On Friday, December 3, 2021, the Huron River Art Collective had the long awaited Fall 2021 Juried Art Show Reception at Malletts Creek Library in Ann Arbor. There were over 150 entries for this show. The Juror, Durwood Coffey, had the difficult task of choosing just 40 pieces of art to hang for this show. He requested that we up it to 42, saying it was very difficult to choose as there were many outstanding and diverse pieces.
The Juried Exhibition Committee and a number of volunteers met in late October to hang this show at the library. While hanging, a staff member of the library was overheard saying, “it is so nice to have art on the walls again!’ Isn’t that the truth!?! Patrons of the library were treated to a lovely display of art as they entered, explored and exited the library. All works were for sale.
Artists, friends and relatives who attended the reception viewed the lovely art, and socialized with fellow creatives. Juror, Durwood Coffey gave out awards to Tricia Hampo, Bryan Wilson, Quadre Curry, Anne Rogers, Marilyn Thomas, Gwen McKay and Mary Riley. Durwood also shared some words of wisdom regarding creating art. While reflecting on the submitted work and how he made the difficult decision, he said one thing always stands out and that is composition. If the composition is no good then it doesn’t matter how well rendered a piece is. Good composition always trumps everything else. He also told the group that there are two kinds of artists, those who are a “circle” and those who are a “straight line”. A “circle” artist is one who does one thing, then another, then another, then does what this person wants, and what that person wants and so on and so on (sometimes this is necessary to make a living (; ). The “straight” line artist creates similar things, but always moving forward along that same line. The circular artist does not progress as fast as the straight line artist. To sum it up, he says the straight line artist most likely creates what they love. Bottom line, do what you love!
We hope to see you and your art at the next exhibit!
The Huron River Art Collective would like to thank artist Trisha Hampo for speaking at the reception and writing this blog post. Congratulations again on your first place award.
The following post is contributed by student artist Bryan Wilson, Second-Place award winner in the Collective’s 2021 Fall Juried Exhibit.
My name is Bryan Wilson. I am a second year student at the University of Michigan studying art and design. I am an oil painter and fashion designer born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I have been painting for the past 2 years, painting exclusively with oil. Oil painting was a medium that I stumbled upon. I began painting in acrylic my senior year of highschool, and oil painting was something that was heavily recommended to me. I bought my first set in November 2019 and instantly fell in love with the medium. To me it had set itself miles above acrylic in terms of application and rendering.
Through the time of the pandemic I was really able to build a craft and practice the technique of oil painting. I learned everything myself and applied skills I used before in my art into painting with oil. I spent hours watching youtube videos on different methods and techniques. However I found myself lost in technique, I was so invested in technique my work had no substance. I would strive only for photo realistic quality and there was no meaning in my work, and then I shifted.
Today as a fine artist my work is an exploration of morality. We all have morals that we believe to be right or wrong, and through my work I explore how simple it is for anyone to fall victim to any morals. Morals are something as humans we all have and we all have opinions on which are valued higher than others. I receive a lot of inspiration from modern day entertainment, which allows us to be presented with moral choices everyday.
My work features a heavy use of the skeleton figure, often mistaken for death, the use of the skeleton is a representation of the human figure. As an artist I desire to have an impact on the viewer when they see my work. I want the viewer to see the skeleton and be able to see themselves in the same position, victim to the morals surrounding.
For a while I held on to my work and didn’t know what to do with it or how to get it into the world. I was unaware of the world of art, such as galleries and collectives. However, 2021 became my “debut” year. As I began to put my work into the world I was able to find calls for art and put my pieces in shows for the first time. I was, and am, vulnerable as a new artist to the world of art. Some may look at me envious of my abilities and my young age or some look at me as if I’m undeserving, and it becomes overwhelming. I had my very first gallery opening at Hatch Art in Hamtramck, Michigan on April 4th, and by the end of this year I will have done 9 separate gallery openings or events.
Sometimes I feel out of place when I talk to so many artists and they speak to me about working in their studio and these giant projects, but for me I’ve always created from a desk in my bedroom. As I hear, I recognize that it makes the desire of success in the art field greater. I am grateful to be vulnerable in a space I am learning to navigate and love.
I am amazingly honored to have received a second place award amongst so many established artists. The piece is titled “Secrets” it is an exploration of gossip. Gossip is something that is often looked down upon yet we find ourselves doing so often and so intrigued to be a part of, almost like a guilty pleasure. The skeleton in this image is the “gossiper” spreading information to the subject. The subject is also receiving information from another end, being the phone. Similar to the skeleton, anyone could be on the other side of the phone giving any information.
The Huron River Art Collective 2021 Fall Juried Exhibit is currently on display at the Malletts Creek branch of the Ann Arbor Library through December 3rd. The closing reception, with juror, Durwood Coffey, will be on the evening of December 3rd, 6:30p – 7:45p. You can find more information on our juried exhibits on our website, HERE.
The following post is contributed by Collective member, artist Tricia Hampo, First-Place award winner in the Collective’s 2021 Fall Juried Exhibit.
My name is Tricia Hampo and I have been creating/crafting since I was able to hold a crayon in my hand. I received a BFA in Graphic Design from The University of Michigan and a Teaching Certificate in Art from Eastern Michigan University. Of course, life gets busy and other things managed to take precedence to my creative endeavors from time to time. I created glass beads and sold to jewelry designers for about 12 years until I felt I had exhausted that medium’s creative possibilities. So, I picked up the paint brush for the first time in a very long time, about 6 years ago. Since then I have been exploring many different mediums. I often tell people I have art A.D.D. I want to try everything.
Currently my favorite medium is oil and cold wax medium. I’ll also claim that I did not choose my current favorite subject matter, it chose me. I don’t think I ever would have imagined I would paint portraits and figures to the extent that I do.
I will tell you that I defeated my inner critic this time by being awarded first place in the Collective’s Fall 2021 show that is currently hanging at Mallets Creek Library in Ann Arbor.
I am honored and humbled as there are so many outstanding pieces of art in this show. One of the Library’s employees commented on how nice it was to have art on the walls again. I couldn’t agree more. It looks beautiful and makes my heart happy.
I often find myself looking at the walls in all the various offices I visit and thinking how much they need real ART on their walls, not just posters and product advertisements, but real art made from local artists. After all, how much time do we find ourselves waiting with nothing to look at but our phones?
Wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from the screen and see some real art?
To look at all those gorgeous brushstrokes and colors up close?
Wouldn’t it be nice to spend that time imagining what that artwork is saying to us and let it take us on a voyage of discovery?
I’ve got to believe there are a lot of artists out there with some stunning art just sitting in the corners of their studios just waiting to be viewed and enjoyed. I, for one, can’t wait to see it!
For a few years, I played with the idea of joining an artists guild. I held off joining for so long because I didn’t think I was good enough. Aren’t we always our own worst critics!?! I also thought I’d feel like an outsider, as I did not know anyone else in a guild. However, that is also the reason I had for wanting to join a guild, so that I could meet, share and create with other artists of all levels and interests.
I also had a number of paintings sitting around in my studio and my family would often ask me what I was going to do with them? They would say, “you should at least share these with others,” or “perhaps you can make someone smile, contemplate or reflect” and “they certainly aren’t doing any good just sitting in your studio.”
They were right, so I figured why not. So, I joined the Huron River Art Collective. As I searched their website for opportunities to get involved and benefits of being a member, I discovered the Exhibits page. Here was an opportunity to get my artwork out there for the public to see, perhaps smile, reflect and maybe even purchase for continued enjoyment.
Then, guess what? My inner critic immediately spoke up, “you’re not good enough to be in a show”, “why would you want to spend money just to have someone reject your art?”
Quickly, I decided to squash my inner critic and go for it. As artists we have to have thick skin. Art is very subjective. We have to know that we cannot always connect with everyone. First and foremost my intent in creating is not necessarily for my viewer anyways, it begins with me. My art begins with what I hope to accomplish, what I hope to communicate. It is a way to express my thoughts, stories, feelings, hopes and dreams. As a favorite quote of mine says, “Every ARTwork” is a voyage of discovery”, this is not only true for the artist, it is also true for the viewer.
The Huron River Art Collective 2021 Fall Juried Exhibit is currently on display at the Malletts Creek branch of the Ann Arbor Library through December 3rd. The closing reception, with juror, Durwood Coffey, will be on the evening of December 3rd, 6:30p – 7:45p.