Gallery Exhibition Series for 2023 Kicks off January 20th

Gallery Exhibition Series for 2023 Kicks off January 20th

Materials from the natural world surrounding the Northwest Indiana home and studios of Jon Hook and Andrea Peterson find their way into their clay art and works on paper. “stories from the soil” is the theme of the couple’s exhibit opening January 20 in the Robert Williams Gallery at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI.

An artists’ reception for exhibits opening in all Box Factory galleries will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on January 20. Light refreshments and special non-alcoholic mocktails will be available by Box Factory hosts Kate and Joe Ulrey. The exhibits will continue through February 26. Box Factory winter hours are Thursdays-Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Robert Williams Gallery

Jon Hook has been creating ceramic sculptural work and functional pottery since 1997 using a wood fired kiln with materials for firing as well as glaze making from their property. He is recognized as a forerunner and expert in his field using sustainable and regenerative firing and ceramic studio processes. He has developed a series of ash glazes made from local plants such as hay, cattails, and thistle from farms in the area.

Andrea Peterson explores all types of paper fibers and processes in her work which includes prints, artist books and environmental installation pieces. Her works address human relationships to the environment. She currently teaches in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She received her BFA at the Art Institute and her MFA in printmaking from the University of Minnesota/Minneapolis. Her work is in several private and corporate collections.

Heartha Whitlow Gallery

The family of the late Box Factory studio artist K.V. Rathnam will honor their patriarch with an exhibit of his photography and paintings in the Whitlow Gallery. K.V. died in November, the next day after the Members’ Show opening reception when he was so excited to be exhibiting his work. K.V. was one of the first artists to have a studio at the Box Factory where he was loved by all for his gentle sense of humor, his kindness, and his donations of time and materials from his Papachi International Custom Framing studio. The family is continuing his legacy at the Box.

Sky Level Gallery

Orphaned artwork which has been unclaimed by artists and accumulating in various storage spaces at the Box Factory will be offered for sale in the Sky Level Gallery. Unlike other gallery exhibits, the pieces will be available at reduced prices and for immediate pickup.

Riverwalk Gallery

Box Factory studio artists will have the opportunity to showcase their work and bios in the Riverwalk Gallery.

For more on this and other Box Factory events, visit the Box online at https://boxfactoryforthearts.org or on Facebook at https://facebook.com/boxfactoryarts. For more on Jon Hook and Andrea Peterson, visit their website at http://www.Hookpotterypaper.com.

David Baker Exhibits “The Faerie Rings” October 7-31

David Baker Exhibits “The Faerie Rings” October 7-31

By David Baker

For the past couple decades, I have wandered around outdoors with my paintbox or a sketchbook under my arm. I walk until something stops me. Often it is a little moment, a fragment, a detail, rather than some grand vista. I have the best luck after I have given up thinking that I know what I want. I have a rather poetic temperament, and I read these little moments as metaphors- little messages about the Universe, about myself.

Currently I’m creating a new series of watercolors titled The Faerie Rings. This is a continuation, perhaps an offshoot, of a group of paintings titled Found which I exhibited at the Box Factory in 2021. For that show, I painted driftwood sculptures which were built and left at Rocky Gap Park in Benton Harbor. My ground rules were simple: I painted them on location exactly as the makers left them. Gallery goers seemed to enjoy my whimsical collaboration with beach artists, none of whom I had ever met!

For The Faerie Rings I sought out tiny sculptures which seemed to be created by children. In nature, circular growths of mushrooms are called Faerie Rings. While science has an explanation for this phenomenon, folklore in many places of the world attribute these rings to faeries who danced in a circle at night. It was considered very bad luck for humans to step inside the ring!

But children seem to know about circles. They gravitate toward them in their games and their art. Like the builders of the prehistoric monuments, they seem to understand the magic of the circle. So, I draw their sculptures on site, exactly as they were created. Then I take them home to the studio and add a bit of magic of my own.

The Faerie Rings will be on exhibit at SFC Gallery, 607 Franklin Street, Michigan City, IN, October 7-31. The opening reception will be Friday, October 7, as part of the First Friday events in the Uptown Arts District. The reception hours are 5-8 pm Central Daylight Time. Paintings and greeting cards are available for purchase.

Series 5 of the 2022 Gallery Exhibition Opens September 16

Series 5 of the 2022 Gallery Exhibition Opens September 16

The Series 5 exhibits open September 16 at the Box Factory for the Arts with artists’ work in all four galleries. The five exhibits of distinctly different genres share a common theme of storytelling. An opening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. is open to the public with light refreshments and a cash bar. Exhibits will continue through October 30, 2022.

The exhibits include painting narratives by Lea Goldman of South Bend in the Williams Gallery; collage art by Box Factory studio artist Fred Holland in the Whitlow Gallery; small assemblages and a retrospective of her watercolors by Box Factory studio artist Elaine Harju in the Sky Level Gallery; and the paintings of John Moga of Berrien Springs and 3-D mosaics of Chris Stiller of LaPorte, IN in the Riverwalk Gallery.

WILLIAMS GALLERY

Lea Goldman is a full-time painter and printmaker who incorporates multi-cultural traditions, legends and folklore into her images. Born in Romania and raised in Russia and the Middle East, she immigrated to the United States in 1975. She lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago before moving to South Bend.

“My paintings, that look like big story book pages, aim to tap the collective unconscious and speak the language of human struggle without the traditional chronicle,” she says in her artist statement. “In my painted narrative I do not strive to achieve correct academic representation. Instead, I use the images to tell my stories authentically, the best I can.”

Lea, now in her 80s, earned an MA in Arts and Education from Columbia University Teacher’s College in New York City and an MFA in Studio Arts from California State University, Los Angeles.

WHITLOW GALLERY

Fred Holland says he has “worn a number of stylish hats” over his more than 40 plus years of working in different mediums. His current work reflects his interest in collage art which was created between 2019 and August, 2022, in his Box Factory studio.

“It’s been a very productive period of time for me as I have been fully engaged in these investigations, Fred says in his artist statement. “If someone were to ask me what the purpose of this new work is, I would say it’s about getting back to a too often overlooked but essential component of Art, entertainment”

SKY LEVEL GALLERY

Elaine Harju considers her assemblage work a combination of pure imagination and a love of small pieces of junk. She says, “My work begins with a saying, song or quote and ends with a product reflecting that pursuit.” It was a new way of creating during the shutdown of the pandemic

Before the pandemic, Elaine considered herself a watercolor artist and her exhibit will include some of that work. She is a self-taught artist who has learned her craft through books and workshops and is now returning to her first love of painting.

Originally from Chicago, she has lived in St. Joseph since 2000 and has been a studio artist since she discovered the Box Factory.

RIVERWALK GALLERY

John Moga is a practicing artist and curator at the History Center at Courthouse Square. His work is about interesting shapes and colors. In his artist statement, he says “the imagery consists of the lyric elements of time and the illusory sense of space through clouded form and color. The application of color and form is automatic.”

John holds a BFA from the University of Michigan and and an MFA from the University of Windsor. He and his wife, Yehudit Newman, share an interest in theater where he often works as a scenic artist for professional and community theaters, as well as film.

Chris Stiller studied art and art history at Valparaiso University. She is a mixed media artist who uses organic materials such as glass, metal, wood and found objects to incorporate into composed art pieces.

Winners Announced for the “thru the lens” Exhibit

Winners Announced for the “thru the lens” Exhibit

The Box Factory for the Arts Gallery Committee has announced the winners of the “thru the lens” photography exhibit which opened on Saturday, July 23 and runs through September 10. The photography exhibit in the Riverwalk Gallery joins a sculpture exhibit by Foster Willey in the Williams Gallery; and puzzle exhibits in the Whitlow and Sky View galleries. Judging the photography exhibit was Tom Tackett of Stevensville.

The grand prize goes to “Untitled” by Ethan Jones. Others receiving awards in the four categories include:

Animals:
1st place – “It isn’t Easy Being Green” by Sherry Saenz               
2nd place – “Ruby Throated Rescue: Water Street, Benton Harbor” by John Gatto

Still Life:
1st place – “Lilly Pads and Koi” by Dee Thornton               
2nd place – “Town City Center” by Dennis Hafer

People :
1st place – “South Pier, South Haven, Michigan” by Martin Burch               
2nd place – “I Spy …” by Sarah Lund

Landscape:
1st place – “Sintra House” by James Genellie                     
2nd place – “Summer Nights” by Keith Sawyer

Thank you to all of the artists who are exhibiting in the “thru the lens” exhibit. The exhibition is part of the Series 4 show at the Box Factory for the Arts. Learn more at https://boxfactoryforthearts.org.

Michiana Annual Art Competition Prize Winners Announced

Michiana Annual Art Competition Prize Winners Announced

The artwork of more than 130 regional artists has been accepted in the Michiana Annual Arts Competition (MAAC in the Box) and will be on exhibit in the Box Factory for the Arts galleries, 1101 Broad St., beginning on May 13 and continuing through July 3rd. The galleries are open Wednesdays-Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m.

Awards will be presented to artists during a reception on May 13 from 5:30-7 p.m. Music will be provided by Matt Lenny and the Breakdown band. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available. The event is free and open to the public.
 
Thea Grigsby, who served as the MAAC judge, will offer comments about this year’s exhibit. She has managed museums and galleries, including the South Haven Center for the Arts, the Holland Museum and the Hearst Art Gallery in California. Prior to her non-profit work, she had a 20-year career in graphic design developing creative graphic software in Silicon Valley

The Best of Show award of $1,000 is sponsored by the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council. It goes to Miranda Heward of Bridgman for her drawing “Life is Strange.”

Providing the $200 category awards are: Foster Swift Collins and Smith, Krasl Art Center, DeVries Insurance Agency, MailMax, Cooper and Associates, CPAS, Gast Family Farm, The Aware Lab for Movement and Creativity, and Bryan Lubeck.

The category winners are:
Laurel Kuehl, Kalamazoo – Drawing – “Winter Blooms”
David Baker, St. Joseph – Water Media – “Storm”
Marcy Mitchell, Dowagiac – Oil – “Making Sense of Time”
Yehudit Newman, Berrien Springs – Fiber Arts – “Hope and Fury”
Andy Sawyer, St. Joseph – Black and White Photography – “Resiliency 1”
Carly Norris – Niles – Color Photography – “Equilibrium of Decay – Triptych”
Douglas LaFerle – St. Joseph – 3-D/Sculpture, Ceramics/Glass – “Earth, Wind, Rain, Fire”
Kathleen Thometz – St. Joseph – Pop-Up-Assemblage/Collage – “Gray Room”

Honorable mention awards also go to:
Mary Firtl, South Bend – Drawing – “Nature Entwined”
Robert Briggs, St, Joseph, – Water Media – “The Befallen”
Rebecca Hungerford, St. Joseph – Oil – “A Night Out”
Laurel Izard, Michigan City – Fiber Arts – “5 of Wands”
Nathan Harrmann, St. Joseph – Black and White Photography -“Braids”
John Gatto, Stevensville – Color Photography – “Relics of Michigan Avenue, Benton Harbor”
Becky Rotter, Sodus – 3-D/Sculpture, Ceramics, Glass – “Garden Passage”
Teri Starosta, St. Joseph – Pop-Up/Assemblage/Collage – “Love and Lies”


For more on this and other Box Factory events, visit the Box online at https://boxfactoryforthearts.org or on Facebook at https://facebook.com/boxfactoryarts.

Mural created by Matt Payovich now showing at Box Factory

Mural created by Matt Payovich now showing at Box Factory

 A limited showing of a mural created by local artist Matt Payovich will be at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad St. from April 10 through April 24. The mural depicts a kindergarten room of the 1960s and includes visual reminders of the objects that would have been in the classroom. The Box Factory is open to the public on Thursdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays-Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

Commissioned by Bob and Joan Judd the approximately 8-foot x 8-foot mural has been painted on plywood panels. When the mural leaves the Box Factory, it will find a permanent home in a hallway at the Jefferson Loft Condominiums. The Judd’s home at Jefferson Lofts is actually in the space once occupied by the classroom. Once installed, it will no longer be available for view by the public.

“Lynn Andreen Bowen was the kindergarten teacher for several years during the 60’s,” said Joan. “When we moved into Jefferson Lofts, she gave us photos which have been very valuable resources for Matt. Lynn and Dennis Bowen shared many memories and a few objects that as a teacher Lynn would have used every day.”

In the creative process, Matt sought other historically accurate objects for reference as he painted them into the scene.  Noah and Ellison, the son and daughter of Box Factory office coordinator Amy Kuchan, were the models for the two kindergarten students portrayed.

The Judd’s own daughters attended kindergarten at Jefferson as did so many other St. Joseph residents. Matt remembers playing basketball at the school and has a love of St. Joseph history so “he was the perfect fit” to paint the mural, said Joan.

For more on this and other Box Factory events, visit the website at boxfactoryforthearts.org or be a Friend on Facebook.