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Poetry in Motion — Matt Monta & The Haymakers Release New EP

614now Staff

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Poetry in Motion: Matt Monta & The Haymakers Release New EP

By Xavier Veccia


There’s something unmistakably sexy about hard work. Hardened hands, dirty jeans, rolled-up sleeves. Mmm.

But at the end of the day, hard work’s pointless unless it’s towards something. That’s the sexiest thing about it, after all, the romantic notion that hard work pays off — the American dream. Columbus singer songwriter Matt Monta & The Haymakers’ new EP, Motion, is a testament to that ideal.

Motion is actually about a lot of things, I suppose. There’s criticism of the media in “Digging Up the Graves” and that poetic kind of love in “What Luck.” “Nadine” alone touches on celebrity, the music industry and government. But just the fact that Motion exists proves how far elbow grease can take you.

See, Motion and all the songs on it are actually just reimagined renditions of songs from American Rhymin, Monta’s 2013 solo project. It’s a determined album, giving off the grit and grind that makes Americana so appealing. I mean, there’s points in the album where you can hear the blisters forming as Monta hastily plucks his acoustic guitar. Monta’s the sole proprietor of the song and he has to work in overdrive to keep the album driving forward.

On Motion, though, there’s no stopping Monta & The Haymakers. With a full line-up, Monta’s songs take on new lives. Synthy keyboard and powerful electric guitar reinvent “American Rhymin.” Meanwhile, “Digging Up the Graves” simply feels fuller, the additional instrumentation adding a more ominous vibe.

Don’t get me wrong, Monta still stays true to his roots. Motion still carries that folksy, Americana flavor. For instance, both renditions of “Small Town Kings” remind me of Appalachian dive bars and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The songs are still driving forward at top speed, it’s just that there’s more horsepower now.

By the last minute of the EP, a reinvigorated “Nadine,” it feels like the bluesy quintet is celebrating a job well-done. Vigorous drumming, swinging guitars and rising vocals give the closing ceremonies a kind of triumphant atmosphere. Even though they’re still working hard, they’re still able to kick their feet up and celebrate their hard work with a cold brewski. Drink it in.

Matt Monta & the Haymakers will be releasing and performing Motion at Rumba Cafe on Saturday, November 19.

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Arts & Creatives

What’s up with these mini murals painted on downtown buildings?

Mike Thomas

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If you're one of the many Columbus drivers whose commute takes you through downtown via 4th street, you may have noticed the strange artwork adorning several buildings in the vicinity of 4th and Broad:

More intricate than your average street art, these perplexing works are rendered in acrylic paint that is applied directly to the face of the structures, depicting various scenic views from throughout the city.

So what gives? Is Columbus home to a brazen, landscape-obsessed Banksy wannabe? Upon closer inspection, each piece on display is accompanied by a gallery-style placard, complete with a scannable QR code. From here, the not-so-mysterious mystery of the downtown paintings is revealed.

A scan of the code on a smartphone directs you to columbuspublicart.com, where the project is revealed as a commissioned public work by Central Ohio Plein Air—an informal group of artists who enjoy painting outdoors.

As the site explains, members of the group created 20 discrete paintings on buildings downtown "en plein air," a style of painting in which the artist paints a subject on location.

For this project, an element of the unexpected was intentional. Focusing on unlikely urban locations, the artists tucked works away in alleys and crevices throughout the downtown core to be stumbled upon spontaneously by unsuspecting pedestrians.

The next time you're rushing your way through downtown, remember to take a peak down those dark alleyways. What you find may surprise you!

For more on this and other public art projects throughout Columbus, and for a full list of artists and works on display, visit http://columbuspublicart.com/.

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Arts & Creatives

Maker’s Space: Brother, sister team spreading unique prints around Columbus

Laura Dachenbach

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From moveable type to Xerox to 3-D, printing has always been a game-changer.

Several years ago, Columbus graphic designer Nigel Ewan saw a zine with an “impossible” hot pink color that he knew he couldn’t replicate with an inkjet or laser printer. The printmaking game changed for him as well.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

“I was curious enough to investigate the print method— it turned out it was riso, and that pink color was possible because risograph printing uses specifically-chosen inks as opposed to mixing toner or CMYK inks together to produce a spectrum,” said Ewan.

Nigel teamed up with his sister Dempsey, and the two began the onomatopoetically- named Clatter Press, exploring the possibilities of risograph printing to create unique items in small numbers. Risograph printing is not completely unlike mimeograph or silk screen printing, in that the risograph uses a stencil and ink color that is applied one layer at a time, resulting in an often imperfect, but exciting and authentic image. Clatter Press now features the Fluorescent Pink (along with five other colors available for designers) that originally caught Nigel and Dempsey’s attention. (You may have seen a pink photo of Meryl Streep that has made its way around Columbus.)

(614) recently spoke with Nigel and Dempsey to learn more about this unusual printmaking technique and what it can be used to do.

(614): Can you explain the technology and the process behind the risograph?

NE: In risograph printing, a stencil is created in a thin paper which then is wrapped around a cylindrical ink drum. When the drum rotates, ink is pushed through the stencil onto paper to produce an image. This whole process happens inside a large machine made by a Japanese company named RISO, hence “risograph.” Riso printing is extremely environmentally friendly. Stencils are made from rice paper and ink is soy-based. No solvents or heat are used in the printmaking process and all consumables are recyclable.

Is this your primary gig, side gig, or hobby? How did it come to be?

NE: We are a brother-sister team and Clatter Press is a side gig for both us. I am a full-time graphic designer and Dempsey is finishing up her graphic design BFA at [Columbus College of Art and Design]. It’s also definitely a hobby for us; neither of us had ever done any riso printing before we purchased our machine. We wanted to use this technology ourselves to push the limits of our own creative practices. The entire shop is set up in my Clintonville basement—it took four of my friends several hours to get the machine down my narrow basement stairs—so it’s very much a cottage industry. But we love where we are and are excited to continue growing our business.

What sort of projects are ideal for this medium?

NE: Although the RISO company markets its printers as office equipment, the technology is much better suited to creative applications. Artists and designers are drawn to riso because the ink is real ink—wet, oily, gooey—that gets applied to paper in a style more like fine art printmaking than office printing. Misprints such as smearing, roller marks, and mis-registration (different colors not perfectly lined up) are common. This is all part of the appeal. Another appeal is that riso is cost-effective: once a stencil is created, the per-print cost is very inexpensive.

The riso does really well at replicating all sort of mark-making. It can be used to produce sharp digital graphics, smooth gradients, organic marks such as charcoal and graphite, halftones, and even photography.

What ingredients come together to make Columbus fertile ground for makers, designers, and creatives?

DE: Columbus doesn’t always feel like it has the street-cred of older, cooler cities like New York or Chicago, but the upside of this is that everything here feels on the brink of something exciting and new. There is a lot of energy and opportunity in Columbus which seems to be emanating from all of the amazing people who have made Columbus their home and livelihood. We have so enjoyed the people Clatter has introduced and connected us to. Being able to watch so many people we call our friends pursuing fulfilling creative work is really encouraging—and makes us want to always be creating as well. Columbus seems to have boundless energy and this makes it the perfect fertile ground for creators.

What’s your six-word creative story?

DE: Inspiration. Curiosity. Family. Creation. Community. Clatter.

To learn more, order, or see samples of risograph printing, visit clatterpress.com.

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Arts & Creatives

Hidden Gems: Exhibition highlights one of Columbus’ “biggest artists”

Mike Thomas

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Situated atop a library on the campus of Capital University in Bexley is a hidden gem among the local arts community: The Schumacher Gallery.

In spite of its location, any perception that this space is intended solely for the enjoyment of the student body at Capital must be laid to rest. With works from such heavyweights as Picasso, Rodin, and Gauguin on display as part of the gallery's permanent collection, Schumacher is a must-visit destination for art lovers throughout the city.

For its latest exhibition, The Schumacher gallery has chosen to highlight an important figure in the history of the arts in Columbus on the occasion of her 150th birthday.

"Alice Schille was a woman who painted and traveled internationally before women had a right to vote. That's fairly unheard of for that time, and she was very prolific and internationally known," gallery director David Gentilini says of the artist whose small watercolor works are on display for this exhibition, titled Gems of Brevity.

Schille was born in Columbus on August 21, 1869, and is known for her complex and versatile style of watercolor painting, which she developed during travels throughout North and South America, Europe, and Africa.

This exhibition of her work was curated by Keny galleries in German village—considered the premiere Schille authorities in Columbus— in conjunction with Columbus Museum of Art, which has its own exhibition of the artist's larger works on display through mid-September.

With pieces dating from 1914-1935, Gems of Brevity features miniature watercolors produced by Schille in a variety of locations such as France, England, North Africa, Guatemala and Santa Fe, New Mexico. These small-scale works range in style from Impressionism to Post Impressionism to Cubism.

"She was a Columbus artist who lived on Bryden Road, between Capital and the Columbus Museum of Art. You can drive right by her house coming from one institution to another," says Gentilini. "For Columbus to have this happening, everyone playing in the same sandbox celebrating one of our biggest artists—I think it's a pretty cool thing."

Alice Schille’s Miniature Watercolors (1914-1935): Gems of Brevity runs September 3 to November 20, with an opening reception Thursday, September 5, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://www.capital.edu/schumacher/

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