REVIEW: 93rd Annual All Media Exhibition


I attended the opening reception for the 93rd Annual All Media Exhibition. The event was packed with art-lovers and the walls were decked out with works of art. The live music contributed to the classiness of the atmosphere and the free wine and appetizers satisfied the crowd. A few artists that captured my attention as I made my way through the gallery were Michael Reedy and Cathryn Amidei. All of the exhibited artists are based in the Great Lakes region and these artists in particular are based in Michigan.

Reedy’s piece in the exhibition, entitled The Kiss, is a mixed-media piece. It involves a naked female-figure and a child-figure in an ambiguous space. The naked female-figure sits and embraces the child-figure with closed eyes. Hauntingly, the child-figure is eyeless and skinless; the viewer sees its veins, organs, and skeletal structure. Both figures are vulnerable insofar as the female-figure is naked and the child-figure’s bodily insides are literally exposed. The relationship between the two figures suggests intimacy and the title, The Kiss, reinforces this perceived intimacy. The ambiguous space in the background highlights the all-consuming intensity of their intimacy. Nothing else exists.


Amidei’s piece in the exhibition, entitled Receptor, is a hand-woven fabric piece. Its solitary female figure directly stares at the viewer and her gaze is longs for attention. A familiar-feeling pattern spreads across her face. The greens and purples add to the seductive quality of her gaze. The piece is quite hypnotic in-person because the texture is more perceptible. The title, Receptor, implies receiving and the state of openness. The piece invites its viewers to step into into its seductively-patterned world. The Kiss involves figures engaged with each other rather than with the viewer; Receptor, however, involves a solitary figure that directly and hypnotically engages the viewer.


Several other artists participated in the exhibition and their works are worth experiencing in-person. Importantly, the exhibition included Great Lakes artists that work in a variety of media. Artists tend to concentrate within somewhat limited scopes of expertise. For example, an accomplished painter may know little about photography and likewise an accomplished photographer may know little about painting. The exhibition combines artists with differing scopes of expertise and celebrates their shared characteristics: firstly, their ability to create art and secondly, their ties to the Great Lakes region.

The 93rd Annual All Media Exhibition will run until the end of November.