UP Focus: Cynthia Coté, Greg Green, Jack Oyler
Calumet, Michigan is home to a vibrant community of artists. This exhibition highlights three artists living and working in Calumet. All three artists combine different elements of traditional image making (drawing, painting, woodworking) with forms of collage.
Cynthia Coté uses a variety of found objects in her work including magazines, books, photographs and other scavenged bits of paper and string. Her work is based in drawing with pencil, pen and ink with collage elements added to provide loose narratives through thoughtful and oftentimes humorous combinations of text and image. In addition to a busy studio practice, Coté is also the founder and Executive Director of the Copper Country Arts Center.
Greg Green describes his paintings and collages as “poems to snap us out of our mundane sleep or to flow with our natural rhythm”. The work appears abstract at first glance, but closer inspection reveals elements of patterned materials (sometimes scraps of found fabric) layered and integrated with acrylic paint. These subtle references can range from pop culture to shapes and symbols that hint at a deeper, intuitive message. Green received a BFA from Western Michigan University and a MFA from University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Jack Oyler describes his early work as “normal paintings” of oil on canvas. Several years ago he abandoned tradition and began cutting shapes and figures out of plywood with scroll saw. He washes the surface with thinned acrylic paint and wood stain to highlight patterns in the wood grain. The individual pieces are then attached to a surface, leaving what ultimately feels like a still frame from a film constructed out of wood. Each piece is titled (usually written on the frame) to give hints to song lyrics or simply observations from daily life. Jack Oyler received a BFA from Central Michigan University in painting.