2019 Juried Art Exhibition


October 26 - December 30


This year’s juried art exhibit was judged by Noel Skiba. Skiba chose sixty art pieces from over 100 entries. Skiba titled the exhibit “Connections.” She explained how each piece radiated a connection with each other and the whole environment. “The art pieces are earthy, with a relationship between nature, water, animals and people. The exhibit has a depth and breadth of elements and styles working together in cohesion.”


While selecting the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners and five honorable mentions, Noel expressed that all the artists are winners. “I know what it takes to enter juried art contests. I can see where these artists are developing skills, taking risks, experimenting with mediums and trying new techniques.”


The first place award went to Linda Drean for her oil painting titled, Horse and Dog. Skiba felt the painting was beautifully executed with great quality. “The impressionistic style of using rich dark strokes of color in contrast with the light skillfully depicted the beautiful horse emerging from the shadows.” Linda Drean received a $300 cash award and will have a solo art exhibit in 2020.


Second place award, with a $200 cash prize, went to Christine Lannom from West Branch for her watercolor painting of Ornate Recollection. “The depth and breadth of this artwork is excellent. The painting was exquisite in detail. With the contemporary use of media and richness of warm earthy tones, Lannom captured a fresh, spontaneous softness that leaves you wanting to know more about the story behind the painting.”


Third place award, with a $100 cash prize sponsored by the Northeast Michigan Artist Guild, went to Brian Schorn for his collection titled Prairie Grass. “The imperfection of the elements of rust, string, wood, and grass are well balanced and executed in a high-quality fashion. The piece is earthy, calming, and the naturalness of it makes you feel good,” explained Skiba.


Honorable mentions went to:

* Kati Meek for the hand-woven wool textile piece titled Rough Water. “There is a fluid quality to the changing pattern coming forward resembling waves of water on the beach.”

* Autumn Bildson for the stone carving titled Coy Spell. “There is a figurative Madonna like quality that has been released from the marble stone. This silent piece takes you by surprise as it changes when viewed at different angles. There is an earthy, calming quality to this well-executed piece.”

* Sharon Rickard for the mixed media piece titled Buster Brown. “There is a mix of fauvism and realism that takes you on a journey around the canvas and draws you in. The design elements are well executed. The contemporary use of color, print, and graphic design elements are well executed and pulls the piece all together.”

* Helen Hierta for the clay piece titled, Go with the Flow. “This 2-demensional piece with a Sci-Fi quality grabs your attention and leaves you wanting more. The glazing is very good.”

* Mark Behmer for the oil painting titled Working the Current Alaskan Rainbow #2. “This is a dynamic piece that captures a moment. The artists brings the fish to life.”

* Judy Seabase for the photograph titled Foggy Psalms Brook. “The misty quiet of this landscape draws you in. The earthy elements complimented the cohesiveness of the exhibit.” * Diane English for the cloth piece titled Buggy. “This textile work is a labor of love. I appreciate the detail that went into stitching together the different textured elements to create this lovely, well-executed piece.”

First Place Winner by Linda Drean


Second Place Winner by Christine Lannom


Third Place Winner by Brian Schorn


2019 Juror - Noel Skiba

   Noel Skiba, hometown American treasure and award-winning artist, is this year’s juror. Born and raised in Alpena, Noel feels blessed to be a 4th generation artist, learning to paint at the age of two years old under the instruction of her mother, local art master teacher, Joy Anne Skiba.  

   Noel has traveled the world doing mission work, teaching, building and painting live on-location with music teams, sharing her paintings and creating murals working with children and adults.  She has won many awards and honors throughout her life-long career as an impressionistic acrylic, oil, watercolor and multi-media painter (including pastel, inks, dyes) and as a commercial illustrator. Noel’s career as an artist includes fine and commercial arts, (working in a variety of media including paint, ink, drawing, ceramics, fiber weaving and hangings, sculpture, marble, tile, glass shells in mosaics, photography, retouching, video, animation) and radio and TV commercials, plus outdoor and print advertising. Noel has also taught art classes. Noel has painted live on-stage, on PBS in Grand Rapids, for American Red Cross, and locally at WBKB-TV. She also worked as a courtroom illustrator providing sketches for CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX.  Skiba is a passionate, impressionistic, and energetic colorist painter.  

   ASA Degree from Alpena Community College major Business and Fine, Liberal Arts; and Certificate in Photography and Retouching from Winona School of Professional Photography.  Noel holds a BFA from Kendall College of Arts and Design and Aquinas College, majoring in Illustration with a minor in Business; AAS Degree from Ferris State University major in Science, Art and Radiography, focus Medical Illustration.

   Noel’s awards and honors include: being invited by the family of President Gerald R. Ford to paint during his funeral & memorial services while the President was “Lying in Repose” (Skiba created 36 paintings live on location during international TV, several pieces featured in the Presidential Museum, with Family and featured in National Archives). Noel’s 2019 Mackinac Bridge Series is a permanent installation at the Michigan House of Representatives; 2019 First Place and Best of Show in Painting Representation of Schooner’s Wharf, Key West; and four-time winner of Mackinac Island Lilac Poster contest (2016, 2015, 2013, and 2010). She is also the poster winner of Grand Rapids’ Celebration on The Grand; Florida Seminole Casino’s Balloons over Paradise, Pigeon Keys (2011, 2013); Islamorada Island Fest 2015; Alpena Brown Trout Art in the Park; Charlevoix Art; Harbor Springs Art; Addy Awards Brooks Shoes, Silver Quill Award; Grand Rapids, On The Town Magazine; Strathmore Paper Regional Award; Grand Rapids Community College Catalogue; Bay Harbor Art Show program cover; Keys Cultural Magazine cover; and Keys Weekly Cover art three times. Her artwork is also featured on Murdick’s Fudge Boxes. 


   Noel has worked with several professional, commercial and private clients including: Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Alpena Community College, Besser Company, Alpena General Hospital, Munson Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, Governor Blanchard, Governor Granholm, Governor Snyder, Sears, Meijer Corporation, and St Bernard’s Catholic Church. Her art work also hangs in several hotels throughout Michigan and Florida.  

   Noel Skiba maintains art studios and gallery showrooms in four locations, including Mackinac Island, Florida Keys, Grand Rapids and Alpena. Noel also annually paints live at Churchill Downs Kentucky Oaks and Derby. Some other en plein air live locations have been Grand Canyon, Sedona, Big Sur, Catalina Island, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Gettysburg, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Bahamas, Cuba, Paris France and more.

Our mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit authentic articles and artifacts of art, history, and science to 

inspire curiosity, foster community pride, and cultivate personal legacy.

Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan


Monday - Saturday  -  10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sunday  - 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.



491 Johnson Street

Alpena, MI 49707