OWOSSO — The 22nd annual Member Artists Show at the Shiawassee Arts Center will feature the work of nearly 100 Michigan artists in a wide range of media.
The free show runs from June 25 through Aug. 25 at the arts center, 206 Curwood Castle Drive. An opening reception is set for 1 to 3 p.m. June 30, and features a chance to meet the artists, see their work and enjoy complimentary refreshments and music.
The artists hail from Owosso and other places in Shiawassee County to all parts around the state, including Ann Arbor, Dimondale and Williamston.
Michael Gute, an Owosso native who lives in the city of Detroit, is a painter who has exhibited his work at SAC and formerly served on its board of directors. He is entering his “Waiting IV” in the Members Art Show, for which $500 in awards will be presented at 2 p.m. June 30. The juror is Randal Crawford, professor of art at Delta College.
“I work in making pictures, mostly with oil,” said Gute, a 2008 Owosso High School graduate. “I’ve been integrating ink and spray paint into my work. Those mediums add a spontaneity I really like.”
The 29-year-old does fundraising for Wayne State University, and holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Kendall College of Art and Design, and a master’s from Eastern Michigan University in museum administration. He is currently working on a second master’s in business at Wayne State.
However, he considers himself, first and foremost, an artist.
“I’m an artist before anything,” he said, “because it’s what I feel I’m supposed to be doing.”
He is preparing for his first one-man show of 100 paintings, to take place in December inside both galleries at the Detroit Shipping Company. He said he paints from 3:45 to 8 a.m. each weekday morning, before going to work.
“I’ve been focusing on my career and education for many years,” Gute said. “I’m making painting a priority again.”
Pooh Stevenson, 61, of Owosso Township, is exhibiting one of her photographs, called “Planting Garlic With Big Sky,” at the SAC show for the first time.
Over the years, Stevenson said, she has made being a mom her top priority, but at the same time has operated Owosso Organics farm and played her mandolin at local venues.
Photography is something she picked up along the way, initially using her husband’s old film camera before switching to a digital camera in 2008. She’s been studying the art of photography for the past six or seven years, she said.
“Photography makes me pay attention and I see things I might not see if I hadn’t been looking with a photographer’s eye,” Stevenson said.
Her theme as an artist follows what the writer John Updike has said about his own work, giving “the mundane its beauty due.”
“I feel that’s part of what I do — take ordinary things and make them beautiful,” she said.
Stevenson said she has photographed “nearly every square inch” of her farm, including vegetables, farmers, fields and field workers. Lately, she has focused on still lifes.
“I try to photograph something every day,” she said, “because it continues to force me to see. I’m happy to be here at the SAC. I love the arts council, and I’m thrilled to be part of the member show.”
The member show is sponsored by the Schluckebier Hood Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors and DayStarr Communications.
The SAC is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The center features the art work of local and statewide artists in eight galleries, including the Frieseke Gallery, and a specialty gift shop. The public is welcome and there is no admission charge.
Celebrating 47 years this year, the SAC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage participating and appreciation of the arts. For information, call (989) 723-8354 or visit shiawasseearts.org.