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
Members of the Huron River Art Collective are encouraged to submit guest blog posts for The Current. For details email

Racial Dialogues Through Art

Reflections on the issues of our time….

Clicking on any image will enlarge it and begin a slideshow. When your cursor is on the enlarged image, you can scroll down to read a statement shared by the artist. Enjoy this Online Exhibit!

Spring 2020 Online Juried Exhibit

Our Spring Juried Exhibit was scheduled to be held in the Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor from late March through April. Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of the in-person exhibit.

In place of a physical exhibit, we have assembled a virtual exhibit for you here. Please enjoy this slideshow of the beautiful pieces selected by our juror, Ed Kennedy, and read his remarks below.

  • FIRST PLACE: Blooming | Watercolor & Gold Ink | 18x12" | $295 | Tia Sunshine Dye
  • SECOND PLACE: Szabadsag Ter | Watercolor | 14x11" | NFS | Patricia Davenport
  • THIRD PLACE: Girl in the Grass | Fabric and Colored Pencil | 11x14" | $500 | Alessandra Lipman
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Time Can Be So Sweet | Oil | 36x48" | $2250 | Sue Cutler
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Alaskan River of Ice | Photography | 10x30" | $550 | Betsy Finn
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Elizabeth and Her Knots | Oil | 18x9" | $1000 | Brein Harpster
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Heat Wave | Pastel | 18x24" | $1200 | Bob Palmerton
  • Horse Kiss | Oil | 30x30" | Eva Antebi-Lerman
  • Pesticide Casualty Costa Rica | Graphite & Colored Pencil | 21x22" | Judith Bemis
  • Detroit: Andrea & Rooster | Acrylic | 20x20" | Barbara Boyce
  • Traverse City Super Ruben | Acrylic | 21x27" | NFS | Barbara Boyce
  • Segovian Geraniums | Watercolor | 30x24" | $750 | Cheryle Chidester
  • Gifts - Water & Soil | Acrylic | 22x18" | NFS | Mary Eldridge
  • Keweenaw | Acrylic | 14.5x14.5" | $125 | Mary Eldridge
  • Little Boy Blue | Digital Painting | 16x16" | NFS | Betsy Finn
  • National Park: Portugal | Collagraph | 18x32" | $355 | Kath Frajbis
  • Hocking Hills | Woodcut | 16x22" | $425 | Dennis Gordon
  • Jennabelle in Peachy Pink | Oil | 13.5x10.5" | $450 | Catherine Hetherington
  • Cabbage | Watercolor | 12x16" | $225 | Aiko Holt
  • Contemplation | Pastel | 12x10" | NFS | Marie Howard
  • Beatnik Dave | Linocut Print | 11.5x9.5" | NFS | Faith Jasmund
  • Frida | Charcoal | 25.5x21.5" | NFS | Faith Jasmund
  • Vibrant City | Pastel | 12x9" | $425 | Linda Klenczar
  • Tree of Life | Colored Pencil | 36x11" | $480 | Laila Kujala
  • Berries | Photography | 11x14" | $250 | Pamela Lindberg
  • Sunflower | Photography | 11x14" | $250 | Pamela Lindberg
  • Inubiyori 200110 | Watercolor | 10x7" | NFS | Yoshiko Mishina
  • Summer Explosion | Watercolor | 20x26" | $450 | Mary Murphy
  • Bromeliads | Watercolor | 15x14" | $300 | Nancy Murray
  • Going Home | Photography | 24x16" | $250 | Ann O'Hagan
  • Purple Mountain Majesty | Pastel | 12x18" | $800 | Bob Palmerton
  • Iris in the Sun | Watercolor | 10x10" | $225 | Teri Pattison
  • Summer: A Rose is a Rose | Watercolor Crayon | 24x18" | $450 | Carole Pawloski
  • Yellow Light Day and Time | Mixed Media | 9x12" | NFS | Brittany Roden
  • Mexican Sunflowers | Mosaic | 17x17" | $350 | Lynlee Sky
  • Jordyn in a Mood | Graphite Pencil | 23x18" | NFS | Karen Smith
  • Interiors | Acrylic | 16x12" | NFS | Laurie Wechter
  • The Assignment | Oil | 25x19.5" | NFS | Bob Wesley
  • Dad is Snoozing | Oil | 25x20" | $500 | Lesli Weston
  • Burntside Evening | Photography | 15.5x23.5" | $325 | James Whiteside


Juror’s Statement

The AAWA show is challenging as a judge, not only because of the number of high quality works submitted, but also due to the variety of media and subject matter.  My criteria for selecting artwork for inclusion into the show as well as selecting awards were based on fundamentals that I believe transcends both medium and subject matter.  For me, the first criteria being overall impact.  The work must capture my attention.  It should hold my attention and want me to explore the work longer, moving my eye throughout the work.  The work should illustrate good design principles.  It does not matter if the artwork is a sculpture, photograph, painting or a drawing.  Design matters.  I look to see if the artist has good command of their selected medium such as good drawing skills, the use of color, understanding of edges, texture, material, value, etc.  For example, photographs should show that the artist understands focus, exposure, etc. Drawings should demonstrate an understanding of line, shading, proportion, etc.  Even so, there still remains preferences that each judge may have, including me. So do not be discouraged if your work was not selected into the show or if you did not win an award.  All of the work I reviewed was wonderful and perhaps next time….

Notes on the award winners:

1st place – Blooming:  This work checks all the boxes.  The design is well thought out.  The relative position of the heads, the gaze of the eyes, the use of flowers all help orchestrate movement of your eye through out the painting.  The artist also understands color and in particular its restraint.  Drawings and proportions are spot on.  A wonderful work.

2nd place – Szabadsag:  The artist captures the feeling of light and atmoshere on a warm fall day.  There is an understanding of perspective and design that invites the viewer into the painting.  It has a wonderful color harmony that enhances the subject.  It certainly reminds me of a fall day in Ann Arbor and I would love to go sit on that bench.

3rd place – Girl on the Grass:  This work is well executed.  Although a simple subject (a girl on grass) the artist understands design and can draw.  The background compliments the subject and heightens attention on the girl.  The variety of texture and shapes adds interest without distracting from the focal point. I can only imagine how the actual texture of the fabric would add to the overall feel of this work.  Well done.

Congratulations to all of the winners:

  • First Place: “Blooming” by Tia Dye Sunshine
  • Second Place: “Szadbag Ter” by Patricia Davenport
  • Third Place: “Girl on the Grass” by Alessandra Lipman
  • Honorable Mention: “Alaskan River of Ice” by Betsy Finn
  • Honorable Mention: “Elizabeth and Her Knots” by Brein Harpster
  • Honorable Mention: “Time Can Be So Sweet” by Sue Cutler
  • Honorable Mention: “Heat Wave” by Bob Palmerton