Grosse Pointe CityJune 21, 2012
‘Realism and Surrealism’ exhibit at GPAC invites thoughtful consideration
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
Visitors to the latest exhibit at the Grosse Pointe Art Center will see images that are both familiar and challenging.
Artists from around the country — and even one from the Netherlands — submitted work for consideration in “Realism and Surrealism,” a bold new display of conversation-worthy work that opened with a reception June 15 and will remain on view through July 21. James Nawara of Beverly Hills, a professor of painting and drawing at Wayne State University, served as the juror.
Wendy Schmidt, a member of the GPAC Board of Directors and co-chair of the exhibition committee, said GPAC Director Amy DeBrunner reached out to artists outside of the community for this show, which drew entries from more than a dozen artists in various states. Of those, only three from outside of the region were chosen. Jeff Hayes, of Reading, Mass., received an honorable mention for his oil on canvas, “Chocolate and Foil,” as did Bert Heersema, of Zwolle, Overjssel, Netherlands, for the oil on canvas, “Road to Bedega Bay.” That’s a testament to the quality of the art produced locally, Schmidt said.
It’s a much smaller show than usual for the GPAC, with only about 48 pieces selected from what Schmidt said were 171 submissions. That’s in keeping with Nawara’s vision.
“I like to whittle shows down, so they’re not overcrowded,” he said.
For Nawara, “strength of concept” is what makes one piece of art rise above another.
“You always expect the technical aspect to be there,” he explained. “That’s a given. … (But the) difference between amateurs and professionals is that (the professional artists) understand the difference between technique and concept.”
Schmidt said many other works submitted for the show were worthy of inclusion, but this is a decision that rests with the juror.
“Sometimes the smaller the show, the better the impact,” she said.
Julie Sabit, of Harper Woods, received an honorable mention for her oil painting, “Drumming up Business.” She said she was en route to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris last September when she encountered the subject of her painting: a man playing makeshift drums for tips as he pushed what appeared to be all of his worldly possessions in a wheeled cart. Although this wasn’t a scene from a Detroit street, Sabit acknowledged that it could be. The image is simultaneously dynamic and poignant.
For his Best of Show-winning oil on canvas, “Somewhere in Between,” Erik Olson, of Northville, finds a sort of middle ground between the show’s theme in a painting that brings together three different, empty structures in his hometown that aren’t quite as close in real life as they are in the painting.
“These very different structures are all basically unoccupied, but you don’t know why,” Olson said.
Thomas Humes, of Grosse Pointe Park, won third place for his oil painting, “Burlesque,” which invites audiences into “the intensely personal world he’s created,” said Nawara. Humes said this painting, like his other works, includes a curtain.
“It serves as a nice foil, and it kind of sets a stage,” he said.
The painting also features a green tomato from his garden and an actor.
“My paintings tend to be little fantasy surrealist constructions,” Humes said.
Other award winners include Lisa Poszywak, of Dearborn, who received second place for her oil on canvas, “Detrius”; and Jim Klein, of Harper Woods, who received an honorable mention for the photograph, “Eastern Market, May 24th.”
In addition to “Realism and Surrealism,” there was a contest organized by Mike Dixon involving Blue Nectar Tequila bottles. Kelly Wodjyla won first place; Laura Reed took second place; Lynn Viglione received third place; and Charmaine Kaptur and Nobuko Yamasaki got special awards in this art competition.
GPAC visitors can also view work in two other exhibits: “Art from the Inside Out,” a community outreach project of poetry and artwork sponsored by a local hospital, and photography by Robert Stewart. The Detroit-based Stewart, a longtime commercial advertising photographer, said the recession-induced downturn in his professional life enabled him to “rediscover the artist inside,” leading to the works in this retrospective, which spans from about 2006 to today. The roughly 21 images reflect the artist’s take on relationships, religious extremism, and ecology and the need to find balance between man and nature.
“I think the theme (of the exhibit) is basically how I feel about the things around me,” said Stewart, who collaborated with performance artist Satori Circus for some of the images, many of which have a dreamlike quality. “I’m trying to make a point and (get people to) think about where they stand (on these issues).”
The GPAC is located at 16900 Kercheval in the Village. Hours are noon-6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For more information, call (313) 821-1848 or visit www.grossepointeartcenter.org.
- Last 24 Hours
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- All in the family - Clinton Township
- Looking Back: 1920s Coolidge Highway - Berkley
- Local libation lovers whip up cocktails with a holiday twist - Royal Oak
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi - Metro Detroit
- Head outside for great photos this winter - Metro Detroit
- Avoid holiday horror stories - Shelby Township
- Police investigating attempted arson at home - Warren
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- Emagine scraps plans for Roseville location - Roseville
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall - Berkley
- All in the family - Clinton Township
- Man robs Roseville bank - Roseville
- Police seek help in fatal hit-and-run - Clinton Township
- Premature birth rates decline in Michigan for sixth year - Metro Detroit
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Mom, man she met online to stand trial on child sex charge - Warren
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- East Detroit student dies following pool accident - Eastpointe
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Voters approve human rights ordinance - Royal Oak
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Digital diet could help put emotions, priorities in shape