Feb 272024
 

Jo Westfall, “The Queens Astronomer”, 2023, Mixed media

Christine Mauersberger, “Kates Bouquet”, 2022, Digital print on Japanese Kozo paper, of loom weaving

Cat Mailloux, “Rose Window”, 2023, Quilted appliqué on found fabric

Suzi Hyden, “If the Sun Could Kiss Me”, 2023, Toned cyanotype on vintage linen hand-stitched onto metal fencing

Above are a few of the works from Common Thread, the current exhibition at Malone University’s art gallery. It is on view until 2/29/24.

From the gallery about the show-

Although quite different, all artists in this exhibition are united by the idea of textiles. Suzi Hyden’s work celebrates the environment by combining elements from nature and repurposed materials to create cyanotypes on vintage fabrics.

Cat Mailloux’s textile practice is focused in quilt making, pursuing connections between the visual language of churches, cathedrals, and domestic spaces that slowly bleed their way into imagined and limitless landscapes, exploring questions of the infinite through material.

Christine Mauersberger’s body of work is aesthetically eclectic. Hard and soft. Digital and analog. Some pieces fill a room, others can be held in your hand. The common thread is that each piece attempts to make the invisible visible.

Jo Westfall creates visual work considered resource art. It is portraiture, fiber art, and assemblage made with local materials that were discarded, overlooked, or unused. It reclaims the aesthetic capacity and utility of these items by integrating them into fresh renderings.

Feb 262024
 

Willie Cole, “American Domestic”, 2016, Digital Print

Tom Laidman, “Broadway”, 1993 and “Bois Ma Petite”, 1999, Lithograph on paper

Currently on view at Akron Museum of Art is RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore, a collection of art from the Wesley and Missy Cochran collection, organized into themes exploring aspects of African American history and culture. The show features many well known and lesser known artists including Amiri Baraka, Beverly Buchanan, Willie Cole, Trenton Doyle Hancock, William Pope.L., Tom Laidman, Jacob Lawrence, Alison Saar and more.

From the museum about the exhibition-

African folklore has been around as long as humankind, and the African diaspora in America has added new dimensions to its rich history. African American folk stories teach about culture, the mysteries of life, and the survival of a race of people bought and sold who continue to thrive in an unjust society.

“RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore” focuses on four themes: Remembering, Religion, Racialization, and Resistance. These themes provide a comprehensive retelling of the works featured in the exhibition. In many of the pieces, the artist’s muse connects closely with stories that have been told generation after generation. Folklore texts are featured throughout the space as a means to retell a richer, deeper story of African American culture.

There are more than forty artists represented in this exhibition, all holding one similar truth: their story of joy and struggle in the African American experience.

In addition to the artwork, there is also an educational video produced by Josh Toussaint-Strauss of The Guardian that explores the misconceptions about Haitian Voudou that is worth a watch.

How ‘voodoo’ became a metaphor for evil

Feb 222024
 

Judy’s Hand Pavilion by Tony Tasset is located outside the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa Cleveland) and was part of the 2018 FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

The 7-ton, 21 foot high sculpture is an enlargement of a cast taken from the right hand of his wife, artist Judy Ledgerwood.

Feb 222024
 

It may not be spring quite yet but these blooming magnolia trees created by artist Tony Tasset may have you doing a double take. For this work he created two bronze trees with hand painted flowers that sit among five live trees located in a small park in downtown Pittsburgh.

Magnolias for Pittsburgh, 2006, is the latest art installation in the park, organized by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Feb 152024
 

“The Flameless Green Dragon”, 2018, Elm and acrylic

“In Rhythm”, 2018, Elm and acrylic; and “Water Music”, 2002, Inkjet photocollage on paper

“Introvert”, 2019, Elm; “Engendering Life”, 2020, Green soapstone

Two left sculptures made of Italian translucent alabaster and “Harboring Emptiness”, 2021, Maple and acrylic

Above are several works from Barbara Stanczak Spirit and Matter, the artist’s recent exhibition at Akron Art Museum.  Stanczak’s sculptures are energetic shapes created in partnership with the natural materials used.

From the museum’s web page-

Barbara Stanczak’s sculptures are born from an essential combination: the artist’s creative vision and the natural qualities of her materials. This two-sided collaboration remains in effect throughout Stanczak’s entire process of conceiving and creating an artwork. A piece of wood or stone presents initial possibilities that help to set a direction, but invariably the course will change—the substance may be so hard as to resist carving, or it may contain internal structures that must be accommodated. But the artist does not surrender her own interests, as she has found that a successful work must become the physical embodiment of a rich and valuable idea. In her own words, “I can only hold onto my idea of the whole by letting go of ‘mine’ and focusing on ‘our.’ The material becomes a partner who needs my patience, respect, thoughtfulness, cooperation, skill, and persistence.”

Stanczak committed to working with wood and stone only after a long process of discovery. Born in Germany in 1941, she moved to the United States in 1960 to assist her grandfather in painting church frescoes, and later worked in handmade paper, metal, and a variety of other media. She also worked alongside her husband, Julian Stanczak, whose paintings and prints were celebrated at the Akron Art Museum with a one-artist show in 2013. As her own career evolved throughout her thirty-seven-year tenure as a professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Barbara carved her first wooden sculpture in 1992. “I was tired of searching,” she recalls. “It was time to arrive!”

Stanczak continues to find wood and stone compelling because, as she puts it, they are constantly “teasing, tempting, and provoking me to see more, to see beyond, to see the micro and the macro of the universe.” She finds these universal qualities not in immediately recognizable forms like leaves and flowers, but rather in dense rings and layers, subtle features formed over decades or even thousands of years. As Stanczak exercises her own intuition, she aligns it with these natural processes. As the artist and the materials harmonize, it is as if two forms of intelligence are working together—as if spirit and matter are not so separate as one might expect.

Feb 142024
 

Esterio Segura’s Goodbye My Love, 2013, three sculptures created with fiberglass and automobile paint, are currently on view at Tampa Museum of Art.

From the museum about the work-

A new acquisition to the Museum’s permanent collection, Goodbye My Love represents Esterio Segura’s (Cuban, b. 1970) ongoing exploration of the meaning of airplanes and flight. Produced in multiple editions at different scales, this version is nearly the largest. In describing the series, Segura explained,  “In this work, the reference to the airplane hybridizes with a reference to another well-known universal symbol: a simplified image of the heart. This is fused with an easily understood title with several meanings, from the most corny and sentimental to the most controversial, from a political and social standpoint. With this work, I reference the experience of uprooting, nostalgia, memory, loss—how we experience the breakdown of everything we love.”

He discusses the work in the video below in a bit more detail.

Feb 112024
 

“1958 Championship Game ( Colts/NY Giants )” by artist Jack Howard-Potter

“Formation of the American Football League (1959)” by artist Katherine Stanek

The sculptures above are two of The ELEVEN, a public art project created by The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Arts in Stark, located in downtown Canton, Ohio. The commissioned art works each represent one of the eleven greatest moments in professional football.

The first sculpture pictured, Colts/NY Giants Championship Game (1958) is by Jack Howard Potter. The 30-foot tall steel sculpture celebrates Baltimore Colts player Raymond Berry.

The second, Formation of the American Football League (1959) is by artist Katherine Stanek. The concrete sculpture represents the founders of the league and the use of television as part of its growth. On a nearby information plaque the artist states that she “wanted to celebrate the AFL founders by putting eight giant heads on top of 1960’s TV sets, as if they were ancient heroes in some Roman ruins”. Stanek also runs her own gallery in Philadelphia.

 

Feb 092024
 

This sculpture, The Only Other, 2021, by the artist Midabi, was located in Union Square Park in NYC from June 2021- June 2022.

It is currently located adjacent to Palm Springs Art Museum in California.

Jan 292024
 

Whimzeyland, the “Bowling Ball House”, is a local landmark located in Safety Harbor, Florida, created by artists Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda.

About the house from their website

In 1985, they purchased the beige house on Third Street in Safety Harbor, Florida. They traveled everywhere, actively seeking out inspirational and unusual places. Inspired by these travels, they began transforming their house. One of the earliest additions were the wooden triangles to the eaves of their house. The beige house became bold in color, too.

One day, they went to a flea market and saw a sign that said that anybody could take 10 free bowling balls. They took the bowling balls and began painting and placing them around the property. This is how they became known as the bowling ball house of Safety Harbor.

Todd and Kiaralinda even branched out of decorating their home, creating two different art cars, designed a restaurant, and making public sculptures, among other things. They began calling themselves the Whimzey Twinz because they work together on all of their projects.

Their travels soon included visits to folk artists and artists that they met at their shows. These friends visited them, too. Todd and Kiaralinda’s bowling balls inspired many of them. They would create bowling balls for Todd and Kiaralinda, who got so many of these works from artist friends that they started a gallery in their home. They created a “Call for Balls” which made a lot more of these art works roll into their home. Today, they have over 80 bowling balls from various artists around the world and people still bring them bowling balls as gifts.

If you are in the area, make sure to also stop by Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (SHAMc), a nonprofit they opened in 2017. It has an art gallery and shop, and hosts music events and art classes as well.

 

Dec 172023
 

The Arts Annual at Creative Pinellas is always a great way to see what the artists in the area are creating. For 2023’s larger than ever edition, there is also a separate space for a video program that includes short films, theater productions, poetry readings, musical performances and more.

Artists included in the exhibition-

Tatiana Baccari, Elizabeth Barenis, Christina Bertsos, Daniel Barojas, Chomick + Meder, Courtney Clute, Neverne Covington, Sheila Cowley, Patricia Kluwe Derderian, Nikki Devereux, Javier T Dones, Dunedin Music Society, Sara Ries Dziekonski, Sarah Emery, Roxanne Fay, Jean Blackwell Font, John Gascot, Denis Gaston, Mason Gehring, Donald Gialanella, Jim Gigurtsis, Kevin Grass, Sheree L. Greer, Jason Hackenwerth, Steph Hargrove, Patrick Arthur Jackson, Reid Jenkins, Kenny Jensen, Charlotte Johnson, Victoria Jorgensen, Steven Kenny, Candace Knapp, Akiko Kotani, Teresa Mandala, Cora Marshall, Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse, Miss Crit, Mark Mitchell, Chad Mize, Desiree Moore, Zoe Papas, Gianna Pergamo, Rose Marie Prins, Gabriel Ramos, Babs Reingold, George Retkes, Heather Rippert, Ashley Rivers, Marlene Rose, Ric Savid, Tom Sivak, Sketzii, Emily Stehle, Rachel Stewart, Erica Sutherlin, Takeya Trayer, Judy Vienneau, Kirk Ke Wang, Angela Warren, and Joseph Weinzettle

The show is on view until 12/31/23.

Below are some additional selections from the exhibition.  

Reid Jenkins, “Holding Court”, Acrylic

Candace Knapp, “What the Blue Heron Sees” and “The Light Within” Acrylic on canvas

Daniel Barojas, “Future Ancestor”, Gouache, acrylic, gold leaf on canvas and “Future Ancestor #3”, Gouache and resin on paper

Rachel Stewart, “Caribbean Currents” Colored pencil, oil stick and collage on Archers archival paper; “Under a Different Sky”, Wall installation Painted relief wood construction with cooper and mixed media materials; Printing Ink and collage on rice paper

Mark Mitchell, “The BurgHive”, Acrylic on Hexagonal canvases

Sketzii,”Out of the Pink Concrete”, “Reclamando Mis Raices” and “A Señora’s Dream”, Acrylic on canvas

Steph Hargrove, “Catch You Later”, Acrylic paint, paper on canvas

Marlene Rose, “Three Bell Tower”, Sandcast glass and “Map Triptych” Sandcast glass

Heather Rippert, “Shakti” (center) and “Hawk 1, 2, and 3”, acrylic on canvas