Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center announces 2013 Winners of 31st Annual Michigan Fine Arts Competition
Rashaun Rucker's winning photo
"This year's exhibit is a true example of the diverse talent of Midwest artists today," said Annie VanGelderen, President & CEO of the BBAC. "The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center is honored to showcase these recently created works of art. We look forward to exhibiting this show and creating a popular summer destination for travelers near and far who enjoy contemporary art."
The exhibit was juried by Brad Durham, a nationally-known painter from Minneapolis. Durham is represented locally by the David Klein Gallery in Birmingham.
Rashaun Rucker of Grosse Pointe Park received the $5,000 award for his 36" x 36" work, "Human", photography on metal.
In a statement, Rucker said, "My artwork takes a crucial view of social and cultural issues in America. In my work, I like to address the questions of equality and how it plays out in society. In particular my pieces tend to focus on human rights issues, mental illness, and the black experience in a post slavery America. To me, art should always ask questions and generate vigorous conversations about the world we live in."
Lary Zdeb of Troy won $2,000 for his work, 11" x 10" mixed media work, "Potpourri."
"Solving the mystery and unpredictability of the work is my motivation!" Zdeb said. "Evoking a reaction by the frequently uses found objects and recycled paint destined for a landfill. Many constructions are developed by the kind of detritus discovered."
For his 48" x 66"work in acrylic, "New Construction Descending on the Housing Market", Keith Downie of Muskegon was awarded $1,000.
"For the past several years I have made the local landscape the focus of my painting," Downie said. "However, these paintings American life I call them real estate paintings. I am intrigued by the ambiguous messages that houses emit when they are observed in the way we view most houses, most of the time- face on, from a moderate distance, no inhabitants (visibly) present. I am not looking for the extraordinary. In fact, I am pleased when In a way they do, because the house I am painting is ubiquitous in Michigan- everywhere, but not really examined. I am painting these ordinary house and offering them to the viewer for closer examination."
Karen Gubitz of Oak Park also received $1,000 for her 72" x 24" x 24" fiber sculpture, "Pods."
"I am inspired by nature- by the pure, simple and beautiful forms and textures that nature presents," Gubitz said. "My work explores the expressive possibilities of combining natural and non-traditional materials with methods that have a deep and rich history in working with fiber loom and hand weaving, twining, plaiting, coiling, netting, crochet and knitting. The techniques I use are grounded in craft, yet my work evokes an emotional response in the viewer that is more likely associated with fine art. The evidence of my hands in my work communicates a sense of peace and happiness to the viewer, and the most common response is delight and joy followed by a desire to reach out and touch."
Jan Bell of Bowling Green received $500 for the 22" x 22" photograph, "Rocks Extending Seaward."
"My work reveals an intimate view of the natural world, often shot in remote areas, as well as crowded urban centers," Bell said. "I focus on the only elements of a shape, a pattern, or a texture. Whether it's a plant, a landscape, or a manmade structure, each of my photos represents an opportunity to consider the subject, almost apart from the meaning or function of that subject, in terms of the beauty of its form. I attribute my clean sense of design to a 30-year career as a graphic designer. Seeing the world through the eyes of a designer influences one's aesthetic, particularly one's compositions. I present my images as organized, designed space. What I reveal in my work is the world that surrounds us, but is often overlooked. My photographic process draws upon traditional photography training, and is blended with current digital standards. Images are printed with archival ink jet technology on museum grade fine art papers."
Steven Hughes of Marquette also received $500 for his 25" x 19" charcoal, "Her Name is Alice."
Hughes did not make an artists' statement.
The exhibit of 105 works of art by 83 artists will run through Aug. 23 and is free and open to the public.
The nonprofit Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center is located at 1516 S. Cranbrook Rd. in Birmingham and has been providing "art for all" since 1957. It is committed to promoting the visual arts with classes for all skill levels.
For more information, call (248) 644-0866 or visit www.BBArtCenter.org. Or visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birmingham-Bloomfield-Art-Center/121504299200
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