by Janet I. Martineau
Last summer, the gallery at Midland’s Creative 360 was filled with artwork created by Saginaw, Midland and Bay county artists ages 55 and up.
The 66 paintings, photographs, wood pieces, drawings and mixed media pieces submitted by 38 people marked the inauguration of ArtFest55, a festival celebrating the creativity of both known and novice “mature” artists.
“This year we have expanded the field,” says Creative 360 director Elizabeth A. Ruediger. “ArtFest55, both its art exhibition and a companion talent contest, is now open to all Michigan residents.
“We had so much fun with it last year, we wondered what opening it to the whole state might bring.”
This year’s theme is “Experience, Express and Expand Your Creativity,” which is Creative 360’s slogan summarizing its focus. “And that theme is open to a wide-ranging interpretation by each artist,” says Ruediger.
Serving as the juror is Michael D.Martin, the coordinator of collections and exhibitions at the Flint Institute of Arts. The pieces he picks will hang at Creative 360, 1517 Bayliss, from Friday, June 17, through Sunday, Aug. 7.
The prizes are $300 for best of show (from all entries), $100 for best two-dimensional work, $100 for best three-dimensional work and $100 for best photography. Martin also has the option of awarding honorable mention certificates.
Eligible media include original sculpture, fiber, ceramics, needle arts, wood, plastic, paper, metal, painting, pen and ink, mixed media, drawing, pastel, photography and digital photography.
All entires must have been created within the last 24 months by an artist age 55 and up as of June 17 this year, and must not have been shown previously at Creative 360.
Each artist is limited to two entries, with the entry fee $10 per work. The deadline for submissions is delivery to Creative 360 in person or by mail no later than 3 p.m. Thursday, June 2. And art work not accepted into the show must be picked up by Wednesday, June 15, or its return provided for by a self-addressed/stamped mailer.
For entry forms, and full information on all the rules and regulations, go on-line at www.becreative360.org or call Colleen Reed at (989) 837-1885.
ArtFest55 also will include a talent show, titled “Senior Moments.”