Some artists consider Friday the 13th unlucky. But not JenClare Gawaran, the Featured Artist this month at Detroit Artists Market (DAM), who unveiled some new serigraphs there last night on Friday, September 13, 2013. She was invited back in June and had no qualms about the opening reception being on a supposedly unlucky day. "It's just another day," Gawaran said. Except for one piece, her whole series is brand new work she created this past summer.
There was no bad luck for Gawaran or her artwork, which impressed everyone at the gallery last night. "It's beautiful, it refreshes the spirit," said Jef Bourgeau, one of the giants of Detroit art. Gawaran's family is proud of her. "Very clever how she integrates the theme," said her older brother John. An American artist of Filipino ancestry, she recalled some Filipino superstitions: "If you go to bed with your hair wet, you'll wake up blind," she said. "They're all silly."
Gawaran is perhaps best known as the driving force behind Whitdel Arts, the plucky little gallery in Mexicantown. Some of her Whitdel colleagues were at DAM to support her, like Rachel Bourgault and Jane Holder to name just two. "People forget I make art," Gawaran said. Besides DAM, she also has work at the Paint Creek Center for the Arts and will be part of some group shows in the near future. Five of her pieces at DAM are self portraits, but some not obviously so: one of them foregrounds a reversed eye chart. "My work is autobiographical," she wrote in a statement placed on the wall with her art.
The main show at DAM highlights six artists hand-picked by the gallery's exhibition committee, including Jim Hittinger and Steven Kuypers. The show will be up until October 19, with a gallery talk slated for October 5, according to the gallery's website.