Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition
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Following are comments from the juror about some of the special artworks in this year's exhibition:
TAO CHEN of Naperville, Illinois has excelled with the knowledge of orchestrating wonderful digital manipulations as seen in one of her especially interesting pieces entitled "Birds in Bushes - 1". The mixture of techniques is quite compelling.
DAVID CONTRERAS in a backdrop of warm cools, he presents a rather satirical take with a Wayne Thiebaud-type technique in his strong geometric composition called "Junk Mail". This commentary is certainly a familiar one, yet not one favored by the U. S. Post Office which considers that there is no junk mail.
LARA COOPER of Moonta Bay, South Australia has a refreshing take on watercolor, richly presented in her emotional works: "Innocence: An Endangered Species" wherein the sparkling eyes peak out from the covered-up face with a flowered blanket and the latter "Self Image" shows a gentle young child with a colorful outfit, harmonized with the tall vertical door opening, engaged with the face looking down at their shadow image.
MATTHEW DEREZINSKI of Kirksville, Missouri always amazes with his rich horizontal presentations of environmental forms as seen in "Crossroad #2". The flying birds in formation, the railroad light and sign the tree branch, the telephone poles and wires, all present a great scene and the overall textural treatment adds a nice character. And with similar imagery with an added windmill, plant forms and windows, he creates another great work.
JOAN FITZGERALD of Athol Springs, New York in her new and large mixed media works are rather stimulating as seen in her one submission entitled "Daddy Warbucks". The strong red and black palette and the added dollar bills, etc., give the piece a special effect.
TONI FLING of Columbia, South Carolina has mastered digital photography. One of particular mention is "Old Farmer" wherein the leaning-over man is complemented with the worn country building which has such a lot of great texture from the worn weathered life that adds such rich character.
KENNETH HERSHENSON of Clawson, Michigan is a master super-realist painter. His "A Pair of Jacks" is a knock-out with the accuracy of the Jack of Spades playing card and the wonderful reflections of the jack on top. Both subjects as part of games is interesting too. Another fine acrylic painting is his "Favorite Things" with the overall copper-like coloration and the folds and reflections. And "It's All About Ewe", a play on the title, is also very nicely done with the repetition of the flock. Again, playing humorously with the title, "Sky Jack" is another excellent piece, indeed.
Mr. Hershenson states this about his work: "'I am very pleased and honored to be accepted into this exhibit. My (5) accepted paintings represent two distinctly different bodies of my work. The two “jack” paintings are part of my new series titled, “I DO Know Jack!” These sprang from an embryo of an idea from half a lifetime ago. Now that I have left the corporate world and am able to pursue my passion for painting fulltime, I am thrilled about my new journey.
I have always been fascinated by reflections be they on water, glass or metal. The complex geometric form of a child’s toy jack was a perfect playground for me to explore. Add to that the many opportunities of wordplay with the word “jack” and I couldn’t be happier! I plan on creating at least 20 different paintings for this series. These are the first two.
I also want to take the time to say “THANK YOU”, Mr. Bradshaw, for accepting my work. Being an emerging artist at age 61 is a peculiar thing! The majority of venues do not consider me an emerging artist even though I have no formal background nor have I ever spent time as a fulltime artist until now. Your acceptance and the credence it gives my pursuit, is priceless."'
PETE HERZFELD of Washington, DC has a definite signature style. His content is rather curious with the "Death Notice" and the attention to weather conditions as well as the particular portraits -- all which present a wonderful examination of style and message. The mixed media piece "GIBSON" is special with the tilted head giving it a more curious look.
Mr. Herzfeld states this about his work: "'The OBIT series strikes at the very heart of our human fragility and our brief time on this earth. The collage of the the weather and the obituary notice exemplifies the temporal quality of our daily lives. These images were “discovered” by serendipitously reading the newspaper and having the sun shown through the paper to reveal the weather on one side and the obituary on the other side to activate the collage present in these artworks. Ben-Day dots personify the newspaper death of the individual as well as the death of the very newspaper industry itself. The sense of loss when mourning a loved one needs to be realized through a final choice of a representative picture for the obituary listing. To quote Roland Barthes, “Photography is a kind of primitive theater, a kind of Tableau Vivant, a figuration of the motionless and made-up face beneath which we see the dead.”'
CAROL LEE HILGEMANN of Spearfish, South Dakota is a master at assemblage, to the "9th degree"! Her "You've Got Mail", a popular title, is richly portrayed in the duo-piece with the historical "Life" magazine, the worn box and the antique-like imagery. The little doll, the old photographs and the skeleton key make it work even more so. And in "Play, Baby, Play" the use of the clarinet musical instrument, given the rust patina, and the attached head with the curled music score for the hair, all make for an intriguing sculpture.
MICHAEL HOWER of Enola, Pennsylvania masters digital photography with some great imagery in four works: "The Keylock" with it's near symmetrical composition; "Nailworks" with the compelling combination of the brick structured curve with the organic fallen tree; and the rather pastoral scene of the close up covered barn-like building and the calm distant hills in "Sentinel". The combination is very nice together; and "Winter Solstice" is interesting with the warm coloration for the cold scene, together with the organic contrast with the geometric brick structure.
Mr. Hower states this about these works: "'Winter Solstice: "Winter Solstice" was taken in Swatara State Park in Schuylkill County, PA. Swatara State Park is one of my favorite places for photography because of it's rich and vital history to the Lebanon Valley. Featured in this picture are the remains of Union Canal Branch Lock 3, which is one of 7 canal locks in the park. The picture was taken from inside the lock looking out of it's western end, the only side really left intact. It has been abandoned for 150 years.
The Key Lock: "The Key Lock" is another picture from my Pennsylvania Canals series and was also shot in Swatara State Park, this time on the Lebanon County side. The Key Lock, also known as the guard lock was one of the most important locks on the Union Canal Branch. It was responsible for the regulation of water flow from the huge reservoir that sat behind it, now just forest due to a breach in the dam. The shot was taken from the south side of the lock. Where I would be standing in the picture would have been in the canal. My purpose in going there that day was it had just snowed the night before, and I wanted to capture the lock in the snow. By the time I got there most of the snow had melted being that it was late March, but the lighting was perfect. I've photographed this subject multiple times and never have come close to replicated the feeling of this picture regardless of season.
Nailworks: "Nailworks" is a shot of one of two ruins that remain from the Harrisburg Nail Works that dated back to the late 1800's. It sits in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County, PA just off the Conodoguinet Creek. Water from the factory would have flowed under this arch out into the creek behind me. The Factory would have been sitting above this arch and back into the woods. This brick arch is one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I love this with the two little arches behind it, the downed tree and the forest behind it. It makes for great contrast and an air of mystery.
Sentinel: "Sentinel" was shot in the early fall in Frankin County, PA. I had driven this road several times a year for several years when at the beginning of last fall I noticed a building sitting in this tuft of woods. When you get closer it is actually a very interesting old building. It is one third mill, one third, barn, and one third house. This was an approach shot. I'll shoot faraway then gradually move in for more detail. A lot of time the approach shots get scraped but this was probably the first shot I took and it's the only one I've used. I loved the colors of the field, the darkness of the woods, the textures and the mysterious looking silhouette of the building."'
DAN HURLEY of Peru, Vermont has an interesting use of media, i.e. encaustic glass on glass collage mixed with liquitex spray paint in his work "Collision Point". Herein he creates a compelling interworking of texture, shape, linear movement with added color.
JOE KAGLE of Kingwood, Texas is one of Upstream People Gallery's most favorite artist in that he is prolific with his signature style. His combination of a photo process, collage and the use of pen and ink combine to make spectacular artworks!
"326. The Waiting Room-I. See. U. #17- 2013" shows a rich display of every element with the most wonderful character studies that add so much wonder and emotion. His "328. The Waiting Room-I. See. U. #19- 2013" also shows his marvelous use of media and special drawing style in pen and ink. And in a vertical presentation "331, The Waiting Room-I. See. U. #22- 2013", he continues with the marvelous nine-sectioned portraiture with great style. And "331. The Waiting Room-I. See. U. #22- 2013" is another absolutely terrific artwork!
EMILY KAY of Chanhassen, Minnesota takes colored pencil to a masterful level and conceptually she brings an awesome humor to her piece "Bear Pie". How wonderful to be so creative.
KATIE KELLEHER of Asheville, North Carolina presents a tremendously handsome textural presentation in her work "Nostalgia and Convictions". The mixed media work on tin is quite engaging with the rich treatment and the drawing of the heart with the word "heartfelt" in the dictionary text, all add to a great artwork.
ANN NANCY MACOMBER of Arnold, California presents the show a colorful and moving curvilinear quilt with imagery of a butterfly that seems to have flown throughout the space. The quilting technique is well done indeed.
Ann says this about her work: “'Creating art in an improvisational manner is a “joyful act.” Inspiration comes from a variety of sources – words, photographs, patterns on fabric and nature. The design for Flight of Fancy began with a huge doodle. Composing the entire piece on my design wall and pinning bits and pieces of fabric in place and finally sewing with a curved piecing technique, created the “design”. Machine quilting finished the piece and created depth and shadow. Hand appliquéing the butterfly was the finishing touch."'
TONY PODUE of Anaheim Hills, California is a genius painter. His super realistic style with his use of acrylic is quite remarkable in all the works this gallery has been graced to exhibit. His "Haceta Lighthouse" is marvelous down to the last detail and shadow, reflections and each leaf and everything! As seen at another time, "Haceta Lighthouse at Sunset" even shows the suns reflection on the distant waves below. Continuing with the theme of lighthouses, "Nubble Lighthouse" is interesting with the close up footprints and the distant lighthouse on the cliff. And "Point Fermin Lighthouse" is so graceful with the white picket fence, the many flowers and well maintained lawn, all contrasted with the gray clouds that make the work even more interesting. Then too, "Point Pinos Lighthouse" with the wonderful moving cloud formation highlighting the well painted building wherein the stucco is even captured.
Mr. Podue states this about his work: "I love the way lighthouses stand as sentinels, seem to guard our coasts and help aid ship captains make their journey safely. The Heceta Head Lighthouse mans its post in Florence, Oregon. I feel very fortunate to have been able to travel there and capture this one moment in its long and continuing history."
CAROL ROULLARD of Moorpark, California in her well considered title "Conversation" is amazing as a photograph. One wonders where this could have been captured. The symmetry, the complementary color scheme and the large and small shapes are wonderful to behold. Another curious photograph is "Crystal Rock Garden" which shows many wonderful textural areas and the coloration is quite rich.
DAVID SAPP of Berlin Hts., Ohio is another prolific favorite artist who is a master of the gestural markings. In the work "Bone and Knot" he incorporates some additional imagery which adds so much to his expression. Also, the mixed media of "What Has Passed Away" is a great concept. Using expressive drawing in context with actual objects is so very interesting.
DOROTHY SHEPHERD of Sunland, California deserves a round of applause for her ingenious way she alters her digital photography. In "Floral Brilliance" the symmetry orchestrates in such a visual melodic legato with multi-harmonious chords. And her "Wisteria Shower" with its "gemetricized" dangling wisteria is intriguing indeed.
TONI SILBER-DELERIVE of New York, New York is another favorite with the gallery. Her signature style is engaging and probably one-of-a-kind approach to perspective. "Funicular in Quebec City" works well with the combination of buildings and people walking about. And "Neighborhood Montage" is compelling with the five main sections of the aerial views.
CRAIG WALKOWICZ of Stevens Point, Wisconsin captures an unusual field of planted sunflowers, the state flower of Kansas. "Sunflower Field by Badlands National Park, South Dakota 08/24/2013 6:14 PM" is nicely photographed slightly from above. And the magnificence captured in "View from Custer State Park, South Dakota 08/22/1013 12:42 PM" is very striking in terms of the spatial quality he captured and the Ansel Adams-type detail in the picture is tremendous.
Craig states this about this work: "'August of last year my friend and I went for a short Western Adventure to the Black Hills area of South Dakota. We drove straight through the night and arrived at Custer State Park around sunrise, and despite the lack of sleep the fresh air and startling scenery made us awake and energetic. After hours of hiking we drove through the park to see some buffalo but only found one. Then we went off to Hill City which has a fun touristy main street.
The next day we went to Deadwood and besides having numerous historical and tourist sites there was also a car show and music festival going on, and the headline band was Paul Revere and The Raiders. After the show we tried our hand at gambling at the numerous casinos and lost.
The following day we went to Jewel Cave and took a tour where you actually used an old-fashioned kerosene lantern as your light source. Then we went to Wall Drug Store, one of the most famous tourist traps in the country. After that we went to Badlands Nation Park and the scenery reminded me of old spaghetti western movies. Driving around there we saw a couple wild buffalo way in the distance, encountered a herd of mountain goats, and saw huge farm fields full of sunflowers."'
To see more photos from my Western Adventure go to:
It has been a joy to see such remarkable artists from across the globe as Upstream People Gallery continues to showcase their awesome artistic talent and thought-provoking concepts.
Curator, Professor of Art