Andersen Show ablaze in Color

Reviewer: Janet Martineau

Venue: Andersen Enrichment Center

An itsy bitsy beige-toned watercolor of a sleeping mouse, its tail curled around its body… a huge colorful mixed media painting depicting raging waves and red colored trees, slightly abstracted … and a portrait of a mysterious looking man in sun glasses, with a bridge in the background.
These are among the 72 pieces created by 24 artists who are members of the Saginaw Area Watermedia Artists (called SAWA) in the “Autumn Artstravaganza” exhibition. It opened Oct. 3 at the Andersen Enrichment Center, 120 Ezra Rust in Saginaw, and remains on display through Oct. 12.
Other images include a costumed dog, ships, flowers ranging from zinnias to clematis, the Ghost Ranch home of Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico, Fuzzy’s restaurant in Saginaw, a hot air balloon in Arizona, a flock of starlings in a golden tree, and an egret and its reflection in the water where it is wading.
The pictures in this post are best viewed on an tablet screen or larger rather than a smart phone.
In attending the opening Tuesday night, the joy was with the nine artists we chose to photograph with one of their pieces.
Each of the 72 entries, we assume, came with a story to tell and we are saddened not to hear about all of them.
Jan Wegner is the creator of the largest piece in the show, the 30-inch by 40-inch mixed media we referred to in the opening paragraph, titled “Autumn Tapestry,” as well as two other slightly abstracted nature landscapes.
Her works all started as watercolors and then went wild, she says. Acrylics were involved, as well as collectively fabric drying sheets, acrylic ink, gold flakes, Halloween webbing and Saran Wrap.
Janie Peters discovered the sleeping mouse at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, where her husband is employed.
It is a meadow jumping mouse, she said, and the painting is titled “Cocoon My Heart.”
At 3-inches by 3-inches it is by far the smallest piece in the show – 9-inches by 9-inches if you include the white matting around it.
That mysterious looking man with a bridge in back of him is a watercolor by Sherrie Tiderington, and is titled “Bridgemaster.”
The bridge, she said, exists in New York City, but the guy is not a bridgemaster. It is her son-in-law.
Tiderington taught English and history for 20 years at Heritage High School in Saginaw Township. When she retired 10 years ago she turned to painting. “There isn’t a day when I don’t paint,” she said.
It was something she had always wanted to do and throughout her life has visited art museums.
After retiring, she took art classes by three heavy hitters in mid Michigan, and has concentrated on portraits ever since.
Usually the people in them are family members taken out of context from photos she has taken.
Wegner, Peters and Tiderington all are Saginaw residents.
Saginaw Area Watermedia Artists is a non-profit organization comprised of mid-Michigan area artists who work to promote the fine art of painting in mediums of watercolor and acrylics.
To support art education in the schools, each year SAWA gives a community award to an area school for the purchase of art supplies.
The Andersen Enrichment Center is open from 9am to 3pm weekdays. Admission is free.

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