Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nicolet College Art Gallery-Northern National

The opening of the 27th. Northern National Art Competition was July 22 and Wayne and I were in attendance.  "Suddenly..." 35" x 45" was on the gallery wall surrounded by top-notch art, and sharing the wall with a painting by Marilyn Annin.  Marilyn, Wayne and I are colleagues at Artistree Gallery Cooperative in Land O' Lakes, WI.  This national, juried show included artists from 35 states.  The juror, Linda Benedict-Jones, curated photos of Ansel Adams via the Polaroid Collection in Cambridge MA early in her professional work. Ms. Benedict-Jones offered an interesting commentary and slide presentation in which she revealed her selection process.  Images that struck her as "somewhat uncommon" were the images she was drawn to.  Top awards were given to works in oil on panel, mixed fiber, and manual typewriter.  Yes, manual typewriter!  This artist created moving verbal and visual communication through this obsolete tool.  Pretty uncommon results from a previously common object.  I am a big fan of Marilyn Annin's work and her painting, "To the Rite of Spring" was very exciting.  Fortunately it did not create an uncomfortable uproar as Stravinsky's Rite of Spring did at it's debut.  One of the works I was drawn to was "Fairies Sitting on the Fence Watching the Approaching Storm", mixed aqueous media by Christine Alfrey of Lac du Flambeau, WI.  I was fascinated by the abstract image and curious title.  

Now about the textiles, quilt.  "Suddenly" had a spotlight in the juror's presentation. She described being attracted to the colorful yet subdued palette and the image she perceived as a landscape.  In addition, she said the artist (me!) was clearly "accomplished".  That was when Wayne gave me a nudge in the ribs, being more subtle than a fist bump.

"Name Dropper" (size was not noted) by Pat Kumicich of Naples FL received an Award of Excellence.  The quilt was indeed clever incorporating designer labels, visually appealing and well constructed.  We had no commentary from the artist but there was a message in this image.  The woman's expression was rather blank and the arms did not end, no hands were visable.  We could imagine she was a slave to fashion, or fashionably vacant and out of proportion, and maybe hungry!  My photo will not do justice to this quilt, however I offer a glimpse to illustrate the work.  Congratulations to Pat!

A virtual round of applause to my companion artists in this show. pjb

"Suddenly..." with view of other works

"To the Rite of Spring" Marilyn Annin
Acrylic on Canvas
"Kaitlin (Paul 1923)" Leslie Nichols
Manual Typewriter
"Name Dropper" Pat Kumicich
Mixed Fiber
"Fairies Sitting on the Fence Watching the Approaching Storm" Christine Alfery
Mixed Aqueous Media

For more of Marilyn's art visit  check in with the Nicolet College Art Gallery for their report of the Northern National Art Competition.



  1. How wonderful for you to attend the opening reception. I have exhibited in this show many times, but have yet to visit the museum. I live too far away - Naples FL. Thank you for your kind words about my work "Name Dropper." Your piece "Suddenly" is quite appealing - congratulations!

  2. Nice to hear from you Pat! Let me know if you are ever going to be in the area. Feel free to say more about your quilt. I know you put much thought in this work.