Artist Betsy Finn Talks About Community Exhibits

The following post is contributed by Collective member, artist and photographer, Betsy FinnBetsy is currently exhibiting at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea on Liberty in Ann Arbor as part of the Collective’s Community Exhibits (formerly Non-Juried Exhibits).

For me, one of the perks of being a Huron River Art Collective member is the open invitation to participate in community exhibits.  Over the years, I’ve been able to hang my work in numerous exhibits that were organized by the Huron River Art Collective.  Some of the exhibits have been shared — I’ve hung my work alongside large scale graphite portraits, as well as small abstract acrylic pieces.  Besides just getting to display your work — you also get to connect with other members.  It’s building community on both fronts.  Plus, there’s always the possibility that a patron of the business might love your artwork and want it for their home!

Betsy Finn previously exhibiting with the Collective at Sweetwaters on Washington in Ann Arbor.

Some artists just sell the originals, while others list prices for both the original and prints of the art too.  It’s all personal.  A general guideline?  Make sure to list your contact information clearly — as any interested patrons will be contacting you directly.  Want to see what a solo art show looks like?  Here’s a virtual walkthrough of my most recent Huron River Art Collective show.  It’s up through November 6th, 2021, so feel free to stop by and enjoy it in person!  

This most recent exhibit is a solo show, hanging at Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea on Liberty (Ann Arbor, MI) features a variety of landscape/travel photographs, pastels, and paintings, and is available to view in person from 9/11/2021 to 11/6/2021.  Preparing for this show was fun, because I chose to mix several different media.  I planned out my art to hang in groupings — pastels on one wall, photographs on another, and a 3’x4’ acrylic painting for the feature wall that can be seen as you enter the coffeeshop.  

Betsy Finn's exhibit at Sweetwaters coffee and tea on Washington in Ann Arbor.
Betsy Finn exhibiting with the Collective at Sweetwaters on Liberty in Ann Arbor.
Betsy Finn has also exhibited at Joe and Rosie Coffee and Tea in Dexter as part of the Huron River Art Collective Community Exhibits

Participating in a community exhibit might feel a little overwhelming at first.  How many pieces do you bring?  How to prepare the name cards?  What about the logistics of transporting your artwork?  But, once you get started, these questions will fall into place.  The Huron River Art Collective has coordinators for each of the ongoing exhibit locations.  These positions are filled by members who love helping artists hang their work!  Since each location is different, the coordinators will fill you in on what to do beforehand, so you are prepared.  Then, the day your show hangs, you (and any other artists) will meet with artwork in hand, ready to hang your work.  Chances are good you’ll also run into the artists from the previous exhibit, as they’ll have just finished taking down their work by the time you arrive.  It’s a cool networking opportunity!  

If you have questions about this benefit of being a member, you can get in touch with the coordinators for the specific locations, or just ask someone whose work has been on display!  After all, we’re a community of artists, and by helping each other, we’re all better for it.

Betsy Finn is an artist and photographer living in Dexter. She enjoys creating in several media, and her photographs have been accepted into international exhibitions.  To see more of Betsy’s work, visit www.betsyfinn.com.
Members of the Huron River Art Collective are encouraged to submit guest blog posts for The Current. For details email Communications@huronriverartcollective.org

Essays on Invisibility – Speaker Series Follow Up

The following post is contributed by our 2021 September Speaker, Paloma Núñez-Regueiro. A link to the edited replay video can be found HERE or view at the bottom of this page.

A few nights ago, I had the honor of being the guest speaker at the Huron River Art Collective Speaker Series. I was delighted to share my prints and the process of making them with people from different places via Zoom. Many times we complain about everything that we lost because of the pandemic, because of COVID 19 but the truth is that besides all our terrible, and painful  losses we also learned to regroup again, as humans do. Our virtual existence is one that makes us present all around the world at once. It lets us reach far and hold hands with friends from the present and past and share, as in this case: our thoughts, art processes, desires and hopes…

My name is Paloma Núñez-Regueiro, I am a Mexican printmaker based in Ann Arbor, MI. I am also a resident artist at Ypsi Alloy Studios. 

The body of work I talked about that night is called “Essays on Invisibility”. Essays on Invisibility is a collection of linoleum prints and monoprints that express my interest in making the invisible visible. The subjects I explore are immigration, social justice, the experience of assimilation, and the experiences of being invisible in a cis-gender and mostly white society. 

Sister III
Linoleum Print 30″ x 11″ 2019

The protagonist of my series is the Guarumo leaf. The Guarumo is a tree that exists in the south of Mexico and the Caribbean and has great medicinal powers. The leaves fall to the ground and they dry up making these beautiful shapes that make them different from one another. I found these leaves on a trip to Tulum, Mexico; I became fascinated with them. I took many pictures of them and brought them back home. I started drawing them as honestly as possible  and found that they contain in their structures mountains and valleys, rivers, noses, vertebrae, carcasses and many more things. The little holes that the crawler made in them while eating, are like little constellations or chemical formulas. I came to believe that these leaves contain the universe in them. 

After drawing and carving around 10 of these leaves, I realized that if I created an environment or a context around them they will help me create this series that talks about the invisible: the immigrants, the poor, the LGBTQ, the black community or anyone that does not fit the established standard of normality in their own settings. 

Legal or illegal, able or not able to make a comfortable living, minority groups are somehow invisible, a lesser human. Because we are different, many times people don’t know how to approach us and that gives rise  to micro aggressions, physical aggression and violent crimes. These experiences leave us thinking of our value to society and are a constant reminder of how undervalued  we are. 

I like the idea of using an overlooked element of the environment that contains such beauty and healing powers, that is fragile and yet strong as the minorities I am talking about: the invisible.  When we don’t take the time to look, these leaves become an invisible element of the environment and their beauty becomes unseen. 

Breathe in. Breathe Out
Linoleum print 24″ x 20″ each 2020

In “Essays on Invisibility”, I am trying to interpret the effort of minority groups to remain, to take on opportunities offered by their surroundings, to become visible and therefore included in society. It’s my goal to acknowledge the feelings of those who feel invisible, to uncover our pain through my prints, and offer it to the spectator in a way so that he/she/they can open their hearts to the possibilities which can range from listening to their ideas, to working together and  raising  each other into better positions that will allow for political, economic, and emotional stability in our communities.  

I want to cordially invite you to see these prints in person . All these prints will be available for view on January 8th, 2022 at Hatch Art Gallery in Hamtramck, MI. There will be a reception from 6-9 pm on that day, and then the gallery will be open Thursday through Friday from 6-9 and Saturdays from 12-6pm. 

Thank you to the Huron River Art Collective for giving me the opportunity to share my work with you, and for the labor spreading the love for the arts, for bringings artists and art lovers together, and for creating this sense of community beyond the physical world. 

Celebrating our 2021 Summer Juried Exhibit

This summer 140 works of art were submitted to the Huron River Art Collective for our 2021 Summer Juried Exhibit. Our esteemed juror, Vianna Szabo, P.S.A. IAPS EP P.S.W.C DP, was asked to select 50 of those works to include in this online exhibit. From the 50 works, she selected 4 honorable mentions as well as first, second, and third place awards. The show was available on our website through August 30th, 2021.

During our reception, via Zoom, Vianna highlighted the variety of artwork submitted. 

“What I really enjoyed about the images that came was that they were very diverse. There was sculpture, there was weaving, there were a lot of beautiful paintings, beautiful photography. And, every artist has their own voice.”

Today we want to celebrate the diversity of work in the Collective and share the works selected with you. In addition to the slideshow below, we posted selected works on our Facebook page and Instagram account. We are also sharing the very informative reception, which was recorded on zoom.

Congratulation to our award winners and honorable mentions:

First Place Award: Always Ready, 12.5 x 36″ oil on panel by Debra Keirce

Second Place Award: Blue Manitou, 24×12″ Acrylic on stretched canvas by Carrie Hensel

Third Place Award: The End is Near, 22inx 33in” Watercolor, Black Gesso, and Colored Pencil by Tina Hotchkiss

Honorable Mentions:

Bob Palmerton, Mary Lewison, Brittany Roden, and Pam Lindberg

Submissions are open for our 2021 Fall Juried Exhibit. Click HERE for more information about all of our exhibit opportunities.

Vianna was so kind to speak a bit about each artwork juried into the exhibit. To watch the reception, click HERE.