Quality the watchword in Alliance exhibit:[All Editions]
Sylvia Krissoff / The Grand Rapids PressThe Grand Rapids PressGrand Rapids, Mich.: Nov 18, 2001.  pg. E.5
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Copyright Grand Rapids Press Nov 18, 2001


Although the Artists Alliance has changes in its membership occasionally, the professional group of artists in West Michigan is consistent in its efforts to maintain the highest level of professionalism.

The exhibit at the Gainey Gallery in the Byron Center Van Singel Fine Arts Center displays the technical skills and imaginative efforts of its present group of artists.

While most of the work is in watercolor, other artists are working in acrylics, oil pastels, handmade paper and photography.

Glenda Van Raalte has adapted her watercolors to batik on Oriental paper, and the results are always stunning.

Her "Still Waters" here explores the beauty of white water lilies contrasted against veined green pads and a dark gray water, filled with reflections and sharply detailed.

Deborah Lass, who has a well-earned reputation for her Koi fish in rippling waters, is showing a large watercolor, "Boston Market," filled with seemingly disparate subjects: sunflowers, a classic plaster bust, a bird's house and daisies. Yet, all are handsomely composed, revealing how well she can combine so many objects, yet make them all work together.

Lin Westra worked with handmade paper to create her "Indian Summer." She has added feathers and thin curvilinear branches to a large, white, circular form centered with a green square, suggesting a floral form, although basically abstract.

Wanda Gringhuis Anderson has developed a unique approach to her paintings. Originally a watercolorist, she has moved far afield, creating her intricate, yet very structured, paintings with embossing, stitching, stenciling and patterning.

Her "Aquatic Symphony" and "O Little Town" are classic examples of her work. The latter is filled with stencils of leaves, a repeated pattern of houses, chevrons, stitching and dots, topped with a crescent moon and stars in a very involved but structured composition.

On the other hand, Linda Baker's watercolors are straightforward renditions of her favorite wicker furniture subjects. Small pieces are wicker chairs in red and green, while a large painting, "Colors of White," displays a porch setting of the chairs in off-whites, ochres and ivory tones contrasted with deep reddish purple shadows.

Jewel-like colors in oil pastels are the basis for Carol Cousineau's ethereal floating images. She moves from soft greens to deep blues, orange and lavender in her "Spring Creek," which captures the essence of nature with little verisimilitude.

And Betts Casey moves all the way into abstract with her mixed media paintings. They pay homage to Franz Kline with large, slashing, black brushstrokes, yet reveal the element of much layering in the way that touches of red and yellow peek through the jagged-edged stroking.

Alice Breese has several large sheets of handmade paper impregnated with great curvilinear elements playing over the embossed white ground. Purple and blue dominate in two abstract pieces while "Synaptic Jive" catches a rhythmic harmony in black and white.

Layers of carefully worked veils of color mark Eunice Bolt's impeccable watercolors. Her "Water Waltz" is composed of many multihued circular forms that could read as pebbles under a rippling water.

The essence of nature is revealed in her "Green Rhythm," which translates floral forms into a beautiful abstraction.

And Sandra Jackoboice works in pastel to render her vision of floating pink lilies and a reflecting vessel in "Lotus Pond."

Two artists new to the group are Carol Brauer Schmidt and Anne Morgan. Schmidt's oil pastel, "Cottswold Road." expresses landscape in its simplest form with soft-edged elements of a winding orange road moving past orange and green fields and simple oval topped trees. Morgan forms intriguing compositions as with words and digital images in her "Le Petite Salon" and "Peace."

Don Upp is the sole photographer in the group, and he always reminds the viewer of the intrinsic beauty and texture of the world around us. His two pieces, "Knotty-Knotty" and "A-Peeling" bring us up close to the striations of tree trunks in beautifully contrasting images.

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Section:   Entertainment
Text Word Count   642