MEET OUR JUDGES For ScrapFest 11!

Allow us to introduce you to this year's judges for the competition portion of ScrapFest 11! We're super excited to have them join us!

Judging will take place on Saturday July 13th, 10am-2pm. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and People's Choice awards for both the Large and Small piece categories will be announced at around 4:45pm! 🥇🥈🥉🏆

Welcome to ScrapFest, Juana, Ann, and Caleb!


Juana Williams is the Exhibitions Curator at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) in Grand Rapids, MI.

Juana Williams is the Exhibitions Curator at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) in Grand Rapids, MI.

Juana Williams is the Exhibitions Curator at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA). She holds a BA in Art and an MA in Art History, both from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Prior to joining UICA, Williams held multiple positions at various art institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Wayne State University Art Department Gallery, the Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Williams is passionate about community engagement, elevating diverse voices, and giving a platform to artists for innovative expressions. She persistently advocates for supporting artists and preserving art-centered spaces. She creates exhibitions to work as a catalyst for dialogue centered on current cultural topics and to promote the power of visual arts. 

 

Ann Gildner has been in the arts for over 40 years. Her formal fine arts education was received from Siena Heights University in Michigan in 1980 with a BFA.   

Moving back to Northern Michigan, she opened a floral shop and art gallery in Cheboygan Michigan from 1980 to 2017. Receiving  several awards for her work over the years  as a mixed media painter and ceramist, Ann wanted her work live outside. In 2009, metal was the media so she learned to weld from Alpena Community College that held class at Moran Iron Works in Onaway, MI. The first strike of the rod arced and sparked like fireworks, she loved it. Now her favorite technique is welding and mov-ing metal into public art of all styles large or yard art.   

She have been doing customized work for many years.

Ann Gildner works in the Industrial Arts Institute Studio as the Artist in Residence, welding instructor for ornamental welding and CAD/CNC plasma machining in Onaway, MI. The Gildner Gallery Sculpture Garden is located in Cheboygan, MI.

Ann Gildner is a metal artist and owner of the Gildner Art Gallery in Cheboygan and Onaway, MI.

Ann Gildner is a metal artist and owner of the Gildner Art Gallery in Cheboygan and Onaway, MI.

 
Caleb Brennan is the Conservator/Assistant Curator of Sculpture at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI.

Caleb Brennan is the Conservator/Assistant Curator of Sculpture at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI.

Caleb Brennan pursued studio art at Spring Arbor College (now Spring Arbor University) and was drawn to the physicality of working in three dimensions. After a stint in Chicago working at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Brennan returned to Michigan to set up a studio and entered the Master of Fine Arts Program at Michigan State University.  Then to Grand Rapids, where Brennan worked in exhibitions at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Public Museum of Grand Rapids.

For the past two decades, Brennan has been part of the team that has built a premiere sculpture venue at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. In his role as Conservator/Assistant Curator of Sculpture, Brennan’s focus is primarily on the permanent collection.  He values the range of people he has worked with art historians, designers, collectors, and artists. “It has been a tremendous opportunity to not only work with sculptures by some of the most renowned artists of our time, but to actually discuss with the artists how they view their work,” Brennan comments.

Brennan also values the energy and dynamic thinking brought to the art conversation by local and regional artists. For the past fifteen years, Brennan has served on the Sculpture Committee at Michigan Legacy Art Park, which focuses on sculptures that celebrate Michigan history and culture.  Brennan states, “There are some great ideas being developed by talented artists working and enriching their chosen communities.”