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

Looks like 2021 has begun with a bang

How do we respond as artists to all this craziness swirling around us?

Artists are the ones who make interpretations of the world, although not in the same way as journalists. Some of us will provide calm beauty to help soothe the anxiety. Others will express the stresses, madness, loneliness, loss or divisions we are experiencing, giving some reassurance that we’re not alone. Still others will add to the clarion calls for a better world for ourselves and our children. All are much needed.

Maybe you’ve experienced a kind of artist’s block – with deadline after deadline of interesting and normally inspiring calls for art slipping by without applying, while your workspace gathers dust? You’re not alone in that, either.

Art by Our January Speaker, Barbara Melnik Carson

In the end, community is the most important resource for getting us through all this. Huron River Art Collective isn’t a huge, well resourced institution or a stone clad building with columns. It’s really about us, the artists supporting each other, talking together, learning, being surprised, laughing… This is the project we’re engaged in.

Empowering Women Artists  –  NEW! The first of our discussion series this Tuesday, Jan 12th.  An informal conversation will be based around “What Does Art Have to Do With the Coronavirus?

ArtShare – Let’s Talk Photography – Speaker: Joseph Lee. Whether you’re an amateur, professional, hobbyist, or enthusiast, all are welcome to join the conversation on all things photography. Wednesday January 13th, 06:00 PM – 7:00 PM. We also look forward to Joe Lee sharing more about his life and photography as our Speaker Series presenter in March! This event is for members only –

Speaker Series: Sculptor Barbara Melnik Carson. Monday, Jan 18th. Don’t miss out – this one is proving very popular!

Our big focus at the start of 2021 is to build out a calendar full of interesting, inspiring, informative and fun opportunities for our members and friends. If this sparks a thought, or if there’s an idea you’ve been mulling over for a while for a talk, a workshop, a critique group, a social event, a Grand Scheme – get in touch. Don’t worry if you’ve been avoiding Zoom, or you’re not sure who might be interested. Don’t worry that you’re too young/old/unskilled/unknown/short or any other reasons you might dream up not to send an email or pick up the phone!

Send us your questions, comments, thoughts about your art making experience in the last several months, your hopes or intentions for the future, etc. 

Share art, tips and friendship in our members’ Facebook group (join it if you haven’t yet!) Follow and invite your friends to like our public Facebook page .

Follow on  Instagram and tag your art posts @huronriverartcollective
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Sophie Grillet, Communications Chair | sophiegrillet at gmail