- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - The Blue Water Art Association is hosting its annual art show at the Port Huron Museum.

The exhibit, titled “Say It With Art: Fine Art & Whimsical Words,” runs through April 4 and features 65 hanging works by area artists who are members of the association. The works range in subject matter from flowers to landscapes to portraits.

Types of media include oils, watercolor, pastels and charcoal, acrylic and graphite, even mounted cement.

Part of the proceeds from the exhibit will go to the museum. Association president Laurie Crisenbery said 30 percent of proceeds from each work sold will be donated to the museum. There also will be a raffle of two paintings. The entirety of proceeds from the raffle will go to the museum.

“This is our one time of the year that we showcase our art here at the museum,” Crisenbery told the Times Herald ( https://bwne.ws/1zwjFWk ).

Theresa Balboa, workshop chairwoman and past president of the association, said the title of the exhibit was influenced by the idea of literary art as a complement to visual art.

“When you look at a painting, it says something to you. It says something about life,” Balboa said. “We have quotations we’re going to put randomly around the museum, whimsical words and quotes.”

The exhibit features a People’s Choice Award, where people can enter the names of their favorite work. There is also a Wall of Distinction that highlights the association’s artists who have won awards for their pieces.

And there is a wall in the exhibit dedicated to the art process. Artist Mike Henry is showing a collection of sketches that he did alongside his finished work, “January Morning Ice Flow” a watercolor overlooking Purdy’s Fishery in the St. Clair River, which is priced at $190.

“In this case, I wanted to capture the ice flows against the warm reflection of the water,” Henry said. “I love this time of year because the ice stops up the lake, and the St. Clair River is just like glass, so you get nice reflections.”

Henry, who works as a UPS driver during the day, paints in his basement at night.

He described his sketch process.

“When the last kid gets on the bus, I’ll do a quick drive down to the St. Clair River. I’ve got 30 minutes before work starts. I’ll do a quick sketch. And then I’ll write down ideas, possibilities, so from one sketch I can do a number of paintings,” he said.

Henry estimated that he has sold 30 of his pieces in his 11-year painting career.

The Blue Water Art Association has 44 members from St. Clair, Sanilac and Macomb counties. Membership fees are $40 a year and include membership to the museum. There is a separate charge for the workshops that the association takes part in several times a year. The association, which was formed more than 40 years ago, meets in the basement of the museum on Tuesdays.

Artist Vicky Path, 62, of Marysville, has on display “Autumn at Split Rock,” a three-paneled acrylic painting of a lighthouse on Lake Superior in Minnesota, based on a 2012 trip to the area.

“I’ve never done one, and I wanted the challenge,” Plath said of her decision to do a triptych this year. Plath has sold 89 pieces since she started taking art classes in 2006.

Watercolor artist Patty Lawrence, of Port Huron, is among the artists whose work is showcased on the awards wall. Her liquid watercolor, “Red Rose” won first place at the Marysville art show in 2012 and the 2013 people’s choice award at the Port Huron Museum Annual Show. The piece is on sale for $450.

Also at the exhibit but not for sale is a watercolor by Lawrence called “Daisy,” of her son’s St. Bernard.

“We had to put her down two years ago, so I painted that for him,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence has sold 10 pieces in her 15 years of painting, but has only been selling her art in the past two to three years.

Crisenbery said prices of the artworks vary according to whether it is an original or print, the size of the painting, the renown of the artist, as well as what the artist feels the piece to be worth.

Museum curator Katherine Bancroft, director of collections, education and exhibits, said the changes to this year’s annual exhibit add new life to the art association as well as give the museum an opportunity to showcase their artwork.

“They really wanted to do an art show instead of hanging pictures on the wall, so we have a couple more themes. They’re adding some quotes and we’re doing some programming this year which we have not done in the past,” Bancroft said.


Information from: Times Herald, https://www.thetimesherald.com

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