Show Preview | American Impressionist Society

Fish Creek, WI
Peninsula School of Art, September 27-October 28

Joseph Gyurcsak, Grayson, acrylic, 14 x 18.

Joseph Gyurcsak, Grayson, acrylic, 14 x 18.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

French painter Claude Monet may be considered a founding father of Impressionism, but many other masters have helped shape its rich evolution over time, from Nicolai Fechin to Edgar Payne. Today, in fact, impressionism represents a broad range of representational styles that celebrate color and light, and that’s precisely what makes the American Impressionist Society’s annual juried exhibition so much fun, says president and CEO Debra Joy Groesser. The group’s 19th annual show and sale opens on Thursday, September 27, at the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, WI, with a reception and awards presentation at 5 p.m. “Impressionism is such an exciting genre of art—things don’t all look the same,” says Groesser. “There are the Russian Impressionists with their big, juicy brushwork, the French Impressionists with their broken color, and then you think of the California Impressionists and how beautifully they portray the light.”

These variations of impressionism, and many more, are on display in the school’s Guenzel Gallery, where 175 juried paintings by members hang alongside 20 pieces by AIS masters, officers, and founders. Contributing to the show’s varied styles and themes are juried artists like C.M. Cooper, Jane Hunt, Derek Penix, Mary Qian, Bob Rohm, and Michele Usibelli. The show also welcomes newcomers, including nationally acclaimed artist Jove Wang, who just recently joined AIS, and up-and-coming talents like Kathleen Hudson, Penny French-Deal, and Kay Crain. “Kay’s painting in the show is killer,” says Groesser. “It looks like something you would see by a French Impressionist—it’s a little Matisse-ish.” Titled THE SUN ROOM, Crain’s oil painting portrays a warm and airy parlor in the 1920s home of her sister-in-law and brother-in-law. There, on a sunny Oklahoma day, light streams through the room’s French doors and skylights. “Probably the lion’s share of my artwork contains a figure, but in this case, I thought none was needed,” Crain notes. “The sun was the star of the show!”

Works in other popular mediums also pepper the show, including pastels and watercolors. California plein-air artist Rick Delanty works in several mediums, but he decided upon acrylics for KOMOREBI, in part because the medium—like the subject of his painting—is water-based, he says. The piece was inspired by a series of drawings and photographs Delanty recorded along a light-dappled river bank in Yosemite Valley as he listened to the water lapping against various stones. “I wanted to paint a painting that sounded like music,” says the artist, who zeroed in on the scene’s shapes and values. Shadow and light play an important role in the composition, too, he adds, “directing the viewer’s eyes rhythmically in and around the moving water and rocks.”

During opening weekend, there are plenty of opportunities to watch artists like Delanty in action. On Friday, September 28, at 6 p.m., AIS master and judge of awards Dawn Whitelaw gives a painting demonstration in the gallery. Then, on Saturday, members paint en plein air throughout Fish Creek and surrounding areas. Located on the Door County peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, the picturesque Wisconsin town boasts everything from waterfront views and limestone bluffs to quaint storefronts and other colorful architecture. Inside the gallery, studio artists can paint a live model or a still-life arrangement. All of these fresh pieces are for sale in a wet-room gallery that afternoon at 4 p.m., further adding to the exhibition’s stimulating diversity. “Every year I say the show can’t get better than this,” says Groesser. “But it always does. I think, ‘Wow, this is going to blow people away.’” —Kim Agricola

contact information
402.592.3399
www.americanimpressionistsociety.org

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
• Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
• Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
• Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook

COMMENT