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“Balance: An Artists' Collaborative Game”

HANCOCK - Viewers around the state have had the opportunity and good fortune to view an exciting art exhibit that has been traveling the state since early May. Now, the residents of the Upper Peninsula also have the opportunity to enjoy “Balance: An Artists' Collaborative Game.”

The exhibit opened last week at Finlandia University’s Reflection Gallery. The Reflection Gallery is located at Finlandia’s Jutila Center campus.

Thursday a reception was held for the opening of the exhibit. Representing the 36 Artists was Brenda Oelbaum, (pictured above) president of the Michigan chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art.
A classically trained painter, Oelbaum currently works in mixed media, and considers herself a Feminist Activist Artist.

The Women's Caucus for Art-Michigan has brought together artists from across the state to participate in Balance: An Artists' Collaborative Game. Thirty-six women artists have been paired with each other to create three original works each, based on the theme of "Balance". The theme sparked a myriad of interpretations touching on subjects such as domestic life, the environment, politics and religion. Works evoke both humor and melancholy, and range from abstract to representational and from painting to installations
Each artist began by producing an original piece based on the idea of balance. Pieces were then swapped and the artists worked from their teammate’s original image to create a new work in response. The result is both exciting and challenging as participants stretched their imaginations and repertories to respond to their partners’ images.

This ambitious project began in January when participating artists were matched to create eighteen collaborative "teams". The teams combined older, established artists with younger, emerging ones, painters with mixed-media sculptors, West Michigan artists with Detroit artists. The result has been both exciting and challenging as participants have stretched their imaginations and repertories to respond to their partners' images. Meanwhile, new artist networks have blossomed as a thought-provoking, stimulating body of work has emerged.

The traveling exhibit began May 7 in the gallery at Dunderstadt Center at the University of Michigan. From there, the exhibit traveled to River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, MI. The exhibit then moved to Hancock and will remain here until October 31st The exhibit will then travel to its final spot at the Holland Area Arts Council (November 11-December 1).

This exhibit would be great even if there were no theme or collaborative pairings. Entering the Gallery you come upon a lot of art; a lot of very good art. The art in itself is well worth a trip to the gallery. However, the swapping of the pieces, the give and take, the creation of the final art stirs our grey matter and makes the exhibit that much more exciting. This exhibit is one of a kind and well worth seeing.


Slide Show

Virginia Obidzinski,      "Life on Earth"      NFS
Julia M. Ashcom    "On the Mountain, In the River, Of the Heart"   $1,200
Birgit Huttermann-Holz,   "Goldmund",   $2,800
Riva Jewell-Vitale,  untitled,  $180. each
Bonnie Wylo,    "Hover",    $250.
Melissa Hronkin,     "Final Balance",    NFS
Christin Kelty,   Untitled,   $300.
Yueh-Mei Cheng,     "The Pathfinder",      NFS
Brenda Oelbaum.    small $50, medium $100, large $400,  all 16 - $900
Jennifer Boyak, "Movement into Change",     $3,000.
Jennifer Boyak
Virginia Obidzinski,     "Ground Zero",     $875.
Virginia Obidzinski,     "Life on Earth" ,    Sold
Nina Goebel,   Left -   "Self Reflection",     $1200.  Right -  "Balancing Beauty 47",     $600.
Christy Kelly-Bentgen,    "All One"     NFS

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