Expanding art outside of our walls
2016 came and went more quickly than I could imagine. We have a lot to be proud of after a successful year. Two successful fundraisers helped fund our studio: ART pARTy and The Black & White Affair. A Perfect Pairing event was an intimate evening that allowed guests to hear from artists about their inspirations and learn from wine experts about the pairings. We hosted seven exhibit openings; including the Tall Ships Exhibit in collaboration with The Tall Ships Celebration and our All-Area Exhibit, where we gave away cash prizes to top artists in our state. Our membership numbers and class sizes both increased.
If you’ve taken a walk around the Downtown and Uptown areas you may have noticed some art hanging on the buildings. Underneath Veterans Bridge, three high school seniors created a mural that represented Bay City’s past, present and future. With help from Barb Engelhardt-Carter, MARKed ARTs, the Bay Area Community Foundation, the Women’s Philanthropy Circle, the Men’s Philanthropy Group and the Rotary Club of Bay City we could paint the bright scene underneath the bridge. What a positive way to show our history and events in a mural viewable from the Riverwalk and river!
Another public art effort was “Art Around the City” which featured historical photographs from Bay County’s maritime past. We partnered with the Bay County Historical Society for the photos and descriptions and worked with various community partners to implement the project. A special thanks to our sponsors: Northwood University, Herter Music Center, the State Theatre, City of Bay City, Rev. Andreas and Tracy Teich, Bay County Historical Society, Historic Masonic Temple, Downtown Bay City, Farm Bureau Insurance, Bay County Library System and Bay Landscaping. Without the support of our community projects like this are not possible. Be on the lookout for next phase of this project in late spring!
The board of directors, staff and teachers at Studio 23 are excited for a successful 2017.
Tara Welch, Executive Director
Painters and Potters is a very popular exhibition and one of the best attended here at Studio 23. There are many reasons as to why that is, but I think this is because of the relationships you see in the work of the instructors and students. These three images show the profound affect a teacher can have on their pupils. The first painting is done by one of our instructors Michelle Courier and the two other paintings are done by her students. What is so striking about the three of these paintings is the intense color.
Michelle uses color as a way to draw viewers in from a distance and once the viewer is closer to the work you see all of her layering and detail. Veryl uses color in the same way, except she paints in a more realistic way, where as Michelle’s work is more impressionistic and abstracted. Where Michelle and Veryl use realistic spaces done from photographs the third artist Denver chooses to compose his paintings from his imagination. His painting “Blue on Blue” is a dreamlike landscape where one looses sight of reality and is lost in the vast space that is at once both entirely abstract and a fully rendered landscape. He uses the intense blue as the main focus and the image takes the passenger seat. Both Veryl and Denver manipulate color in a similar way to Michelle. Most likely all three use paint straight from the tube so they don’t muddy the color. This makes for a painting that is imbued with color that is realistic, but taken to a much higher level than reality.
Historically students use similar techniques to their teachers in their own way. Denver and Veryl are both great examples of this trend. Michelle divides the spatial cues of the landscape up into smaller smooth sections of abstract lines and blended color. Veryl uses this technique in her own way, but her colors are less blended and her brush work has a coarser texture. Denver’s brushwork is smooth like Michelle’s, but he uses almost purely long horizontal strokes and tints of pthalo blue to break up his space.
All three pieces are connected and separate in their own identity, and that is what makes their work, as well as Painters and Potters such a fantastic exhibition that you should not miss.
Bill is one of our talented Instructors here at the Studio . Bill started instructing watercolor workshops a few years ago. It all started when he was a Artist in one of our exhibits. During the opening reception he did a painting demonstration and the rest is history. He has worn various hats as a graphic artist, illustrator, free lance, and design.
We are honored to have him teach a Watercolor class for 6 weeks. Bill’s class starts on April 15th thru May 20th on Friday’s from 1-4 PM. The students are encouraged to bring photos . Bill will assist in helping them select the best picture to work from. He will give guidance and photo tips for this process. Bill will also demonstrate his painting techniques and assist his students in creating their own masterpiece.
Lori Zurvalec is one of the two artists who currently have work on exhibition at Studio 23 for Sorrow & Hope. This series of Poem Drawings are part of a group of drawings that Lori has been working on since 2011. Studio 23 currently has 20 of them on display. They are based off of a poem that Lori wrote in her car about wanting to draw a poem. The poem titled “I Want to Draw a Poem” goes:
“I want to draw a poem
with big, loopy circles that
disappear off the paper,
catching you off guard
a fist in the gut
leaving you breathless, bent over
I want to press the pencil
into the surface of the paper
that it leaves a hollow
you can feel with your fingertips,
making a scrawl of furious line,
over and over and over,
darker and darker and darker,
until the whiteness is black,
a jagged grid.
I want to make marks
of swift movement,
shapes spelling out a calligraphy of
amazement at events
turning in ways
like sudden tears
pooled in the corner of the eye,
about to fall.
I want to sketch a gesture drawing,
a frenzied scrawl
running and running and running
to the edge of
the unknown earth,
lines in search of compassionate grisaille;
lines that collapse, exhausted
in despair, disquiet,
I want to form a simple contour
tracing a line that pays attention,
trying to understand,
a mobius line that,
with ever – passing time,
ends the poem,
returning to the center,
The poem traces the pathway of the drawings, but also the emotional journey that one goes through when they are filled with sorrow. The work that she created directly references the poem in their composition and design. Lori says that they started out representational, but then moved towards pure abstraction. Order and control are two very important components to Lori’s process. They can be seen in her work even amongst the flowing lines and marks of the poem series. In many ways these drawings shy away from Lori’s normally very contrived and composed watercolor paintings towards a more loose and freer style. Maybe this is because Lori feels less in control when she is sorrowful, or maybe its simply because of the influence of the poem on her work. Either way these drawings stand out from her normal way of working.
They are placed in a small room within the gallery to make the viewer be overwhelmed by the immense energy and emotion put into the work. When looking at Lori’s Poem Series you can see her struggling, her pressure, her inner workings, and her sorrow.
Jamie Young is a self taught painter. She became a member at Studio 23 almost a year ago. She signed up for Intro/Intermediate Acrylic class. She wanted professional guidance and to learn proper techniques.
One day she was observing her Instructor Garrett Weslock glazing a ceramic sculpture and she thought I want to do that too. So she signed up for Introduction to Ceramic Sculpture. Jamie is an avid collector of Snowmen and is currently working on a melting snowman in clay class. She really enjoys Intro. to Ceramic Sculpture because it gives you the freedom to “Express Yourself”.
Art is her outlet and the best therapy! She is a welcoming presence every day when she walks through Studio 23’s doors, and regularly attends the Artist Guild that started last year. One of her favorite things about Studio 23 is the students here are always friendly and helpful. Jamie’s future project is to create a large organic sculpture.
Look for her work in the upcoming Painters and Potters exhibition!
Studio 23 is currently accepting entries for our first ever Tall Ships Exhibition. This exhibition will go from July 14th to August 26th, and the reception is on Friday, July 15th. The First weekend will coincide with the Tall Ship Celebration, so there will be an influx of 75,000-100,000 people in downtown Bay City. Download the document below to get all of the details. You can find the application by clicking “Visit” on our homepage, then “Art Submissions and Information.
Matt Lewis’ piece titled S.L. #134 is an oil painting on canvas. Unfortunately the image doesn’t do the piece justice because the thickness of the paint body and impasto areas aren’t visible. Lewis’ work is indicative of landscapes, but when he is creating that isn’t his goal. In fact he doesn’t have an image or design in mind at all before he starts his process. Instead of planning he lets the work evolve with him and allows it to become what it wants. The entire process is entirely subconscious, that is until he is nearing completion when he changes the color relationships within the work.
They are a type of spiritual exploration for Lewis, a type of meditative process when his surroundings disappear and he is one with the work in front of him. Some might think of this as a mindless way of painting, but it’s quite the opposite. Rather than allowing his conscious mind to make decisions of what to do and how to do it, he uses his subconscious to create color and formal relationships that feel almost unnatural at times. They feel unnatural because he isn’t taking complete influence from his surroundings, which allows him to create these quasi dreamscapes. In fact they can be seen as landscapes or as purely abstract paintings. This balance between abstract and representational forms is not an easy task to have work harmoniously, but Lewis does it in spades. So when observing his paintings let the part of your mind that does’t make decisions take over, let the artwork transcend what you know, let yourself become a piece of it and it a piece of you.
Studio 23 will be hosting an artist lecture for it’s current exhibition MUCH.MORE.BETTER. featuring the artists Mark Piotrowski and Matt Lewis on Saturday November 11th from 1p.m. to 3p.m. The artists will be going around and talking about their technique, references, inspirations, and any other information they want to give their audience. There will be a question and answer period after a walking presentation. So if you want to learn about how an artist’s mind works please come and listen.
This enamel painting on shaped panel is a creation of Mark Piotrowski, one of the three artists currently on exhibition at Studio 23 for the MUCH.MORE.BETTER. exhibition. It’s just under four feet tall and is titled “Baby Cakes.”
Mark’s body of work on display requires the viewer to really study what he is doing and what he’s trying to say. The work is like infinity intertwining with infinity, it is like the space of an untold dimension constantly revealing and hiding itself from the viewer. The depth of his paintings is both very flat and extremely deep at the same time, which creates a vibrating effect that the eye and mind have to dissect in-order to find it’s truth. His use of color and line guide the viewer through the piece and reveals that there in no true beginning or end.
In his artists statement Mark talks about how human beings are constantly shifting both their physical self and their perspective. This can be clearly seen in “Baby Cakes” as the colorful lines guide the eye through the space created on the shaped panel. His work seems to represent the human condition, and how we have very little insight into our futures or where we are headed, but we trust the journey of our lives. The lines are a representation of the journey, and the never ending path of life. They are both chaotic and under control, which again parallels human life.
Please come in and contemplate his work in person, photos definitely do not do his work justice.
August is a very precocious and delightful young boy. August said he visited Studio 23 one day and he liked the paintings. He thought maybe they could teach him to paint realistically too. His Mom signed him up for the After School Art Academy here at Studio 23. After he did 12 weeks of classes he was hooked. He has gone on to attending classes in Young Adults Doing Art or YADA . Some of his favorite things about YADA are painting on clay and canvases. August really enjoys Art and all the textures.
August would tell his friends, “It’s a really good studio! It’s Amazing you should come here!”
In August’s spare time he enjoys drawing or playing on Mom’s iPad. When he’s not watching his favorite show Lab Rats.
I’m sure we will see great things from August! As well as all our other gifted students here!