Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Reflection Gallery to host collaborative women's art exhibit, "Balance," Oct. 6 - 31

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery will host a collaborative exhibit of work by Michigan women artists Oct. 6 to Oct. 31, 2010. Titled "Balance: An Artist’s Collaborative Game," the exhibit was organized by the Michigan chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art.

Sculpture by Barbara Melnik Carson. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

An opening reception for the exhibit will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Reflection Gallery. Refreshments will be served.

A public lecture titled "Connectivity and Feminism" will be presented by Brenda Oelbaum, president of the Michigan chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Finlandia’s Jutila Center campus.

Oelbaum will speak about her inspirations and influences, her communities, and how they affect her art and her growth as an artist, a feminist, and an activist.

"As an Artist, Mother, Wife, I am constantly multi-tasking, which is the nature of being female," Oelbaum said.

Therefore she considers the ability to find community and to make connections very important in her imagery and thought process as well as in her everyday life, Oelbaum added.

A classically trained painter, Oelbaum currently works in mixed media and considers herself a Feminist Activist Artist.

Collaboration for the "Balance" exhibit began in January 2010 when participating artists were matched to create nineteen collaborative teams. The teams combined older, established artists with younger, emerging ones; painters with mixed-media sculptors; West Michigan artists with Detroit artists.

Painting by Barbara Goodsitt. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

A thought-provoking, stimulating body of work has emerged and new artist networks have blossomed through the process.

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.

The theme of balance sparked many interpretations touching on subjects as varied as domestic life, the environment, politics and religion. Works evoke both humor and melancholy, and range from abstract to representational. Media includes paintings, installations, and more. All four pieces of each artist pair are displayed, giving viewers an inside look at the collaborative process.

"Balance" was first exhibited in the Duderstadt Center at the University of Michigan in May 2010, followed by a show at the River’s Edge Gallery, Wyandotte. The Reflection Gallery is the third stop on its journey. The show concludes this December at the Holland Area Arts Council.

Both the lecture and the reception are free and open to the public.

The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of Finlandia’s Jutila Center campus. For additional information, contact Yueh-mei Cheng, professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or yueh-mei.cheng@finlandia.edu.

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