Just create!

Poetry Art Night 2021

The Judges have made their decisions.
Enjoy the winners and Judges’ comments below.

Extended Exhibition dates are March 17 – May 27. Visit the well-ventilated, socially distanced Suzanne Haskew Arts Center to see the winners and all the wonderful art and poetry of this show. While there, be sure to vote for your favorite art and poetry in our “People’s Choice Award,” sponsored by Main Street Art of Milford. Share and celebrate in our PAN 2021 Poetry Art Night Facebook group

With deep regret we announce our 2021 Poetry Art Night Reception has been cancelled out of an abundance of caution. Visit us safely at the SHAC to see the show in-person and vote for People’s Choice!

Introduction From Art Judge Matt Faulkner

“I very much enjoyed viewing and judging the artwork . It was not an easy task to sort out the winners as there were so many pieces that exhibited a great deal of talent, a mastery of material and an eye for design. I was also impressed by the range of materials used by this group of artists as well as the dexterity in working with their materials exhibited in the artwork.

The criteria by which I judged the work is as follows:

Initial impression- I start by going through the submissions and allowing myself to be attracted to the overall impact of each work. Once I’ve done this, I move on to judging the following characteristics of each work.

Design- I pay attention to the underlying forms and how they relate to each other within the overall design of the piece. If the work is two dimensional then I’m looking for the artist to exhibit an understanding of the effect of dynamic manipulation of these underlying forms. If three dimensional, then I look to see how these same underlying forms work within the piece as well as the way the piece interacts with the space in which it sits to create tension and visual excitement.

Materials- I judge the level of mastery of handling materials that is exhibited by each artist.

Narrative- whether a piece is based purely in expression of color and design or is illustrative in nature, all tell a story and I look to see the levels of nuance in expressing content in the artwork. Thank you for the opportunity to view and judge this fine selection of artwork for the 2021 Village Fine Arts Association Art Awards.

Sincerely, Matt Faulkner”

Art Awards
chosen by Judge Matt Faulkner

Judges comments are noted in each Entry.

1st Place – VFAA Suzanne Haskew Award of Excellence
Thanks to the VFAA

The Healer – Oil on Linen – 10×17 by Susan Perrish

Judge’s Comments:

THE HEALER is a powerful rendering. The artist’s understanding of the chosen palette is very satisfying. The rendering of the golden cup, the flesh on the face and the cloth shows real understanding of painting in oils. The artist’s grasp of anatomy is evident and believable. The way the cloth is rendered and woven into the surface treatment of the gilt elements is masterful and reminiscent of Gustav Klimt and Mucha. A well executed, vibrant rendering

2nd Place -VFAA Award of Choice
Thanks to the VFAA

Good Morning – Oil – 32×42 by Dale Alcocer

Judge’s Comments:

GOOD MORNING is a very satisfying piece. Its rendering shows a high level of command of the materials used. The underlying design of the work is quite skillful with the use of a yin/yang motif. The beauty of the flower as it is rendered in the upper righthand corner of the piece is supported by the contrasting blue tones of the water and the quiet way the lily pads sit back, allowing the bloom above to shine. A potent piece.

3rd Place – VFAA Award of Merit
Thanks to the VFAA

To Catch a Dream – Multi Media – 24×28 by Ken Graning

Judge’s Comments:

The visual power in TO CATCH A DREAM lies within its execution and in the rendering of the amazing insects that adorn the outer circle of the catcher and are lovingly sculpted in wood and natural elements. In addition, the painted imagery displayed in the center of the piece shows a sensitivity to the culture that created dream catchers as well as dexterity in the materials used. The color palette, what is painted and what is left natural, is very sensitive. A beautiful piece and worth coming back to for more than one look.

Alice Hennessy Memorial Art Award
Thanks to Linda Onderko

Reflection – Water Color & Acrylic – 16×18 by Georgie Jagner

Judge’s Comments:

A nice expression of light. The understanding and execution of perspective is done well. The palette used in REFLECTION is balanced and helps to convey the atmosphere in the cathedral space.

Becky Fischer Memorial Art Award
Thanks to Harold Haskew

Rust Never Sleeps – Gouache on Canson – 20×23 by Ken Graning

Judge’s Comments:

Great detail rendering in RUST NEVER SLEEPS. A wonderful expression of the serendipity in nature that is supported by the design and the chosen palette. The orange flowers pop out of the blue of the trailer and the delightful detail of the foliage above the trailer pop out of the sky, as well. Splendid.

Brenda Beno Memorial Art Award
Thanks to Tom & Mary Underhill

Snow Clouds – Oil – 19×19 by Sandra Ackerman

Judge’s Comments:

SNOW CLOUDS is a dynamic expression of light and shadow in winter. With a limited palette, so much of winter light is communicated. I am drawn to the murky woods that lie in the center of the piece. A mood piece that hits the mark.

Carl H. Dumas Memorial Art Award
Thanks to Janice Dumas McCaffery

Clouds in the Lake – Photograph – 45×30 by Jennifer Wohletz

Judge’s Comments:

CLOUDS IN THE LAKE shows us a crystal clarity and vibrancy that ring true for anyone who has spent time on our precious lake’s shores. The intensity of the blues, the magentas and greens is dizzying. The hypnotic quality of the palette is enhanced by the jewel like detailing in the pebbles in the foreground and the silhouette of the majestic bridge against the sky. A photo that is well done in its design and production.

Dianne Cowen Memorial Art Award
Thanks to Linda Onderko

Superior Beach Overlook – Watercolor – 39×32 by Janice Dumas

Judge’s Comments:

Wonderful handling of watercolor. Its palette and rendering of the sky reminds me of N.C. Wyeth. The rendering of the light as it falls on the cliff face and the beach below shows a real appreciation for atmospheric light and is impressive.

Amy Feigley Lee Art Award
Thanks to Dale & Sherry Feigley

Curl – Oil on Linen – 16×17 by Susan Perrish

Judge’s Comments:

CURL shows us a painter who exhibits a high degree of mastery of the piece’s chosen medium and well as a fine understanding of the rendering of anatomy and drapery. In addition, the pose and the look in the subject’s eyes as she glances at the viewer over her shoulder is delightful. Very much captures a moment.

Frank & Edith Block Memorial Art Award
Thanks to Barb & Gary Weisenburg

Art Studio – Multi Media – 6x10x10 by Linda Robinson

Judge’s Comments:

ART STUDIO is a wonderful look into an artist’s world. Lovingly rendered. Splendid attention to detail, to the power of scale. Executed with great affect. Right down to the CD in the CD player. Fine work.

Gr8Art4U Fine Art Award
Thanks to Leslie Watson & Barb Moorhead

Pondering with Tea – Oil on Linen – 18×22 by Candace Brancik

Judge’s Comments:

PONDERING WITH TEA expresses so much with a limited palette. A mood piece that communicates in subtlety. The green of the hat vibrates quietly against the flesh tones of the face. And yet, the quiet is deceiving. The eyes of the subject are hidden, leaving us to wonder if, when she looks up, will she be smiling or sad. The artists handling of the materials is impressive.

Pet Lover Art Award
Thanks to Kathy Percy at Milford Feed Co.

Wee Brothers – Oil – 16×13 by Paul Tibedeau

Judge’s Comments:

The mood in WEE BROTHERS is inviting, as if we’ve come across a whispered conversation between siblings. The handling of the material is done very well and the knowledge of the anatomy of the subjects is very evident. The rendering of light as it falls across the brothers makes the work glow. Well done.

Poetry Awards
chosen by Judge Alinda Wasner

1st Milford Public Library Poetry Award
Thanks to the Library

  “Elegy for 2020” by K. K. Sparks
Artwork: Her Photo “The Undiscovered Country”

Elegy for 2020
by K. K. Sparks

The undiscovered country is pulling at my hand,
as skin sinks to the bone and plans fade all unplanned

Release me from myself, and all this mortal strife
As I lay me down, rectify this life

When all resolve is gone and I am homeward bound,
and seen and unseen hands all silently surround

Release me from myself, and all this mortal strife
As I lay me down, purify this life

I hope to rise, the oath fulfilled
To take to sky, though flesh is stilled
To skim the clouds, to drown in light
Trade sword for plowshare, no more to fight

Release me from myself, and all this mortal strife
come take me in – give me peace,
and justify this life

Judge’s Comments:

This poem has a hymnodic quality that sets it apart from most pandemic poems. The form and structure reveal a familiarity with poetic elegies and the rhyming couplets flow evenly without impediment and could be readily set to music. I find the poem both poignant and compelling.

1st Joy Humanist Memorial Poetry Award (for light-hearted or humorous poetry)
Thanks to Harold Haskew

“The Painting Process” by Tamera Menard Ovall

Artwork: Her Oil painting of the same name  

The Painting Process
By Tamera Menard Ovall

I love it, I hate it!
It’s overrated!
Too light, too dark?
It has no spark!
Should I start again?
I wonder now and then…
Hard line, soft line?
Which do I use?
Thick paint, thin paint?
What order, says who?
Too Loose, too tight?
Ellipses aren’t right!
Too hot, too cold?
Is my subject too bold?
A line, a smudge
It’s all toxic sludge!
But wait, through the uglies,
I endured the bad weather…
Alas look at this,
It all came together!

Judge’s Comments:

Completely delightful!  The perfect ekphrastic poem for the art work it accompanies! 

2nd  VFAA Poetry Award
Thanks to the VFAA

“Rust Never Sleeps” by Ken Graning

 Artwork: His Gouache on Canson of the same name          

 Rust Never Sleeps
by Ken Graning

Behold, the forlorn chariot
thrown away
left to rust and rot
but yet there’s hope
in nature’s microscope
so you can see
the beginnings of a tree
to form a horse
of course
a hawk, a butterfly
have taken to the sky
a fish if you wish
a snake and a mouse
have left their house
an animal society
of great variety
how many can you see?
Hint: there are 16

Judge’s Comments:

The unique and creative line structure seems urn- or vase-shaped which nicely captures the idea of rust (or even verdigris) collecting on the various items and life forms it holds/describes.  A perfect companion for the painting!  Love the question/puzzle.

3rd Carl H. Dumas Memorial Poetry Award
Thanks to Janice Dumas McCaffery

     “A Mower Takes Flight” by Jay Grusin

Artwork: His Metal Sculpture of the same name

A Mower Takes Flight
by Jay Grusin

I look through the helmet’s dark glass:
metal on shelves and rafters, a deconstructed push mower
scattered on the bench awaiting metamorphosis.

I stare at the parts way too long—
where to bend the metal, how parts
will transmute into an imagined bird of prey.

I steal time alone in the sounds of welding—
cutting, grinding, sparking. An arc is struck,
the gas torch burns blue-green,
melting steel meets melting steel.

Legs, body, neck all joined, tail fashioned.
wings spread, head turned to spot quarry.
Awaiting a coat of rust in the yard.

Frozen in space the bird moves without moving,
Searches without searching, flies without flying.

Judge’s Comments:

In this finely crafted meta-poem, the voice of the welder/poet comes to life as he or she contemplates and captures the creative process of fashioning art out of lawn implements in such a way as to pull the reader into the process as well!

Honorable Mentions:

Cute Bob Armstrong Memorial Poetry Award
Thanks to Barbara and Andrea Armstrong

“By Design” by Linda Onderko

Artwork: her Collage “Copy Cats”

By Design
by Linda Onderko

Familiar palette and repeating pattern
Stripes, bands and bars
Fur on feline faces,
Feathers on fowl
Flora and fauna
Rhymed with reason
Standing out, blending in
Ultimate invisibility,
Intricate imitation
Sincerest flattery

Judge’s Comments:

The collage of words nicely “copycats” the design of the collage.

GR8Art4U Poetry Award
Thanks to Barbara Moorhead & Leslie Watson

“Listening to the Sounds of Winter” by Janice Dumas

 Artwork: her Watercolor of the same name

Listening to the Sounds of Winter
by Janice Dumas

Snow crunches beneath each step,
We hear the whisper of every breath,
Dry twigs snap under foot,
Swans trumpet flying past,
Birds sound a warning as we pass,
Ducks smack wings on the water taking flight,
We stop and listen to the sounds of winter.

Judge’s Comments:

The details nicely capture the “feel” of the art work of the same title.

Madeline Rivest Poetry Award
Thanks to Our Sponsor

“Up Stream” by Susan Gollon

Artwork: Linda Pelowski’s Pastel of the same name

Up Stream
by Susan Gollon

Been on this winding river
for as long as I can remember
Paddling upstream, against the current
Sometimes gentle, sometimes strong
Drifting right, drifting wrong
I leave my past in the downstream flow
What’s ahead? I want to know
Beyond that bend that beckons me
So I paddle on into the now
Maybe it’s better there, somehow
Just keep moving through the flow
Until there’s no place else to go
Until that point when I turn around
And float back home to my common ground

Judge’s Comments:

A lovely poetic rendering of the art work and the lure of the unknown.  The line, “Drifting right, drifting wrong…”exemplifies the courage to try something new and the reward of finding one’s way back to the known after a challenging voyage. I like the creative perspective.

Martin & Elizabeth Weisenburg Memorial Poetry Award
Thanks to Barb and Gary Weisenburg

 “Great Iron Earth Poem” by Daniel Ackerman

 Artwork: Sandra Ackerman’s Oil “Snow Clouds”

Great Iron Earth Poem
by Daniel Ackerman

pt. 1

Once, the sky defied falling
And betrayed horizon’s pledge
Forever approaching the curve
While evading the sharpened edge
Of the great iron earth

Hearing sundown echoes calling
The North and her cold forces
Hitched a ride in winter’s silver hearse
Chasing wild horses
Across the shivering iron earth

Judge’s Comments:

A very adept use of the quatrain and rhyme scheme throughout and I wished all the Great Iron Earth poems could be combined with this one!  A talented poet here! The opening lines really pull the reader in and the remaining lines reinforce the evocative and creative descriptions! I hope this poet keeps writing.

Milford Dermatology Poetry Award
Thanks to Dr. Louis Chiara

“March 2020” by Natalia Wohletz

Artwork: her Linoleum Block Print of the same name

March 2020
by Natalia Wohletz

It’s coming
Fear stalks our streets
Doors closing, postponing
For ‘a mere few weeks’

Stats on stats
Case count numbers
Inflate unabated
Government blunders

Jigsaw piece
No puzzle’s solved
All in grief, but believe
That we must evolve

Judge’s Comments:

The three stanza form and rhyme scheme work well with this art piece to capture the present situation and hope for the future.

Congratulations to the winners and all the artists and poets of 2021 Poetry Art Night!

About PAN

If you’re new to PAN, our 29th annual Poetry Art Night is the VFAA’s visual arts and poetry competition. Juried and judged, artists enter 2- or 3-dimensional artwork, accompanied by a poem. The poem should be either the inspiration for the art, or inspired by the art. The poem can be an original by the artist, by someone else, or a previously published poem. Only original poems by the artist or commissioned by the artist for the show will be judged and eligible for prize. You will experience some of Michigan’s top artists and poets in this show.

Poetry Art Night NEW DATE! Saturday, May 15 (still depends on MI State quarantine conditions)

View last year’s online exhibition of PAN 2020 here