July 19, 2021, Midland, MI. – Artfest 55, an annual exhibit featuring the work of regional artists aged 55 and older, opens this Friday in Creative 360’s Bayliss Street Gallery. This year’s show will showcase the work of more than 100 visual artists and writers from across the state
“Arfest 55 is one of our most popular exhibitions,” remarked Colleen Reed, Creative 360’s program director and curator. “This year we had nearly 200 art and writing submissions from all over Michigan. Our visual arts jurist, Patricia Constantine, was very impressed with the quality of the work submitted and spent a considerable amount of time making the decisions about which pieces to include.”
Constantine, a Professor of Illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design, has shown her work across the country, including Artprize. A native Floridian, she grew up very close to the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. Her work reflects the world of carnivals and freak shows through a feminist lens, using the freak show as a signifier for the abject body and a way of examining otherness.
“I loved spending time with this wonderful work,” Constantine said. “As a viewer, I learn so much about a community by looking at their artwork so that I, too, feel included. I was impressed with the diversity of methods and media including collage, glazing, and brushwork in the 2D art pieces.”
Jurists for the written work in the exhibit were Jim Crissman, a pervious Artfest 55 poetry and memoir winner, and Sarah Yoder and Luana Russell, both Midland Public School teachers who are now retired.
Awards for Best 2-Dimensional, Best 3-Dimensional and Best Photograph, as well as Best in Show will be awarded for the Visual Arts. Awards for the Best Poem, Best Memoir and Best Short Story will be awarded for the writing. All awards will be announced at the opening event on Friday, July 23rd. The evening starts at 6:30 pm, with awards and readings of the winning writing entries starting at 7 pm.
The event is free and open to the public and the exhibition will be on display through August 27th.
View the online gallery HERE