Oliver Art Center will be honoring local and regional artists with its Annual All Media Juried Exhibition that runs from September 18 – October 23. This year’s juror is Eden Ünlüata – Foley, MFA, MA, Associate Professor of Visual Arts at West Shore Community College. He is an Interdisciplinary Artist based in Ludington, MI and Chicago, IL. His work focuses on the formation of cultural identity and its relationship to place, the sense of belonging, memory, and personal narrative. His primary medium is interactive installations – digital and physical.
Eden Ünlüata – Foley’s unique process involves deciding what themes are present in the submitted work, then deciding which theme each work most associates with and best exemplifies. A total of 105 works were submitted for jurying. From those works, he selected ten works that will equally divide the $2000 total award. “As I studied all the submitted artwork a singular theme emerged. The theme can be best summarized as “ephemera from life by the lake: Images, objects, and perspectives.” With this in mind I selected artworks that best represented the theme. The awarded works were chosen for their deep exploration of materials, objects, images, and cultural phenomena. These works transform ordinary ephemera, sights, and images into compelling stories, ones which we yearn to return to and tease out more. Every little detail, every added object, every brush stroke, every little item in the picture is in service of these enchanting stories,” states Ünlüata – Foley. Those winning artists include Louise Cameron of Frankfort, Judy Jashinsky of Arcadia, Heidi Huck of Harbor Springs, Patricia Trentacoste of Honor, Patti Opel of Pentwater, Tom Farrell of Frankfort, Margo Burian of Maple City, David Green of Honor, and Michael Hertz of Beulah.
In a new twist this year, those pieces that were not chosen for the Juried Exhibition will be featured in a Salon des Refusés Pop-Up Exhibition in OAC’s Fisher Classroom. “None of the work was rejected due to poor quality. In fact, the juror was impressed with the quality of the work submitted. So we saw an opportunity to not only celebrate everyone’s work but also an opportunity to educate and dive deeper into the jurying process,” said Mercedes Michalowski, Executive Director.
The name Salon des Refusés generally describes a group of works rejected by the jury of official awards but the term is most famously used to refer to the Salon des Refusés of 1863. The glamorous event of 1863 was actually sponsored by the French government. In that year, artists protested the Salon jury’s rejection of more than 3,000 works, far more than usual. “Wishing to let the public judge the legitimacy of these complaints,” said an official notice, Emperor Napoléon III decreed that the rejected artists could exhibit their works in an annex to the regular Salon. Nowadays the term Salon des Refusés is used to denote any art exhibition devoted to the display of works rejected by a juried art show.