October Show: Bonifas Invitational

October Show: Bonifas Invitational

October will see our Bonifas Invitational artists Bernie Park and Caroline Carlson.

The October 2021 show in the Olive M. Craig gallery will feature two artists from the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba, MI. The William Bonifas Fine Arts Center is a regional art center in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where you can tour gallery exhibits, participate in art workshops, learn something new in the educational classes and enjoy theatrical productions. The Alice Powers Gallery, hosts a variety of traveling exhibits as well as displays by regional artists throughout the year. There’s no charge to visit the exhibits, so visit often!

Bonifas Invitational

Meet The Artists:

"St. Helena", Caroline Carlson

Caroline Carlson Artist Statement and Bio

I’ve been hungry for as long as I can remember. For meaning, for connection. For me, painting is as much about the journey as the end product. My works are the byproduct of my longing to hurtle myself back into the collective consciousness of creation. When I paint, I am home. I paint portraits and narrative compositions and portraits. I love these genres equally, because even a portrait, with its seemingly straightforward subject, can capture something deeper, a glimpse of one’s inner universe. My narrative compositions are a gritty nod to the Pre-Raphaelites. Each is a painting a “page” ripped from the collective journal of our struggles, vulnerabilities, triumphs, and heartbreaks.. I paint to reach out on a soul level, willing viewers to understand, “I see you, I get you, you are not alone.”

Caroline Italia Carlson is a professional artist providing a full spectrum of media services to the clients of her company, Caroline Italia, LLC. These services include including oil painting,


illustration, web design, print design, photography, audio and video editing and production, podcasting, and writing. Caroline has shown her fine art in New York, California, Wisconsin, Michigan and including exhibits in SoHo, NYC. She has won numerous awards for her drawings, paintings, and photographs. The daughter of a craftsman and an artist, Caroline studied art formally from the age of six, taking courses in drawing, painting, and sculpting at Hofstra University while in elementary school.

She became skilled with an airbrush in high school and went on to complete a bachelor of art degree in visual art and a minor in art history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In New Jersey, Caroline studied illustration and graphic design at the Joe Kubert School, digital design at Morris County School of Technology, and web development at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Throughout her career, Caroline has continued the development of her skills through the AQUENT Springboard web design and development program in Boston, MA, Seth Godin’s Marketing Seminar, Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy, and Marie Forleo’s B-School. A perpetual student, Caroline continues to study fine art, marketing, and business. Early in her career, Caroline cut her teeth in the pressure cooker of East Coast marketing firms, where the creative energy and intense deadlines refined her talents and honed her work ethic.

Upon moving the West Coast in 1999, Caroline began art directing magazines and did a deep dive into web design using HTML and CSS. Her California years included almost a decade of living, working, and volunteering at Living Free Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit animal rescue in the San Jacinto mountains. In 2013, Caroline moved to central Wisconsin with her husband Steve and their two sons, where she applied her wide range of traditional and digital art skills in both the corporate environment and her own small business. Caroline made her foray into podcasting in 2017, while Director of Marketing and Creative Design for the National Wellness Institute. She launched the Passionate Painter Podcast in 2019 to provide education, inspiration, and encouragement to artists all over the world. As her audience continues to grow, the show continues to be a source of joy and community for her. Possessing the heart of a teacher and motivated by helping others, Caroline enjoys teaching local workshops through the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center. A perennial entrepreneur, her newest venture is building an online course for oil painters who want to learn portraiture. When asked about the artists she has been influenced by, Caroline said, “Listing three artists who have influenced me is tough. I’’d say my top three would be Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and John Williams Waterhouse. But the artist with whom I feel the most connection is Katie O’Hagan. When I saw her work, I thought, “She gets me.” It was like looking into my own psyche.”

Bernie Park
"Haven", Bernie Parks

Bernie Park Artist Statement and Bio

My name is Bernard “Bernie” Park. I was born in Flint, Michigan in 1950 and currently reside with my wife Joan in rural Marquette County Michigan. Since the age of fifteen, being a working artist was all I ever wanted to be. Like most of us, the journey hasn’t always been a smooth one but that’s what makes it worthwhile. After receiving an MFA in printmaking from Michigan State University in 1987, I turned my attention to painting, exploring a variety of processes and materials including works on paper, canvas, mixed media and solid surfaces including thirty years as an encaustic painter. My experience has allowed me to conduct occasional workshops in encaustic and oil painting. My preferred medium for the last twelve years is oil painting.

Although the formative years of my art making were firmly grounded in the abstract genre, I have spent the last several years exploring regional landscape painting. After moving to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, I gradually became seduced by the beauty and power of the woodlands, water and variety of moods one experiences living above the forty-fifth parallel.
I try to capture the light and the atmosphere that convey the sense of tranquility and spirituality that emanates from this very special place.

My work is influenced by Tonalism, a late eighteenth/early twentieth century movement typified by a limited palette, soft edges and a natural setting. My preferred medium is oil paint thinly applied in layers and glazes on solid supports or canvas. To borrow a quote from Whistler: “Paint should not be applied thickly but should appear on the surface like breath on a pane of glass”.

When can I see the show?

The 2021 Bonifas Invitational can be viewed at The Alberta House through the entire month of October. We’re excited to have both these artists within our space and invite everyone to come see their works.