The Art of Protes
October 6 - 27, 2017ARTISTS:Sam G. Fecteau Brown
Seventeen-year-old graffiti artist SGF Brown has been painting and designing since his early teens. He is a frequent guest artist for the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor and has been instrumental in the design and execution of several murals in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. He is studying for a graphic design degree at Washtenaw Technical Middle College. He frequently does artwork in collaboration with other local artists. He has served on the Visual Arts Council at the Neutral Zone for the past few years.Alejandro Chinchilla
Alejandro Chinchilla was born in Costa Rica. He works as a house painter and lives in Ann Arbor. Liz Davis
Liz Davis is an artist who lives and works in Ann Arbor and has a painting studio outside of Dexter, MI. She has attended the School of Visual Arts in NYC, has a BFA from the University of Michigan, and has attended art workshops at Kyoto-Seika University in Japan and at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
“I love working with oil paint. Using brushes, palette knives, paper towels (dry and dipped in solvent), and charcoal, I stain, layer, scrape and draw until the image can stand on its own. I find the act of painting both meditative and cathartic.”Susan Fecteau
Local activist best known for her relentless attention to GOP Gov Snyder after he admitted the “government failed” the people of Flint. Susan chalked messages at his doorstep, on the sidewalks and alley, in downtown Ann Arbor, several times per week, for over a year. That activity spawned several “flash mob chalking actions” around his whole city block, as well as a weekly protest in front of his loft condo. She kept doing it because of the engagement with people on the street and the hundreds of donations of chalk people kept bringing her, from all over the country. She truly believed her chalking helped keep the attention on Flint, so that this would never happen again.
Leading up to the Women’s March on Washington, Susan teamed up with Leslie Sobel and held several protest sign making workshops and classes helping dozens of people hone their sign-making skills. Together they drove a whole van full of well-made, effective protest signs and banners to give out at the Women’s March in DC. That work continues as we clearly have so many more opportunities to be outraged.
“In this show Susan brings her “RESIST” signs – hand-painted on recycled wood, in bright attention-getting colors and crafted to withstand the elements outdoors. These signs are designed to be nailed up to a tree, front porch post, at the front door, in the garden.”John Gutoskey
John Gutoskey is an artist, designer, and collector who lives and works in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Early in his career, John worked as a costume designer and as a specialist in costume crafts. He worked on productions in New York City and across the US in theater, opera, dance, film, and television. He also taught classes in millinery, mask making, and fabric dyeing at the University of Michigan in the Department of Theater. John earned his bachelor of fine arts in theater design and sculpture from Webster University in St. Louis, and his MFA from the University of Michigan where he studied printmaking & installation, and received a certificate in LGBTQ Studies. John is the owner and operator of the A2 Print Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“The ‘MOTHER’ series was begun during the Bush/Cheney regime. I have revived it for the Trump era because there are so many more “mothers” in his administration. Joan Painter-Jones
Born 1940, graduated from Eastern Michigan University, 1965, with a BAE, did graduate studies in watercolor, and exhibited her watercolors throughout Michigan. In 1991, Painter-Jones began making constructions from scrap wood and found objects, painted with acrylics. She also worked in clay for a period, attaching clay heads to mixed media torsos or bodies, but mixed media constructions are her favorite.
Painter-Jones has exhibited her work widely, in competitions in many art centers and galleries in Michigan, at the Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, and from Buffalo, NY to to Texas. She has won a purchase prize in Corpus Christie, TX at their Del Mar College where her work has been included many times, and many awards in Michigan, through the years. Reproductions of her works are in several publications, and her work is in collections of Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw MI, Monroe Community College, Monroe, MI, University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI, Jesse Besser Museum in Alpena, MI and others.
“I work in mixed media collage and assemblage, with or without paint added, but usually painted. I enjoy recycling materials like old wood, rusty metal, paper from magazines and newspapers, pieces of furniture and other things that catch my eye, or those materials already in my studio. I have also added my own clay "heads" to some work for maybe ten years or so. I started in watercolor, years ago, at Eastern Michigan University, and my work started building out more and more, until I began working on canvas and wood, then with recycled elements, on my own. Sometimes my work has a ‘message’, but often only evokes an emotion which might not be easy to pin down. Some things I do are whimsical, others more serious. But the process is what I enjoy, and it keeps me making art.”Esther Kirshenbaum
Esther Kirshenbaum works collaging photography, drawing and encaustic painting. Primarily self-taught, her introduction to encaustics was observing batik in a backyard in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Recent exhibitions and awards include Brooklyn Museum’s Go Brooklyn Artists, The Ground Floor Gallery, MOCAD, Kerrytown Concert House, and a residency with Some Serious Business in New Mexico. Her work remains in many private and public collections including the Mayo Clinic, Beaumont Hospital, the University of Michigan, and (was) in the Obama Whitehouse. Kirshenbaum has also served as a gallery curator and as the Director of Installation Art for the Ann Arbor Film Festival.For more information, please visit:www.estherkirshenbaum.com
“We consume. We are our possessions. Our living burns coal, leaves debris, piles tires in landfills. We are told to feel good about recycling soup cans. We are the targets of the ramifications of our own lifestyles.
The results are evident; the changes wrought are in effect. We are here. Here ... is the starting point.”KA Letts
A set and costume designer by training, K.A. Letts brings an unusual skill set to her paintings and drawings. The artist has absorbed the influence of early 20th century European masters and has combined them with techniques and imagery from aboriginal art, outsider and street art to create a unique visual language. Her erudite yet accessible figurative works are tightly crafted, carefully drawn, deeply felt.
K.A. Letts is a graduate of Barnard College (B.A.) and Yale Drama School (M.F.A.) and is an Inter/National Alumna Artist at A.I.R. Gallery (www.airgallery.org) in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 2015, Letts has shown work at Hatch Art in Hamtramck, at 555 Galleries in Detroit, Motor Row Gallery in Chicago and at Non-Fiction Gallery in Savannah GA. Work by K.A. Letts was on exhibit in 2014-2015 at the Toledo Art Museum in the 95th Annual Area Artists Exhibit where she was awarded the Toledo Federation of Art Society's Purchase Award.
“My work looks both forward and back in time. I employ techniques and strategies from painting's history to describe the present Anthropocene age where all of nature is touched by humans and all humans are touched by technology.” Val Mann
Valerie Mann is a professional artist, living, working and teaching in Michigan. She earned a BFA in painting from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and an MFA in sculpture from Michigan State University. After Michigan State, she married and settled in the Ann Arbor area. She has been making art, exhibiting and selling her work in the U.S. and abroad for over 27 years. Her teaching experience includes working with students in pre-school age programs, through all levels of K-12, including at-risk, alternative high school and special needs young adult programs, as an adjunct college professor on through to multi-age adult classes in various media. She is an evangelist for the use of hand tools and power tools at a young age.
“Fortunes is a piece that I've been working on since 2004. Each vintage baby garment is embroidered with a ‘fortune’, a destiny that a child has come into the world with - seemingly random, arbitrary. The idea is, each of us comes into this world in a set of circumstances beyond our control and at some point in our lives we can make the opportunity to transcend those circumstances. In creating this piece, I was thinking about how we as parents, mentors, community members can pass important coping skills on to the next generation. Often, I've heard people experiencing ‘Fortunes’ ask, ‘Why would someone dress their child in this?’ (while looking at the garment with the fortune of, say, ‘you will struggle with addiction’. My response is, ‘Exactly. Why would you?’ As a parent, I sometimes see fellow parents worry more about how they'll dress their child - appearances - than what skills they help them develop to navigate life. Each of the garments is embroidered with a fortune about someone I know, or myself. Several are about one single person. How is it that someone can ‘Be orphaned at a young age’, ‘Struggle with addiction’, ‘Cherished by many’ and ‘Always share your wisdom at the right time?’ I'm interested in the resiliency of people, how complex people are.Brenda Miller
Brenda Miller Slomovits has been studying and working in art and design for much of her adult life. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University. Brenda has exhibited locally and her collages of Ann Arbor scenes have served as the covers of more than twenty Ann Arbor Observers. Much of her other work reflects her deep interest in environmental issues including this piece about her beloved home state. Margaret Parker
Parker’s artwork creates metaphorical spaces where the public interacts with the complex issues of our time. Her work has been shown nationally, in Canada and Mexico, and is in the collection of the United States Capitol, the State Department Art Bank, and UM Rackham Graduate School, among others. Parker attended the School of the Chicago Art Institute, Bennington College, and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. In 1999, she helped found the nonprofit Art Pro Tem to show experimental art in nontraditional spaces in downtown Ann Arbor, has worked for public art in Ann Arbor, and is past President of the Michigan Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art. See more at margaretparkerstudio.com.
“I see myself as an American, carrying on the tradition of building a New World.” Chris Reising
As an avid collector of images, objects, and words, I have long intertwined them into artwork. Collage, digital transfer, and printmaking are methods that I use to incorporate ephemera and imagery into my work. In the past, any political undertones in my work were subversive in nature. After the last presidential election resistance became necessary for survival.
“The quotations on this collage are tweets from ‘not my president’ and exemplify the bloviator.
- A public figure, such as a politician or an actor, who makes outlandish, strident statements on issues, thinking that the average man will care about their opinions.
- Someone who pontificates about issues of which they are uninformed, yet pretend to be expert.
- Pompous blowhard, using their celebrity to speak about topics on which they are totally unqualified.
Theresa Rosado’s paintings explore the dynamics of privilege and power in constructs of gender, race and ethnicity through a mix of Latinx identity and Macedonian heritage. An anthropology graduate of Michigan State University, she grew up in Michigan during the rise of the Rust Belt in a household that pursued economic salvation through Amway fueled post-it note positive thinking and born-again fundamentalism. Rosado’s work is featured in the book Latin American Women Artists of the United States.
Rosado is the owner of Casa de Rosado in Lansing, an art gallery celebrating marginalized voices and an annual Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead exhibit. For decades Rosado has volunteered in the Latinx community in celebrating the Day of the Dead by both creating and hosting ofrendas, memorials for departed loved ones. An investigative journalist, her writing focuses on Michigan’s Latinx community and juvenile treatment facilities. Rosado’s feature articles on juvenile treatment centers are published in Indy’s NUVO. She currently writes as a correspondent for Latino Leaders for the Enhancement of Advocacy Development and is a member of the National Hispanic Journalist Association and Investigative Researchers and Editors.
Terri Sarris is a filmmaker and educator who makes found object assemblages and plays music with the “toyband” trio Little Bang Theory in her spare time.
Leslie Sobel is a visual artist whose work focuses on the environment, particularly climate change and related water issues. She is an avid hiker & backpacker whose
connection with the outdoors is crucial to her work. She has lived in southeast Michigan for more than 30 years and grew up in Chicago and NYC. She has a BFA in
fine art from the University of Michigan and did the coursework for her master's degree in Interdisciplinary Technology at Eastern Michigan University. She works primarily in encaustic as both a painter and printmaker, often with a digital component.
Sobel partners with scientists working on climate and environmental issues and has done work based in wilderness experiences with them as well as incorporating scientific data and imaging in her work. In May 2017 she will did a wilderness residency at the Eclipse Icefield in Kluane National Park Yukon Territory with a group of climate scientists led by Seth Campbell of the University of Maine.
“I connect deeply with the outdoors. Places I’ve walked, hiked, sat, lived and imagined figure prominently in my work. I’ve been making work about water and climate change for many years. I’m the daughter of two scientists and making work that has a dialogue with science seems natural and even inevitable at this point. My work is based in a mix of scientific understanding - partnering with scientists, using data, satellite imaging and maps as source material and in physical experience which means going to the places I make art about when I can. I have also been fascinated with aerial views of landscape for many years and often begin work from satellite or astronaut photography. My deep concern for the impact of climate change, especially on water - its presence, lack and power to shape the land and our lives - often determines the subject. My work is a push-pull of gestural-painterly qualities and the specificity required to express and explore scientific ideas. That visual duality echoes the conceptual duality which informs the work and ideally ends up in a coherent if sometimes unsettling result.”
After attending different colleges, Jack O. Summers received his BA from Wayne State University. He was an art major who went into a career in education in which he taught photography, design, drawing and painting. Jack has taught students from the 1st grade to the college level. His longest stint was at Grosse Pointe South High School in the art department where he introduced and developed a photography program.
Jack now spends much of his time on personal art work and serving on the exhibition committees of the Detroit Artists Market and The Grosse Pointe Art Association. He was also a member of the exhibition committee at Paint Creek Center for the Arts and was a collaborator at Ann Arbor’s Gallery Project. Jack has curated exhibitions at Gallery Project, the Detroit Artist’s Market and the Grosse Pointe Art Center, the Scarab Club and at the Hatch Gallery. He has also been a juror at the Scarab Club and the Anton Ctr. Jack currently curates the Feature Artist series at the Detroit Artist’s Market.
His personal work consists of digital prints and 2 and 3D mixed media works, collage and painting, and he has exhibited widely in the area