Multimedia Meditations: Ann Arbor Women Artists 2017 Summer Juried Exhibit


Ann Arbor Women Artists 2017 Summer Juried Exhibit

Left to right: works by artists Kathy Hiner, Bonnie Wylo, Susan Clinthorne, Kathy Kelley, Barbara Goodsitt, and Patricia Davenport.

The 2017 Ann Arbor Women Artists Summer Juried Exhibit illustrates the diverse talent in the Ann Arbor area. Though the name implies this nonprofit organization features women artists only, by 2008 the group included 10 men. The volunteer-run organization is now open to all artists 18 and older. Today, this local art group has over 300 members. In this year’s annual AAWA Juried exhibition, 46 artists have their work on display. The works represented are executed in a variety of media, both 2D and 3D.

The gallery space, located in the basement of the Riverside Arts Center, is filled with an array of multimedia pieces. Works include sculptures made of assembled found objects, paintings, photographs, and mixed media. Many works focus on natural subjects such as flowers, landscapes, and trees. The overall feel of the space is serene, with a number of meditative works. Many paintings, drawings, and photographs represented midwestern landscapes, particularly those that included Michigan waterfronts. Within this broad category, however, “natural subject matter” artists diverge immensely in their approach, style, and overall mood. From painterly and impressionistic to photorealistic or abstract, there are numerous techniques represented in the gallery that did not disappoint. In addition to the numerous nature-related works, many of the most successful pieces in the show depicted human subjects in painted portraits.

This year, artist Valerie Allen served as juror. Allen serves as Curator at Studio 23 / The Arts Center in Bay City, Michigan. She also engages with many other arts-related institutions in Michigan, including Alden B. Dow Museum of Science, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Golden Artist Colors, as well as lecturing and teaching across the Midwest. Allen has also exhibited work nationally in many esteemed shows, including the Chicago Biennial.

Ann Arbor Women Artists 2017 Summer Juried Exhibit

For this exhibit, three works were honored with awards from first to third place.

First Place: Withstanding Time, Eva Antebi-Lerman, Oil on Canvas
Second Place: The Walker, Karen Gallup, Found Object Assemblage
Third Place: Aquarius, Barbara Wise, Oil

Four works received Honorable Mentions:
Sticks, Linda Klenczar, Pastel
Weisman Art Center, Mary Whiteside, Digital Photography
Submersion in Loss, Eva Antebi-Lerman, Oil on Canvas
Inside/Out, Paula Doe, Used Dryer Sheets, Thread, Button, Collage, Found Objects, Acrylic

Among my favorite works were multimedia sculptures made from found objects by artist Paula Doe. Three of her pieces stood on a pedestal near the gallery entrance, two of which feature miniature clothing made from dryer sheets. Her work Inside/Out received an honorable mention. These translucent, ghostly clothes hang in front of the monochrome backdrop, adorned with prints that contrast to the white, varicose, gauzy “fabric.”

In addition to the works already honored, one work will receive the People’s Choice Award at the end of the exhibit.

Make sure to visit Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti to vote for your favorite before the show ends August 12 (I know I did!).

Elizabeth Smith is an AADL staff member and is interested in art history and visual culture.

Ann Arbor Women Artists 2017 Summer Juried Exhibit runs through August 12 at Riverside Arts Center, 76 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti. Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday 3-8 pm, Sunday 1:30-4 pm. Visit for more information.