennifer Myers Kirton of Mount Dora, FL introduces a color element into her fine stippling technique. In all her meticulous works we find a gentle and patient quality. In her work “Faces” we see a myriad of faces with an emphasis on the face of a clown drawn in colored pencil. This association calls to mind the character of a person that can be found in the facial expressions that we wear.

Emile B. Klein of Albany, CA uses a rather traditional presentation in his charcoal drawing of “Jason”. The drawing of a contemporary youth in this manner is quite nice to see. The gradual tonalities are masterfully presented in all his works in the show.

Michelle E. Korte Leccia, presently residing in Sarrola, Corsica, France is quite expressive in her colorful use of tempera and pastel. “Me” is one of those, rich in color and texture and line showing excitement and energy.

Tom Lightfoot of Sodus Point, NY shows some strikingly unexpected depictions of faces, all of which are quite memorable. In “Earth Wisdom” especially, with the light valued, strong expressive linear passages on the face with the complimental chromatic violet values as the ground make for a very strong work.

Linda Lipschutz of West Lafayete, IN wonderfully presents a digital work entitled “American Dreams - Art”. The rich complementary coloration and the childlike drawing of a little girl with the heart shape in pink are nicely composed. The overall grain with the up reaching hand in the area of a crack is the curious part of the arrangement.

Hsu-Yuan Liu of St. Louis, MO depicts a young man in brightly painterly expression, yet parts are painted over in gray, especially the eye area. With the title “Cover Up” there is the suggestion that not all is being revealed which brings intrigue into the work.

Liz Lopes of San Diego, CA takes note of the idea of some of the aspects of the feminine. In her digital lambda print “Feminine Rush” there’s a sense of trying to hurry to get to where she needs to be. The blurred approach adds to the idea of moving rather hurriedly. Red adds to the pace.

David L. McCullough of Glendale, CA has a nice mix of imagery in his contribution to the show. In “Duncan” he shows the confidence of a youth with the thumbs up - a positive message with a winking eye. The composition of light and dark pattern is excellent. Another youth portrait is wonderfully presented in “Waiting” showing a young man securely holding a younger child, seated on a wooden chair. The overall warm coloration adds to the tender moment.

Elisa Munoz of Miramar, FL captures with intensity of approach with the impasto painting, the situation of the Afgan woman. All of her paintings in oil are remarkable. “Afgania I” as well as the others shows the beauty of the woman with the tension found in the brush stroke.

Mary-Anne Murphy of Woodstock, Ontario, Canada is one of those artists who really understands graphite as well as capturing the special character of a person as seen in their faces. “Chichi Study I” and “Chichi Study II” are examples of finding the beauty of this person. Another outstanding piece is her other drawing “Edith” in which she shows again a magnificent person by her handling of the face. And in her drawing “Jerry” she also captures the awesome features of the man. All of her works are a great addition to this show!

Billy Nainiger of Cleveland, OH is an accomplished oil painter. His close up painting of “Billy and Katy” is marvelous in their leaning together, emphasized by the red line between them, while unusual, adds to the dynamics of their togetherness. In a somewhat looser approach, he shows another couple looking upward in “Tom Kenbach” which is interesting in its perspective. “JCC” is another fine painting but with four colors which gives an unusual dimension to the piece.

Maron Resur of Camano Island, WA is another painter’s painter in that he has such a mastery of oil in the realist style. “Don’t Forget” with the eyes staring directly frontally give such an compelling impact. Another compelling work is found in “Good Friday” with the depiction of face from the nose up emphasizing the eyes accentuated in a redness brought out by the green background. The idea of looking up on Good Friday is suggested.

Monique Richard of Toronto, Ontario, Canada gets our attention with the dramatic full frame close up in “Rose”. Here we find the realist technique successfully used to paint a perfect face of a beautiful woman.

Raffaele Rossi of Arezzo, Italy gives us several interesting Cubistic works with the face imagery. “Face 2” is one in which the geometry is extended to the outer shaped plane dramatizing the inner play of the facets and cross contouring.

Mayda Rumberg of New York City, NY gives us glimpses of her environment. In “Sandy and Teve” we see a kind of love and caring of a pet, nicely snuggled up inside the coat of his owner with the two heads together in the frame as the dog peeks out of the coat.

Colleen Kelly Sanders of Rochester Hills, MI creates an image of an important person in “Dad: Shades of Alzheimers”. This work in clay shows the humanity of an individual who has reached a stage of life maintaining a strong dignity as depicted in the bronze patina. Both views show well the specialness of this man.

Jennifer Schuberth of Chicago, IL creates some intriguing square format mixed media works in paper, charcoal and acrylic on canvas. “Untitled (Roche Limit)” in its angular shaping and sparse yet bright colored sections demonstrates an understanding of this inquisitive stance; and the reaching out of the left hand adds to the intensity of expression. In her more colorful work "Untitled (Sika)" there is a boldness in the facial expression while the back of the head merges with the blue in the background, which adds to the message.

C. P. Seibt of Parikia, Paros, Greece is able to develop some strong works in pastel. One of his works is “Face of an Artist” in which the pensiviness of the man is coupled with the bright red in the forehead area where another face in profile seems to be with wings - an interesting concept for an artist to be able to fly with his imagination.

Ashlae Shepler of Denton, TX gives the exhibition several intricate Van Dyke, cyanotypes. Especially nice is “Heads Series #17” in which the movement aspects within the head drawing connects with the outer plane which becomes more decorative adding to the mystery.

Zahava Sherez of Oakland, CA is meritorious in her piece “Flower Arrangement” in bronze. Considering a special grouping of faces and torsos as a flower arrangement shows a beautiful understanding of life, of people of all kinds. This works demonstrates a vitality on a high level.

Jeanne Sturdevant of Greenville, TX has a high mastery of the digital media. “Coral Constellation” and “Spirit Rising” both utilize a kind of similar imagery utilizing a kind of fluidity and movement. “Disquiet”, another digital painting shows a face imerging from an atmosphere of amorphousness. And “Mask of Doubt” in it’s near symmetry and highly saturated chroma is visually enticing. In her piece “Please Don’t Fly Away!” there’s a handsome use of tonal contrast showing an anxious face with a seemingly flying cake approaching.

Janyce Sukow of Puyallup, WA contributes five of his well crafted and painted oil paintings. Especially significant is his painting “Talia” in which the portrayal of a woman in thought makes the viewer mindful of the thought process and what she might be thinking about.

Fritz Suter of Van Nuys, CA has a command on facial expression in his works in acrylic. His cubistic approach is highly imaginative. “7 Couples” is an example of his wonderful creativity. The idea of seven quite different couples is quite unusual and unexpected.

Bjorn Thorkelson of St. Anthony, ID graces the gallery with his beautiful oil painting entitled “Becky’s Apples”. The rich painterly handling is masterful.

Michael Joshua Witenstein of Long Beach, CA is one of those fine oil painters. His work “Rachel & Una” shows the gentleness of the child in the loving and happy arms of Rachel. The soft handling of the child’s outfit is handled well. His painting of two girls in “Dos Chicas en California” is an interesting work in the tilted placement of the two faces.

Li Zhang of West Lafayette, IN rounds out the works that are particularly notable. These works are especially outstanding in the digital treatments. “I See” is awesome in its textural overlays and the use of the mouth for eyes. “Mind’s Eye” is also quite wonderful in the use of zippers for eyes and the unusual glowing green coloration. Here the vertical text perpendicular to the eyes strengthens the concept. “Re Cover” with the eyes covered over and over is also quite compelling with the text re cover under the eye area.

All in all this international exposition of faces shows the depth of creativity found in the interpretations by artists from various cultures and countries. My hats off to all the artists who were selected.


Larry Bradshaw
Curator, Professor of Art