Works on Paper at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences

By PAT JOHNSON | Jun 07, 2017
Artwork by: Karen Dunne ‘It was Nice While It Lasted,’ drawing by Karen Dunne.

“The 19th annual National Juried Competition and Exhibition: Works on Paper,” from June 2 to June 26, features more than 60 art works of all mediums with the caveat they must be on paper or made of paper.

The fun of viewing an exhibition like “Works on Paper” is that it brings together artists from across the country we might not otherwise get to know. Just viewing the work is often not enough; taking the time to find them on the internet and seeing more of their work is sure to enrich the experience.

Esteemed juror Jane Panetta had the enviable task of choosing the works from hundreds of submissions. She is an associate curator of drawing at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the museum that is dedicated to showing contemporary art.

Three cash prizes and three honorable mentions will be awarded during the opening reception on Sunday, June 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. Preceding the reception, Panetta will give a lecture, “Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s,” based on a current exhibition at the Whitney.

Since drawing is Panetta’s specialty, she will also discuss the themes and artists in the “Works on Paper” show.

Some of the works on display are for sale and would be a good bet for collectors. Marcel Ceuppens’ “Seated Nude Gold Version” is a digital “painting” available in a limited edition of 20. Ceuppens is originally from Brussels, where he was an art director for an advertising firm. He is passionate about mid-century art and design and sometimes inserts a “man in gray flannel suit” advertising icon into his Calder-like images. It’s easy to see such influences as Picasso and Henry Moore in his work. Ceuppens now lives and works in New York City.

“Street Portrait: Philendo Castile” is one of a series completed by artist Eric Milliken. Milliken’s website claims he is a descendant of a woman burned for witchcraft, and his self-portrait ghost series melds his image into that of celebrities he has met in visions or self-induced séances.

But for the exhibit at LBIF, he offered one of his “Street Portraits,” a recent series consisting of a dozen portraits of police-shooting victims, made in continuous line over the streets where their deaths occurred. For Philendo Castile, the line traces the streets of Falcon Heights, Minn., where he was shot and killed during a traffic stop.

Roxanne Sexauer’s “Dieter’s Red,” a chine collé relief print, is one of her latest works. Sexauer is a professor of printmaking in the California State University in Long Beach. Chine collé is a technique that employs colored, thin papers that are included during the printmaking process. Sexauer is not a newcomer by any means; a recent retrospective exhibit held in Santa Monica looked at her 35 years as a printmaker.

Marlene Siff used watercolor, oil pastel and torn paper to create “Passage to Freedom,” a work that expresses “harmony, balance, order and spirituality,” according to her website. Siff’s extensive resume of art exhibitions and collections could paper a small room. She has work in the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington.

Xi Zhang’s “ASOIE49” is a work from his “Secondhand Memories” series. He was born in China and went to art school in Beijing but now lives in Denver. The artist’s lush paintings are very different from this series done in acrylic, and he waxes and wanes between sensual experiences in painting to satirical comments on his life as an ex-pat. “ASOIE49” juxtaposes Chinese landscape and decorative paintings of nature to contemporary Asian society in the U.S.

“ASOI,” according to the Urban Dictionary, can mean “Ah, I see,” referencing the stereotypical or racist “Ah, So” saying in Charlie Chan movies.

Felice House is an artist from Austin, Texas, who paints images of women that are empowering. Her charcoal drawing “Being in the World: Nedah Tree” is from the series “Sum You, Sum Me: Drawings,” all of women with hair made of grass or shrubs. The oil paintings in the same series are quite different; they are beautiful portraits in natural settings.

An accomplished portrait and figurative artist, in her series “Re-Westerns,” House has taken iconic Western movie images such as James Dean in “Giant” and John Wayne in “True Grit” and substituted women: Julia Dean and Rebekah Wayne, for instance, as a counterpoint to the passive female representations found in art history and culture.

Eric Goldburg’s etching and aquatint “Evening Balcony in Amsterdam” is representative of the artist’s thoughtful, realistic style. From his artist statement on ebo Gallery, he talks about his love of drawing.

“Drawing is the method in which my imagemaking begins and through which it evolves. Whether the source of the work is from direct observation or photo I have taken or my imagination, it is always initially expressed as a drawing. Ultimately, the work may become an etching or a painting, but at its core, it is always a drawing. Drawing has a tactile directness that connects the mind and the hand. It is a two-way connection where drawing evokes thought and thought evokes drawing. An unintentional gesture of the hand can change the concept in a direction that the mind alone would not have traveled.”

Viewing the Works on Paper exhibit at the Foundation is sure to evoke memories, emotions and thoughtful contemplation of the creations of these accomplished artists. 


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