Artfest 55 exhibition opens Friday at Creative 360

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Artfest 55, an annual exhibition showcasing the work of regional artists aged 55 and over, opens this Friday in Creative 360’s Bayliss Street Gallery. This year’s show will feature the work of over 100 visual artists and writers from all over the state

“Arfest 55 is one of our most popular exhibitions,” said Colleen Reed, program director and curator of Creative 360. “This year we received almost 200 art and writing submissions from all over the world. Michigan Our visual arts lawyer, Patricia Constantine, was very impressed with the quality of the work submitted and spent a considerable amount of time deciding which exhibits to include. “


Constantine, professor of illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design, has shown his work across the country, including Artprize. Originally from Florida, she grew up close to the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus winter home. Her work reflects the world of carnivals and freak shows through a feminist lens, using the freak show as a signifier of the abject body and a way of examining otherness.


“I loved spending time with this wonderful job,” Constantine said. “As a viewer, I learn so much about a community by viewing their artwork that I too feel included. I was impressed by the variety of methods and mediums, including collage, frosting and the brush in 2D artwork. “

The jurists for the written work in the exhibit were Jim Crissman, a former Artfest 55 poetry and memoir laureate, and Sarah Yoder and Luana Russell, both teachers from Midland Public School who are now retired.

The awards for the best two-dimensional photograph, the best three-dimensional and the best photograph, as well as the best of the exhibition will be awarded for the visual arts. Prizes for the best poem, best dissertation and best short story will be awarded for writing. All prices will be announced at the opening event on Friday July 23. The evening begins at 6.30 p.m., with prizes and readings of the winning writings starting at 7 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public and the exhibition will run until August 27.



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