MINOR AND MAJOR TRANSGRESSIONS:
Solo Exhibition by Barbara Weisenburg
Transgressions: An act that goes against a rule, law, or code of conduct. An offense
With this series of paintings, Barb initially explored small transgressions such as meeting etiquette, personal choices, group actions and the thought provoking ramifications such decisions can have.
Inception: Barb was Plein air painting at a train station out West when a group of passengers came up dressed as zombies. One zombie periodically isolated himself from the group to smoke a cigarette. This generated thoughts about actions that are taboo in society and rules that are broken.
Creation: With a fairly light-hearted approach, back in her studio, Barb brainstormed minor transgressions and began creating paintings to portray her theme. What she found was that several minor transgressions immediately took a dark turn and morphed into major transgressions with the onset of a global pandemic and political and civil unrest. In one especially poignant example, a young worker was going into work feeling mildly ill. With the advent of Covid, her job importantly became that of an essential worker and a moral decision was now needed. Some of the transgressions now have dire consequences that could lead to death.
Barb used a variety of media such as watercolor, collage, gouache, and acrylic to convey her theme. She hopes that the audience will find the work thought-provoking and provoke further discussions on the ramifications of human interaction.
She has been operating her studio, Blackberry Mountain, in various locations since the 70’s. It is now located on the third floor of her home which is indeed on a Milford Mountain, next to the site, where long ago, Native Americans had their summer gardens. She enjoys diversity as an artist and likes to experiment with different media and techniques to keep herself motivated and fresh. Although mainly focused on creating her own work now, she enjoyed many years of teaching with Waterford Schools and United Home Schools, presenting workshops and seminars, and teaching private students in her studio. She is a graduate of Michigan State and postgraduate of Oakland University in addition to special studies at the College of Santa Fe, Marygrove College, and Cranbrook. She also completed Master Studies with Charles Reid, Jen Plum, Richard Haas, Nita Engle, and Helga Flower to name a few.
Art is hard work and Barb works hard at it. She likes to travel to different locations periodically for artistic inspiration (a 2-month trek to 6 countries in Europe, trading houses for a 2-month sojourn in Queensland, Australia, Port Clyde, Maine, Mackinac Island, and Egypt are several). She also likes to schedule specific shows to inspire her to complete a body of work.
Looking back on her journey, the key elements, for her, have been generating new interest and excitement through experimentation and then setting a deadline that forces her to produce. She is very proud of recently being selected as a Signature Member of the International Society of Experimental Artists. She is currently represented by Domaci Gallery in Rogers City MI, Thunder Bay Art Gallery in Alpena MI, Main Street Art in Milford MI, Las Vegas Art Guild Gallery in Henderson NV. Her website is BlackberryMountainStudio.com.
For information about Gary, click here
JEROME PETRYJAK Closed
Earning a BFA from Wayne State University, Jerome, while invited by Edgar Yaeger to join the Scarab Club, instead went to Illinois for an MFA at SIU-Carbondale. On return to Detroit, he started work as an independent graphic designer and teacher. Joining the fledgling Michigan Chapter of Artist Equity he developed community fine art exhibitions and worked in promoting legislation for arts and artists.
Teaching positions include Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit, as a mural instructor for Detroit’s Summer Youth Employment Program partnering with Steve Pablo Davis, as an artist for the Pontiac Public Schools Artists in Schools program, and for Baker College.
With partners, he created the Mill Gallery in Milford, at the base of the Mill Dam, but a fire at a neighboring business ended that wonderful space.
Community artwork included as House Manager for the Pontiac Creative Art Center, followed by a two-year art residency with Williamston Community Schools.
A career in commercial exhibition design and graphics included work for corporate displays, museums, and visitor centers.
Finally joining the Scarab Club for life drawing sessions he shares a third-floor studio and has served on the board of directors 2015-2021. Using his skills as a graphic designer he has designed the Scarab Club member annuals volumes 5 through 10.
I call this collection True Things on the gentle conceit that I am working in visual metaphor. There is no illustration, no reference to the world other than the things themselves. The visuals are self-referential, not analogs of reality. I work with what the eye reads in pattern, converging and diverging lines and shapes, with the delight of texture and material.
I have been exploring visual geometric fields for many years, originally as pen and ink drawings, then as simple embossed lines, finally cutting through the page. The front and back of the constructions are worked simultaneously, with the use of a wide variety of papers, paints, inks, and other drawing media. The shapes are both geometric and organic, growing out of the material, and are formed into iconic glyphs. In these pieces, I find that they extend my senses and soul, my thoughts, and in effect reflect our world.
I have been privileged to have my artwork shown in galleries and museums through my career but I have a particular affinity to showing in what I consider sacred spaces. Churches and artist and community galleries reflect consideration for contemplation and celebration. I have had solo shows at the Pontiac Creative Arts Center, Birmingham Unitarian Church, the Scarab Club, ArtPrize 9, and now at the wonderful space at HVCA.
Honorable Mention for pen and ink drawing Lines, Gilda Snowden Memorial Exhibition, Scarab Club, 2021 March – April 2021, Detroit MI
Honorable Mention for paper construction Broken, Soul Searching Art Exhibit, Grosse Pointe Artists Association, October 2020, Grosse Pointe Farms MI
Honorable Mention for paper construction Pyramids and Triangles, Autumn Invitational 2020, Lawrence Street Gallery, September 2020, Ferndale MI
Third Place Award for ink drawing Bathday, 2020 Figures of Speech, Anderson Museum of Art, July 2020, Anderson IN
Scarab of the Year 2017, Scarab Club Detroit MI
arts community involvement—
Scholastic Art Juror 2020: The Michigan Thumb Art Region, Clinton Township MI
Scholastic Art Juror 2019: The Southeastern Michigan Region, Detroit MI
The Scarab Club: member since 2013, Board of Directors 2015 – 2021, Board Secretary 2018 – 2019
Michigan Chapter of Artists Equity: member 1978 – 1982, interim Chapter President 1979 – 1980, Chair of Exhibition Committee 1978 – 1981
Grosse Pointe Artists Association Exhibition Committee
Woven paper constructions use paper, that is flat, common, ubiquitous, as a surface for ink, paint, pencil, and bare expositions of paper itself, a celebration of the richness of this simple material. I seek out papers from around the world as my palette for color, texture, weight, and workability. Will it fold, crease, and cut, will it pull ink in or hold it on the surface? How can the two sides interact, front and back, together? This suite provides visual mosaics of tactile sensual information, a cool medium, with room for us to engage, like poetry or jazz. A line traces moments, follows contours, and reveals echoes of the world. A stroke, outline, division, a line records words, sounds, ideas. A line is a statement, a record, a word, a sound, with context and intent. And a line can be an edge, an embossed trace, a cut. Shapes are icons and glyphs, and we read them as symbols, consciously and unconsiously, and assign meaning to them. I work to simplify and discover how shape evolves and how we understand them.
We see the world through contrast and patterns, light and dark, and know the edges of things: lines are horizons, distances, and shapes, patterns form figures and faces. Visual cues suggest depth and space. We see the surface, and we also see into it, through the artwork with our eyes scanning, focusing, and interpreting. Here are visual illusions and real shadows. Where the paper folds or cuts or creases we experience edges and definitions, with ins and outs of the surfaces, with reflecting light and muted light and darks. Repeating patterns direct our eyes and allow us to drift in and out of space.
Influences: prints and drawings with fine lines and textures, such as the drama, depth and darkness, and light in Rembrandt etchings. Also, I look to Japanese block prints and scrolls and screens with shallow space and flat colors, and the implication of deep, continual distances. I enjoy the sequential visual quilts of our modern illuminated pages: comic book art. Here the page geometry is laid out to control time, viewpoint, direction, and comprehension. Another touchpoint, the paintings of color fields, color on color such as the art of Gustave Klimt, who sometimes hints at natural-seeming visual space and then contradicts those hints with flat patterns and reflecting gold. More influences include the still, calm studies of the impossible geometry of Josef Albers prints, the contradictory, delightful visual space of Al Held paintings, the jarring, eye manipulations of Bridget Riley op art, the constructed shapes of Frank Stella. In this suite of works, I am exploring the surfaces of materials and the significance of darkness, shallow space and suggestions of deep space, star tracks, comet trails, the patterns of waves disappearing on the shore, snowfall clouds and fields, and visual music.
The artwork I selected for this suite are recent works, from 2017 to 2021. Through my art I am exploring mysteries of how we see, how we assign meaning, how we react to light and dark, color and texture, pattern and shape. They reflect my true thoughts and feelings and, in a small way, are striving for peace, calm, and reflection.
The exhibits below are still available online!
If you’ve noticed artwork around downtown Highland as you drive by, you might be wondering who the artists are and why they’re being displayed.
Wonder no longer; c-ART (as in “see art”) is an innovative program that, for the third time, will bring high-quality reproductions from local artists to brighten Highland outdoor venues; the exhibit will be on display through mid-December.
The event is a partnership between Huron Valley Council for the Arts (HVCA) and the Highland Downtown Development Authority; it’s been popular with the public.
“Over the past three years, we have encouraged many residents and visitors to engage with art in the place they live, work, and play,” explained Sioux Trujillo, HVCA executive Director. “HVCA is excited to bring this curated outdoor experience to our community when going into museums and galleries is limited. Our hope is that this will allow families to see and experience artists that they may have never seen and inspire the community to find out more about them.”
Missy Dashevich, Executive Director of the Highland Downtown Development Authority (HDDA), added, “The Highland DDA is excited to be partnering with the HVCA to bring this exhibit once again to Highland. We advocate for our improvement in our area to encourage businesses, residents, and the public alike to want to be here.”
Dashevich added, ‘”We strive to create a sense of place, returning Highland Station to be the center of our community and a destination within the region. Part of our vision at the Highland DDA is to be an active place that promotes health, fitness, and an appreciation of the natural environment, as well as a center for the expression and enjoyment of the arts creating a place where people want to gather.”
Submitted by Anne Seebaldt, HVCA PR writer/editor