ST. JOSEPH, MI – Series 6, the annual holiday exhibit by members of the Berrien Artist Guild, opens Friday, Dec. 4th at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St., St. Joseph. The exhibit in the Heartha Whitlow Gallery will be available for viewing on Fridays-Sundays from noon to 4 pm through January 16.
This last exhibit of the year is an annual celebration of the variety of artwork created by Box Factory studio artists and the membership at large. It is an opportunity to shop for local art during the holidays. Included are paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, photographs, jewelry and much more.
A special mini gallery exhibit of paintings by Carr Pierce will also be displayed during the member show. The exhibit “Here and There” includes abstract paintings inspired by the landscape of Southwest Michigan. The paintings are memories and impressions of landscapes with flashes of saturated colors and fields of muted grays. The painted surfaces are worked with brushes, trowels, and other mark-making tools.
Carr Pierce is an artist whose practice includes painting, drawing, collage and ceramics. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master of Fine Arts. The recent transplant to Southwest Michigan has exhibited works in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph.
For more on this and other, Box Factory events visit the website at www.boxfactoryforthearts.org or on the Box Factory for the Arts Facebook page.
It’s Mid-September in Saint Joseph, Michigan. You can feel the season changing and see the façade of The Box Factory for the Arts changing as well. Residents from the condo building next door stop by to admire the scene while out on daily walks. Cars and trucks pass by, honking their horns, some even rolling down their windows to yell words of encouragement. Meanwhile, Kimberly Wood, the artist responsible for all the change and excitement sits high above Broad Street on scaffolding with her bucket of supplies, painting a bird from her mural, “Birds of a Feather Flock Together”.
For a span of only three and a half weeks, Kimberly Wood (Saint Joseph), with the help of fellow artist, Shawn McCann (Minneapolis, MN), accomplished a colorful and playful mural on the West and South exterior walls of The Box Factory for the Arts. The Mural project funded by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as the National Endowment for the Arts was created as a way to encourage the community to take notice of this multi-use facility existing to nurture the arts. Kimberly’s design was chosen in July by the Berrien Artist Guild Board of Directors from three submitted proposals and concepts.
The mural design, “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” is meant to emulate the community and the arts as vibrant and playful. In a clever way, Kimberly specifically chose origami birds to mimic the history of the Williams Brothers Paper Box Manufacturing building. Given our four distinct seasons in Southwest Michigan, Kimberly knew that using bright colors would help the design stand out from the brick and surroundings. She wanted the simple design to be pleasing to all and hoped onlookers would find something to enjoy among the animals and greenery. Her goal was to encourage people to get to know The Box Factory for the Arts as more than an historic building.
Kimberly Wood grew up in Saint Joseph and from an early age was encouraged by family and friends to pursue art as a career. She remains grateful for her own arts education in how it shaped her interests and skills. Kimberly received her BFA and K-12 Art Education Training from Grand Valley State University and her Master’s Degree in Careers in Technical Education from Western Michigan. Together with her past experiences of being nurtured and supported to grow a career in art and her formal education she now works as a Commercial Design Instructor for Van Buren Technical Center. She is working to help her students explore the possibilities of a future in art through real life experience during High School.
When Kimberly isn’t teaching, she works as an artist and graphic designer under her business name, The Seventh Studio (www.theseventhstudio.com). She works as a freelance artist for non-profits and businesses. Her most recent design project aside from the Mural for the Box Factory is a Southwest Michigan Bike Map sponsored by the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission. The Berrien Artist Guild is also proud to include her as a long-time member.
Thank you for helping us reach our goal during “Raise the Box,” our very first online art auction fundraiser. We exceeded our goal of raising $5,000 with a grand total of $5,157! We can’t thank our donors enough for supporting the Berrien Artist Guild at the Box Factory for the Arts.
As you know, our galleries are closed and our stage is dark; yet, we continue to explore innovative ways to provide fine art and performances to our community. We couldn’t do it without the expertise and volunteer help of so many. Please join me in thanking those who worked tirelessly to make this goal a reality.
We’re grateful for the leadership and insight of the Executive Board, Judy Sokolowski, Scott Gane, Rose Narregan and Linda Cooper, the Board of Directors, Bret Witkowski, Dennis Gast, Jane Rush, Jennifer Tomshack, Stephen Smith and Susan Solon. I’m thankful to the volunteer committee whose collective skills and willing spirit were invaluable, Kate Ulery, Carol Myers, Betsy Gill, Nicole Brown, Denise Barcowicz, John Bougearal, Kristin Hosbein, Breeze Ettl, and Lynn Christiano.
The event would not have been the same without the talent of Ed Bagatini and the Revival of the Cool, a Jazz Tenette and the behind the video and audio skills of Bryan Lubeck and his audio/ video editors. Thank you!
Thank you to all the artists who donated beautiful pieces of art and for sharing stories during the live events. This was truly an art gallery of talent and creativity!
Many thanks to our sponsors and the community: St Joseph Today, Priebe’s Creative Woodworking, Sherwood Snyder, Fred Holland and Judy Sokolowski.
Moving forward, with your generosity, we will bridge the financial gap of the cost of staying in business while we strive to creatively re-imagine ways to provide art, education and performances. We look forward to engaging our patrons, and audiences throughout the community.
GALLERY COMMITTEE REPORT
Under the leadership of Jane Rush, the gallery committee has decided that the Michiana Annual Arts Competition (MAAC) will not be held this year. The committee is in the process of altering the exhibition schedule for the remainder of 2020. They also are planning a re-design of the MAAC show for 2021 and returning to in-house gallery exhibits. Stay tuned for more information from this busy group.
CHANGES TO MEMBERSHIP FEES AND BENEFITS
The Board of Directors approved changes to the membership fees starting with this fiscal year. The membership categories and benefits have changed to more accurately reflect our unique members’ needs. New members and those who renew their membership will now receive a gift card based on their membership level for an ArtMarket or Gallery purchase. For a full list of benefits, visit the website for all the enhancements.
WATCH AS ‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER’ GIVES A FACELIFT TO THE BOX
Kimberly Wood’s mural concept, “Birds of a Feather, Flock Together,” was selected by the Board of Directors for installation on the exterior of the Box Factory starting this week. It will be exciting to watch the mural unfold and change our face on Broad Street.
The mural is being funded by a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs which was matched by donations from many members and friends. Since it must be completed by September 30, the board made the decision to approve it on behalf of the membership.
In addition to the concept submitted by Kimberly, a second member Caroline Tubbs submitted “Building Blocks.” Both concepts were beautifully presented and the vote by the board reflected that with a very narrow victory for “Birds of a Feather.” We are hoping to use Caroline’s concept with a variation of her design in the future.
REOPENING OF THE BOX: RETURN TO A BIT OF NORMALCY
As we cautiously move forward during the pandemic, we are planning to open our gallery doors to the public. Beginning on September 4, we will be open from noon to 4 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Masks and social distancing guidelines will be in effect.
A crew of volunteers have been busy expanding the ArtMarket into the Williams Gallery to provide more artwork for visitors to view. Susan Plee, Susan Solon, and Elaine Harju have been hanging and arranging artwork in anticipation of the reopening. A big thank you for their efforts.
ARTMARKET: CALL FOR MEMBERSTO SELL ARTWORK
As we open the expanded Art Market, now would be a perfect time for you to try and sell your art. If you have a piece(s) that you would like to put in the market. Please contact Judy or Amy or email us at Board@boxfactoryforthearts.org
Please welcome the six newly-elected board members for the Berrien Artist Guild.
Winning three-year terms: Dennis Gast, Stephen Smith, and Susan Solon Winning a two-year term: Bret Witkowski Winning one-year terms: Jane Rush and Jennifer Tomshack
Dennis, Jane, Stephen, Susan, Jennifer and Bret will join Linda Cooper, Scott Gane, Rose Narregan, Michelle Rumsa, and Judy Sokolowski in leading the Guild for the new fiscal year which begins July 1, 2020.
They will be introduced to the membership at the annual meeting on July 27th. Details will be announced closer to the date.
Holly Barefield recently returned to the area from California. We welcome her back and are delighted she has continued to produce beautiful art while working her day job.
Some of her recent pieces include: “Joy,” an acrylic on canvas. It is 18″ x 14″ and unframed. Priced at $500. The large, 40″ x 32″ framed “Return Me to Calm Waters” is a 21″ x 28 1/2″ watercolor on 400# paper. Priced at $1,200.
Berrien Artist Guild Member, Kristin Hosbein has been creating bouquets of flowers with her broad brush strokes the past few weeks. She is selling the pieces as part of the Artist Support Pledge. Each painting is 8×10 inches and sells for $200.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many artists have found themselves without galleries to show our work. Exhibitions & sales have disappeared. Kristin has joined an international group of artists, pledged to support each other and the arts, the Artist Support Pledge.
The concept is a simple. Artists post images of their work priced under $200.00. Anyone can buy the work. Every time an artist reaches $1000 in sales, they have pledged to buy the work of a fellow artist.