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Art Annual at the Neville a reflection of the world

By Donna Schuld

GREEN BAY – Forty works of art, out of nearly 90 submissions, were chosen for the 76th Art Annual Exhibition at the Neville Public Museum. 

The artists from Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan represent a wide variety of media. 

This juried art exhibition began in 1942 during the height of World War II. 

For more than 75 years, many of this region’s most celebrated and talented artists have exhibited their work as part of this Green Bay tradition.

George Williams, professor of visual arts at Beloit College was the juror for this exhibit, which opens Oct. 30 and runs through Jan. 30.

He selected the pieces to be included in the final exhibition. 

Kevin Cullen, Neville Public Museum deputy director, serves as the exhibit project manager, and selected Williams based on staff input.

“I asked this juror to really look at the submissions and pull together a show that reflects our society in this moment in time,” Cullen said. “The reaction we got from our artists really did speak to the moment. The art has to be contemporary, that’s one of the stipulations in the prospectus – it can’t be older than three years.”

Along with being contemporary, he said the exhibit features world views. 

“It is a modern take on the world around us,” Cullen said. “Truly the world is represented. We have a Haitian immigrant, Gregory Frederic, who is making a name for himself locally. We have Joye Moon, a watercolorist from Oshkosh, who routinely gets in the show. It’s a very difficult medium to get right and do it realistically. She has a painting called, ‘China Texting,’ evoking the past and the present all on top of each other.”

Moon said the inspiration for her painting came while she and her husband were on a trip to China. 

“We came across this area with all these beautiful Chinese lanterns hanging and a girl was on the bridge texting,” Moon said. 

The nighttime scene took some effort to create. 

“It probably took about 45 to 50 hours,” she said. “It actually is a poured painting, which you would never guess. I’m using paper, paint and masking fluid.”

Cullen said he hopes visitors to the Neville will take time to soak in the wide variety of artwork in the 76th Art Annual. 

“It will allow a viewer to take a moment to contemplate, even if it’s just for 5 seconds, what the artist was intending,” he said. “If it can stop you in your tracks then we’re on the right track.”

Viewing an exhibition like the 76th Art Annual is something an artist like Moon said she enjoys, because of the range of creative offerings.

“I think it’s important and beneficial for people to see what artwork is being produced in their region because this exhibit is for a great deal of Wisconsin plus Upper Michigan,” she said. “When you go to an exhibit, it kind of opens your mind to different possibilities. Some work is more political, some work is more feel-good, some have a message. This show consistently has been very well-rounded, showing a variety of subjects, mediums and because of that I think it’s always a fun exhibit to see.”

Works of art in this exhibit are for sale. 

To learn more about the 76th Art Annual, visit NevillePublicMuseum.org.

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