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Artists Chandra Jewell, Rebecca Ziess, Carol Speltz (who won an honorable mention for her piece Water & Wind) and Mark Piotrowski enjoyed checking out each other's work.
(MyBayCity Photo by Pati LaLonde)

Studio 23 hosts reception and announces winners of the All Area exhibit

September 10, 2016       Leave a Comment
By: Pati LaLonde

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Jim Matherne was grinning from ear to ear.

Why not? The Essexville resident's first ever completed oil painting was declared Best of Show at the annual All-Area, a juried exhibit, at Studio 23/The Arts Center, 901 N. Water St.

"I'm a watercolor artist," he said. "I moved from watercolor to oil. I got in the show to expedite finishing one."

Called Goodnight Moon, the canvas features a woman surrounded by moons and white flowers.

The artist, who is also the swim coach at Garber High School, says he starts with a face and a mood and builds from there.

"I started with just her, then for me it was a discovery process," he said.

For his efforts, Matherne took home $1,000.

Second place went to Jeffrey Bennett of Midland, giving him a check for $500.

Winning first place in the two-dimensional category was Zi Moreira from Midland, and first place in the three-dimensional category went to Garrett Weslock, curator of arts and exhibits for the gallery, for his sculpture. Each received $250.

Juried by Armin Mersmann from the Midland Center for the Arts in a blind jurying, Weslock was surprised when he won.

"I felt good knowing I was selected," he said. "This is my first juried exhibit. It feels good to know I did the right thing with my schooling"

Weslock will be part of the Oct. 28 Black and White show, along with members of the exhibition committee, Matherne, Bennett and Moreira will have a show following that.

While firsts it was for Matherne and Wedlock, Moreira is an old hand at winning.
She has won the Midland Artists Guild competition every year, has been a part of the Greater Michigan exhibition, and has won the Brazilian exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Her secret? Never knowing how the painting will come out.

"I have everything in my mind," she said. "What I start at is the never the same way when it's finished."

This exhibit is one of the most popular and longest lasting at the downtown gallery, which has been in existence for 57 years.

The exhibit runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Oct. 21.

For more information call 989-894-2323, or log on to

Scott Ellis from BaySail and Lynn Weaver from the Bay Area Women's Center stopped to chat while checking out the All-Area.
Photo by Pati LaLonde

Larry and Diane Arendt made sure guests at the reception had plenty of wine, punch, pop and water for the evening.
Photo by Pati LaLonde

Garrett Weslock sculpture won first place in the three-dimensional category.
Photo by Pati LaLonde

Jim Matherne's Goodnight Moon took Best of Show in the Studio 23 All-Area exhibit.
Photo by Pati LaLonde

Zi Moreira's abstract piece won first place in the two-dimensional category.
Photo by Pati LaLonde

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Pati LaLonde

Pati is a freelance writer with experience in all things pertaining to Bay County, Michigan.

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