Well, what can I say? Another eventful year has closed with all joys and sorrows that fill our lives. These events keep us happy and bring us smiles that are the stuff of life making the holiday seasons worth the enormous effort. Looking back over the challenges and accomplishments this season we charged in full bore ahead and learned the business of art on the cutting edge.
One of the events new to us involved the Billboard Project: "Art in the Sky", a partnership of the Greater Lansing Arts Council and AdamsOutdoor Advertising to promote the thriving arts culture in Mid-Michigan. Six local artists were selected for the new round of billboards displaying their art. I am grateful to be one of the six with my painting, Bold Beach, exhibited on Interstate 69 west of the Owosso/Perry exit (between Flint and Lansing).
|Bold Beach by Joel F. Ellis, one of six works selected for the Art in the Sky Project from Greater Lansing Arts Council|
Goodall Gallery of Kentucky serves a number of clients throughout the country. In a search for one of those clients requesting specific art from various states, owner Rhonda Goodall went to the Mid-Michigan Art Guild website which led to a contact with me. Ultimately the contact led to a welcomed sale for us at the end of the year, Gold Sands, a 30 x 40 acrylic, and shipment of the painting for Pittsburgh’s PNC Tower.
|Gold Sands, 30x40 acrylic on canvas, sold to represent Michigan in States' display in Pennsylvania|
Also at the end of the year, one of my paintings, Purple Pair was selected to join other Michigan artists to honor a special plant from the University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens greenhouse. The 80-year old American Agave plant grew so tall that the ceiling glass had to be removed from the greenhouse. The Agave blooming happens just once before the plant dies. This exquisite art exhibit at the historic Rackham Hall was a great honor for me to be included. The exhibit was curated by Chelsea River Gallery.
|Purple Pair, 20x24 acrylic on linen, selected by Chelsea River Gallery for University of Michigan display.|
Many art venues will soon be coming up and new contacts made and yes even winter snows will return as another painting season begins and a renewed push into creative adventures.
At one of the open houses for an art showing, I had an impassioned discussion about the arts and how we are all affected by the beauty in our environments. Michigan is a main backdrop for inspiration. We all agreed that mid-Michigan has a rich and encouraging artist community in part because of the environment of higher education, many artist groups and many art venues. We also agreed that this area is as rich and prolific as the well-documented historically productive arts communities around the world.
|Third Coast View, 30x40 acrylic, first painting by Joel F. Ellis in the new year, 2015 , |
is full of texture reflecting dune country along Michigan's coastal waters
A good friend once said, “Bloom where you are planted.” She was so right about the blooming part. We all have to take from our experiences and environments and make the art we have been called to make.
Wishing you and your friends and family a happy and productive new year full of beauty enriched by your environments.