REVIEW: WSG Gallery Autumn Salon

The WSG Gallery is currently running their Autumn Salon, a show true to the salon spirit with works stacked up to its ceilings. It’s a format I don’t see as much in museums and galleries, but one I think should still have its place in art display. While one doesn’t meditate quite as much on singular pieces, the collage of work displays both the variety and also the more general themes and techniques used by these local artists. This makes for a rich display of individual and community artistic sensibilities.


There was an interesting mix of art forms, especially seen in the abstract sculptures found in the window. In a gallery where two dimensional works tower over you, finding common ground with some three dimensional forms creates a more dynamic, engaging experience as one has moments to appreciate the translation of different artistic principles and elements (like color, shape, and form) to a completely different manifestation of creativity.


As I have a personal history of learning and preferring figure drawing and painting, the figural work on display consistently stood out to me. One artist that stands out is Nora Venturelli, a professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design. Their rhythmic, daring compositions and color schemes attracted my eye, and I found their work to be really engaging. I never get tired of playing with human contours and movement in my own work, so to see a take using bolder color and thoughtful paint application was really enjoyable for me.

pictured: Nora Venturelli, Vice Versa, no. 48


Lastly, Maria Ruggiero’s Hillside Houses, Tuscany stood out to me. What’s so interesting about this piece is the layering of different paint strokes and application patterns, and the way Ruggiero does so in a way that is evidently done with considerations to atmospheric perspective inso that these different techniques work together to create unity rather than falling apart. I’m not really a landscape person, but this work definitely takes the concept to a different place, offering playful technique and lively color that convinces viewers to linger just a little bit longer.


pictured: Maria Ruggiero, Hillside Houses, Tuscany


I encourage students and community members alike to go take a look at what’s being offered at the WSG Gallery and get a feel for some of the art being produced out of Ann Arbor and the surrounding area. The show closes November 23rd; go enjoy the last remnants of fall while you can!