2017 Potential Art Exhibit

The Neutral Zone is pleased to host the 35th annual Potential Art Exhibit in 2017; a juried exhibition that showcases the work of Washtenaw County high school artists. The opening reception and awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.  The exhibition will be open to the public from Monday, April 24, to Thursday, April 27, from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. daily.

All high-school artists in the Ann Arbor area are encouraged to submit work through their teachers or by contacting Neutral Zone’s visual & media arts manager, Mary Thiefels.

This year’s exhibit will be juried by Helen Gotlib.

Helen Gotlib was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A life time interest in art led Helen to study at the University of Michigan’s School Of Art And Design where she divided her time between printmaking and scientific illustration. This lead her to develop a process oriented drawing style characterized by extreme detail.

Gotlib has traveled extensively. Her observations of people and customs of Europe, Asia and the Middle East have influenced her perception of the human body and it’s complex range of expression. This interest manifests itself primarily in the vast body of figurative drawing, painting and print making work she has produced over the course of the last decade.

Most recently however, Gotlib has made an extensive exploration of a deceptively nuanced and emotional subject – flowers. By following the life cycle of flora, but focusing particularly on dried, dead flowers, she has managed to create images of unexpected beauty and emotional power mirroring the complexities of her figurative work.

Gotlib’s work has been exhibited in numerous juried shows across the country.

Potential 2016 Timeline and Deadlines

Monday, March 27th – Deadline for Submissions – Entry submissions due from teachers – using Dropbox (link provided below).

Monday, March 27 – Thursday April 6th – Jurying in process.

Friday, April 7th – Notifications sent to teachers.

Monday, April 17th – Artwork drop-off at the Neutral Zone.

Saturday, April 22rd –  Potential exhibit opening reception from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.  and awards ceremony (6:00 p.m.)

Thursday, April 27th – Show comes down, artwork pick up.

Submission and upload requirements:

Dropbox instructions:

  • You will be invited to “join” the Potential 2017 dropbox folder in the previous email
  • Create a unique folder for your students’ work on your personal desktop
    • Example: “Steve Coron – Community High”
  • Put all student information and jpgs. inside this unique teacher folder and drag it into the dropbox link.

Titling the jpgs:

  • Give each jpg. a number & title with the student’s name and school.
    • Example:
      • 4. ReginaSpector_Skyline
  • Addtionally: Indicate whether the work is “senior portfolio” and give each jpg. a number #1-#3 indicating the series of work for that student.
    • Senior Portfolio Title Example:
      • 1. IvanSoucy_Skyline_SP#1

Student information work doc or pdf file:

  • In a Word doc/ Excel spread sheet etc. create a student list that corresponds to the jpg. numbers.
    • Example: jpgs. 1-3. Ivan Soucy: Skyline senior, 2112 Archer Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, (address OR student email)
    • Then list ALL of your students with their information and the corresponding numbers to the jpgs.
      • Size of the work
      • Medium
      • Title
  • Put your Word doc. AND all the jpgs into your teacher folder
  • Drag your teacher folder from your desktop into the dropbox folder “Potential 2017”
  • And voila! 
  • Teachers can submit up to 40 pieces of artwork each.
  • Each image size should not exceed 5MB.
  • Senior Portfolio: submit 3 works per student showing continuity.

Jurying and Awards:

  • This year’s exhibit will be juried by Helen Gotlib, local Ann Arbor, professional artist.
  • http://www.helengotlib.com/
  • Awards totaling – $800: Best in 2D – $100 (drawing, painting, printmaking), Best in Photography – $100, Best in Metals – $100, Best in 3D – $100, Senior Portfolio (4 works showing continuity) $300, Best in Show $100.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What schools participated in 2016: 
    • Pioneer, Huron, Dexter, Community, Ypsilanti Community Schools, Chelsea, Pinckney, Skyline, Greenhills, Pathways, Gabrielle Richard, and Arbor Prep.
  • Can Senior Portfolio work be juried into other categories?
    • Yes, only after they are not accepted as “senior portfolio” for display or award.  The work will then go back into the jurying pot to win or be accepted in other categories.
  • Is the student’s artwork going to be secure in the Neutral Zone space?
    • Yes, definitely.  The exhibition will take place in our concert venue, The B-Side.  The venue is connected to the main building adjacent to administrative offices and program spaces.  There are up to 13 staff in the building at all times.  We are making all staff aware of the special circumstances of the exhibition for the week the show is up in the venue.  All special events are canceled for that week, making Potential the featured program.  In addition, we will staff the exhibition with volunteer gallery sitters for the hours we are open to the public, 2:30-8 p.m., Monday – Thursday; and 2:30 – 6 p.m. on Friday.
  • How will you be displaying metals and ceramics to insure their safety?
    • All metals and ceramics will be housed in LOCKED glass cases or on open secure pedestals.  We will also provide extra staffing and volunteer gallery sitters for hours the NZ is open to the public.
  • Does the work need to be matted and framed?
    • All 2D work needs to be matted and backed, framing is optional.  Format Framing will be hosting a matting workshop for teens and teachers (date TBA)  the NZ is also preparing to offset the cost to teachers and teens interested in participating in the workshop.
  • Who is eligible to submit?
    • All high school aged youth.  Youth should submit their art work through an art teacher at their school or through Mary Thiefels at the Neutral Zone.
  • How is the work juried?  What is the juror looking for?
    • The work will be submitted using Dropbox.  All entries will be then given to our professional juror.  She will  be looking for originality,  finished and polished works of art, and effort towards a mastery of the chosen materials.
  • How is the Potential show being funded?
    • The NZ is actively seeking corporate and private sponsorship to cover the cost of the event.
  • Will the Potential show be documented?
    • Yes, Community Television Network, has volunteered to do film and video coverage of the exhibition opening.  At that time, we will capture thoughts and reactions from all youth and teachers involved.  A short promo video will be created.
  • What is the youth curation team doing for the show?
    • They are meeting weekly, working on the flyer, and will help with outreach, marketing, and promotion.
  • How do I join the curation team so my school is represented?
    • Contact Mary Thiefels with all inquiries.
  • How can I get more information?
    • All information will be updated on the NZ website – page currently being created.

Questions? Contact:

Mary Thiefels, Neutral Zone – thiefels@neutral-zone.org

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