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

Thanks, 2020 – and GOODBYE!

This painting by Pam Diulio and Karen Jenkins, depicts real people. The Doctor and ICU nurse work at the U of M Hospital. The nurse who cares for with Covid Patients is Karen’s daughter; the fireman is from Monroe and the police officer is Pam’s nephew. 

Pam and Karen’s painting reminds us how artists can embed and strengthen ideas in the minds of the public. We can create images, whether direct or allusive in support of all the heroes: the visible and the invisible, the obvious choices and the unsung, and see where we can do our part in ensuring they all get their due in appreciation, respect and compensation! Of course the greatest respect we can offer is in not piling more work onto them.

Few of us will be sorry to see 2020 dwindle in the rear-view mirror, but there are some things about it we should grasp onto. There was the clean, quiet April and May, when we could wander in the street, watching kids doing wheelies on their bikes and hearing birdsong clearly. Then there was the national uprising following the killing of George Floyd – not a unique instance, except in the overdue response to it, sparking a national conversation about racism. There was the discovery that not everyone needs to commute, and there’s no excuse not to hire people whose disability makes commuting impossible of just inconvenient.

Artists and people connected with the Arts seem to be in the forefront of responding to these 2020 events, wanting to run with the moment and enter a new era. We at Huron River Art Collective held an exhibition, Racial Dialogs Through Art, viewable online. If you feel inspired to send words or pictures or a combination to keep the discussion around race, equity and climate change at the forefront, — or if you want to talk about something else — we’d love to hear from you.

In January, the prolific sculptor Barbara Melnik Carson will be our speaker at 7pm on Jan 18th Register Here for the zoom event.

New name, The Current

Don’t forget to add your email on the right of this page, if you’d like our Blog – to be renamed The Current in January – arriving in your inbox.

— Sophie Grillet, Communications Chair sophiegrillet at gmail

A story worth sharing

Joan Witte conducted a National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) fundraiser over a single week in the summer. Donors could choose one of her paintings as a gift. All of the paintings are now spoken for, and over $3,000 was raised for the Alliance. Here is the story of Joan’s son, whose life ended with his suicide in November 2019.

The event was called Between the Comments, and was in memory of her son, Nathan Vallee.   The majority of the paintings were created during the COVID-19 quarantine. If you or anyone you know may be at risk of suicide, please make sure they have the prevention line number, 1-800 273 8255, and don’t be shy to voice your concern.

Currently, Joan’s work can be seen at the Huron River Art Collective shows at Sweetwaters in Ann Arbor, where three of her paintings have sold, as well as four at Joe and Rosie’s Cafe in Dexter, showing through February 15th.  Joan promoted these exhibitions in advance on her Facebook page, Raven Loon Studio

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To volunteer with the Collective, ask a question or send a story, message us through our Facebook page or Group, or email SophieGrillet at gmail. Ask your artist friends to January’s talk, and to join!

Our mission is to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for a diverse community of artists to share knowledge and opportunities that promote individual excellence, collaboration, inspire new creative perspectives, and offer engagement with the public to foster participation, appreciation, and support of the arts.

— Sophie Grillet, Communications Chair

sophiegrillet at gmail