Closer To G-D featuring the works of Dr Arnold Dreifuss (D.2007), Jeremy E Hansen, Matt Lewis & Jim Slack (D.2001)
Sep
15
to Oct 21

Closer To G-D featuring the works of Dr Arnold Dreifuss (D.2007), Jeremy E Hansen, Matt Lewis & Jim Slack (D.2001)

  Two artists know what comes after death and two are speculating.    This is part of an upcoming show at River’s Edge Gallery in downtown Wyandotte opening September 15th.

 

   The four artists involved in the show Dr. Arnold Dreifus (deceased) ,  Jeremy Hansen (living) , Matt Lewis (living)  and Jim Slack (deceased), have always had an ethereal side to their art.  They have posed questions about a Supreme Being, the meaning of life and their place and all of our places in the whole scheme of things.  Of course this can be said of most artists as art is said to come from the spirit or soul of the maker.   These images are sometimes blatant but more often in the eye of the beholder.  With these four artists none of the pieces are statements but more questions.   According to Patt Slack, co-owner of the gallery, “These four artists have always been brave about putting forward their images and embody a famous quote by John F. Kennedy that‘the highest duty of an artist is to remain true to himself and let the chips fall where they may’”.   She said also she would add one more Kennedy quote...” ‘If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him’.” 

 

Patt added that she would imagine some viewers may find the images “challenging”.    She explains that a series by Jeremy Hansen places his image in the place of other Saints or Sinners such as Salome is holding Jeremy’s head in her hand instead of John the Baptist and Mary in the famous Pieta sculpture is comforting the likeness of Jeremy.  A painting by Jim Slack shows Jesus between Elvis and Lenny Bruce while they die of a drug overdoes on the toilet.  She remember this as a holy picture for Jim.  “He saw it as showing that no matter how far down you go in this life, you are accepted and loved by a higher power.” explained Patt.  She also said there will be other images not so challenging in fact beautiful as the spiritual landscapes of Matt Lewis and the recreations of the dreams of Dr. Dreifuss’ paintings from his psychology practice. 

 

  The four artists have very diverse backgrounds:

 

Dr. Arnold Dreifuss: (died 2007)  A Detroit artist by way of Chicago , Dreifuss, as a boy, wanted to go to art school.  His father did not agree that art was a viable option for a career so Dr. Dreifuss acquired his PhD in Psychology and Education.  The Dr. became a psychologist and a professor at Detroit Mercy College all the while maintaining a prolific art career. His paintings and prints are an “art brut” (primitive) style found on an array of substrates from broken fences nailed together to canvas stretched over side tables with the legs removed. Though it was said that he painted his patients dreams, he also explored mythology and Christian iconic narratives.

 

Jeremy E. Hansen:  A downriver artist by way of Vancouver Canada who came to Metro Detroit after a short lived career as a professional figure skater and acrobat with Disney On Ice. Jeremy grew up figure skating competitively and then after the traumatic death of his mother he quitand concentrated studying theater and later philosophy in college until he auditioned on a whim for Disney on Ice.   Hansen's mother was insistent on giving him a cultured education taking him out of class to go to ballets or operas and see special exhibitions at the Vancouver gallery. At 16 Jeremy met some local artists in Vancouver and became encouraged to "make art" and a few years later began making art out of trash unaware that he was diving into the beginnings an art career. Jeremy will be releasing a new series of classically inspired iconic paintings.

 

Matt Lewis:  A graduate from the Center for Creative Studies and currently both a teacher and an artist.  Matt terms his acrylics and watercolors as Spiritual Landscapes infused with his Buddhist practice. According to Matt,

“My work evolves out of a necessity for the work to come into being.  The work is a necessary activity for me in terms of a meditation, reflection, and possibility of self actualization.  The work has become more focused in recent years on thoughts and meditations of spiritual exploration and psychological activity, both conscious and unconscious.   I explore an imaginary psychological landscape that is easily accessed by our own understanding of both figure ground relationships and the familiarity of the landscape format.  These works have no specific narrative and instead utilize a matrix of what I consider to be personal mark making activity. This activity results in the creation of unconscious personal symbols that represent for me the idea of the unknowable, or the unknowable by intellect, in effect, the idea of symbolizing what is instead a part of you, and therefore transcends knowing and unknowing.  It is therefore a representation of the mystery, and a record of a meditation. 

 

Jim Slack: (died 2001) A Detroit artist by way of New Jersey.  As a young boy Jim was a working artist and had a powerful mentor who was the then Art Critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He was showing in New York as a teen and had gotten accepted and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  After he was drafted and spent a stint in Viet Nam he continued to hang out with artists in New York the likes of Andy Warhol and crew but he did very little painting.  He hit the road as a full blown hippie and traveled to San Francisco and Height Ashbury street where he lived in the Grateful Dead commune.  When his lifestyle became too much he was encouraged to come to Detroit by an army buddy.  Detroit is where he began painting again and became involved with the Michigan Gallery and other non profits.  He then opened River’s Edge Gallery with his wife, Patt Slack.  His painting were usually large and contemporary and he sold internationally before his death in 2001. 

-30

View Event →

"Current Conditions" The art of Shawn Statchel
Aug
18
to Sep 10

"Current Conditions" The art of Shawn Statchel

Current Conditions runs August 18-September 10

Current Conditions runs August 18-September 10

There are many paths.  Most artists create because they must.  Some are highly trained and some have a natural gift.  Most are a combination of both and have an agenda in their development and creation of their art.  They create to develop a profession or for an expression of their experiences and feelings.  Most do it to present to others.

  But then there is that unexplainable artist..  This artist creates with no agenda and knows no rules or proper and popular art culture.   This group of artists are necessarily outside the lines without artistic training other than perhaps learning skills from a parent or relative or neighbor or just the culture that they live in.   They are truly “doing their own thing”.   They are sometimes called outsider,  folk, brut, primitive or raw artists. They are often on the fringes of a society and not enmeshed. They just pick up something whether it is a stone, canvas or surf board and make something.  Such is the only way to describe Shawn Statchel who will appear in a one man show at River’s Edge Gallery in downtown Wyandotte titled “Current Conditions”.  The show opens on August 18th with a meet the artist reception at 7 to 11 pm.  The show will run until September 10th. 

Jeremy Hansen, the co-owner and gallery director stated:

I was first introduced to Shawn Statchel around 2005-2006. This unassuming young man came into River’s Edge Gallery with a backpack and a sort of solicitor disposition.  He nonchalantly reached into his backpack and pulled out a seemingly hand carved, hand painted non specific type of wooden fish. I was very new to the art scene for I was an assistant to the machine that is River’s Edge Gallery which was composed of custom framing, interior design services and fine art prints with a mélange of local and regional artists and I was very non versed in the formalities of the professional gallery submission process. I was confused in his approach and probably stand offish which he may have read on his end.
The conversation was short, probably something like “ Hey do you like my fish?”.   I probably responded “Dude … cool” or maybe I thought he was trying to get me to buy them or something… I declined and he left. All I know is that after our encounter I saw his wonderful sculptures down the street at the former Biddle Gallery. I spoke with the owner about his works and she had a similar encounter with him but she was able to see the beauty, honesty and importance of Shawn’s works.  I somewhat lost touch with Shawn’s work and his progression as I was blindly focusing on River’s Edge Gallery without knowing that I would someday play a larger role as director and later co-owner.
It wasn’t until many years later that my search for local espresso shots led me to the hip local and short lived Tongue’s coffee shop where I was reintroduced to Shawn’s sculptures and paintings. Biddle Gallery had recently closed and Shawn had no local downriver venue to show. I encouraged Shawn to create work and to progress. We developed a friendship over coffee and cigarettes and multiple conversations about surfing and travelling and I believe we were able to come to an agreement about displaying at River’s Edge Gallery.  I was familiar with the German fauvists and enjoyed the outsider inspired work of Jean Dubuffet but Shawn’s raw talent spoke to me. His narrative paintings depicting nature scenes, fantastic melded creatures, people engaging in outdoor activities from spear fishing to surfing and really whatever Shawn was doing or longing to do were honest, raw, colorful. 
-30
View Event →
The Detroit Show with Niagara, SLAW & Jerome Ferretti
Jun
17
to Aug 14

The Detroit Show with Niagara, SLAW & Jerome Ferretti

All artists have international reputations:  Niagara is a well known punk princess and was the lead singer for Destroy All Monsters; SLAW is a retro painter capturing the 50’s nostalgia and has his large murals in a variety of public places: Jerome Ferretti’s brick installations and murals can be seen in and outside of Detroit including his latest at Whole Foods in Detroit.

View Event →
Cityscape / Landscape
May
20
to Jun 15

Cityscape / Landscape

Brant Maclean brought new works for his latest series of paintings “Cityscape/Landscape”. These works were inspired by Detroit renaissance with the mixture of older architecture  as well his respect for the natural landscapes surrounding the city. These new works were also a mixture of plein-air and studio works.

View Event →
Le Printemps d’Yver
Apr
12
to May 12

Le Printemps d’Yver

River’s Edge Gallery is pleased to announce the return of French artist Étienne Yver for his latest show, “Le Printemps d’Yver.” Inspired by the operas of Mozart, Yver combined his love of music and painting to create a fresh interpretation of the composer. This interpretation is a series of  colorful paintings that capture the raw emotion in the operas. The show will open on April 12th. Coinciding with“Le Printemps d’Yver,” the Windsor Symphony Orchestra will perform a selection of Mozart’s work on the evenings of April 24th and 30th. After the performances guests will have the opportunity to meet Yver.

View Event →
Washes, Wax, Wood & Wishes Opening Reception
Mar
18
to Apr 8

Washes, Wax, Wood & Wishes Opening Reception

Detroit is in the midst of a renewal.  The Motor City has come on the national front appearing in stories in such publications as The New York Times talking about its comeback.    Small new restaurants and art venues have been appearing all over the city, many in the form of “pop-ups,” there one day and gone the next.   This is unlike River’s Edge Gallery which has stayed fast showingMetro Detroit artists in virtually the same location for almost 40 years.  They did move down the street 14 years ago.   Despite this longevity,  they have remained a cutting edge art venue known not only locally but internationally.

View Event →