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Three Voices Through August 13 • Decorative Arts Center Three women artists from three Ohio cities, three mediums, and three visions—each artist tackling a similar subject matter while keeping to their unique, individual form. Running through August 13, “Three Voices” will feature works from three women from Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. “Together, Judy Brandon’s emotional [...]
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Three Voices

Through August 13 • Decorative Arts Center

Three women artists from three Ohio cities, three mediums, and three visions—each artist tackling a similar subject matter while keeping to their unique, individual form. Running through August 13, “Three Voices” will feature works from three women from Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus.

“Together, Judy Brandon’s emotional weather-inspired watercolors, Leslie Shiels’ maximalist, place-based paintings, and the orderly balance of Carol Snyder’s white porcelain vessels, create a rhythm and a voice that patrons cannot help but engage with,” says Elizabeth Brown, acting co-director at the Decorative Arts Center.

“All three of us have separate yet synergistic voices; we just choose different vehicles to translate what we have to say,” says Shiels. “Our work is portraying an experience or emotion—that’s what artists do,” says Snyder. “And it speaks to the viewer more than anything.”

Originally displayed in a traditional gallery setting, Three Voices will take on exciting new context among the Greek Revival decor of the historic Reese-Peters House. In conjunction with the exhibition, July 8-9, the Decorative Arts Center will be hosting art historian and sculptor Carol Boram-Hayes, Ph.D as a keynote speaker for the limited space event, encouraging patrons to express their own voice through poetry, painting, and other creative means. For more information, visit decartsohio.org.

Out of the Blue

Through July 31 • Angela Meleca Gallery

Melancholy is a complex emotion. On the surface, it is a brand of sadness tethered to the unknown, a lingering feeling of gloom and despondency for no tangible reason.  But, beneath the sad, there is that heavy-hearted quality to the feeling—a burst of troubled beauty that connects us to ideas and themes greater than ourselves, be it from the calculated stroke of a paintbrush to watching the stars fall from the sky.

Though multifaceted in nature, Sean Foley’s solo exhibition Melancholia scrupulously conveys this complex emotion with imaginatively mingled hues of blues and purples, an abstract whoosh of sorrow and splendor in watercolor form.

Foley’s interest in melancholy arose while he was researching wonder, and arguing that the two sensations are simultaneously related and conflicting—an oxymoron that he felt needed to be explored. Starting June 3 and running until the end of July, the Angela Meleca Gallery will be hosting the nationally acclaimed artist’s work in Columbus for the first time in 20 years.

Shades of Gray

Through July 30 • Wexner Center

Sometimes it is what we choose to exclude that becomes the most significant. Monochromatic colors are a symbol of this carefully selected omission—the shades of gray found nestled between black and white. Running through July 30, The Wexner Center will be hosting a gallery of gray, thoughtfully titled Gray Matters,” where 37 contemporary female artists have mastered the tradition of grisaille—a French expression for working exclusively in shades of gray, revealing the variegated spectrum of monochromatic colors and their multifaceted simplicities. Working across all mediums ranging from glass sculptures to graphite drawings to acrylic paintings, Gray Matters is a thoughtful, challenging, and important look at how we sometimes only view the world through a colored lens.

Puppy Paintings

July 14 • 400 West Rich

Ever since humans were able to express themselves creatively, whether that be engraving crude etchings onto cave walls, or fashioning Bronze Age marble statues, we have used doggos as our inspirational subjects—a creative homage to our furry best friends. Not surprisingly, not much has changed. Hosted by Tona Pearson at 400 West Rich, The Amazing Dog Show! is a gallery of dog themed art set to take place July 14. Don’t be afraid to take home your favorite dog painting, as the proceeds go directly to PetPromise, a non-profit dedicated to rescuing and sheltering homeless pets through education, sterilization, and adoption.

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June 9-11 • Bicentennial Park

Since 1962, The Columbus Arts Festival has provided a space for creatives to showcase their year’s handiwork. Starting June 9, The CAF will feature over 150 performances on six stages, making it one of the largest arts festivals in the Midwest. One of the featured installations, “Structural Circumstances,” comes from Christabel and Samuel Wagner—a power couple with masters of fine arts from CCAD who have created a 24’ x 8’ replica of a mobile home made entirely from multicolored, transparent plexiglass—a vivaciously brilliant structure that won them a cool $25,000 from American Electric Power (pictured). At night, the mobile home will glow outward, lit from within, while during the day the sunshine will project off the structure vibrantly, creating a stained glass-like outcome. Samuel hails from the small town of Marietta, Ohio, so the mobile home is a type of building he holds dearly as it is representative of his childhood—a structure he argues is unfairly stigmatized in our culture.

“Bringing cultural symbols of a neglected people in contact with the highbrow art world enables us to have a conversation about beauty, faith, and principles with a wider audience,” said Samuel in an interview with the Greater Arts Council. “We hope that this mobile home, as a symbol of rural poverty lets those from small communities see their culture through new eyes, as potentially beautiful, even spiritual.”

Neighborly Love

Through July 8 • Ohio History Center

Tariq Tarey has a way with people—not only in his interactions but in the way he memorializes them with his pictures. Using a subject base exclusively of   immigrants, Tarey has a way of revealing beauty, pain, or jubilation in his portraits, a quality that made him one of the most prolific and creative minds of Columbus. This time, he is showcasing photographs taken of the Bhutanese-Nepali community in Columbus on July 8 at 12:30 p.m. at the Ohio History Center in a gallery entitled “Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors.” This powerful exhibit shares stories of refugees and their daring voyages from Bhutan and Nepal all the way to central Ohio. In a period of tumultuous political discourse concerning immigration, now is a better time than ever to show our new neighbors some love.

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Arts & Culture

Arts Fest Preview: Kate Morgan, 2D mixed media artist

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Kate Morgan began developing her ghostly, layered two-dimensional portraits after going back to school at the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2005. She already had some background in visual arts through her work in fashion and commercial photography, so the transition to drawing and painting was organic.

Morgan’s textured collages are inspired by folklore, mythology and a variety of artistic periods — especially Byzantine art. The 2011 Columbus Arts Festival Emerging Artist alum and 2019 exhibiting artist welcomes a wide array of complex themes into her pieces — including symbolic, cultural, historical and spiritual themes — while utilizing layers of vintage paper and original drawings to create visual depth and a sense of mystery.

Her pieces are purposely vague, leaning toward more minimalistic ideas to allow for wider interpretation by audiences. Largely her art depicts the female form, with as many layers and stories to tell as that of every human being. This is done with an eclectic assortment of materials — including sheet music, German Biblical pages, newspaper and maps — to add detail in both a topical and textural sense.

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And yet, Morgan still continues to look for a challenge. From venturing away from her familiar blue hues to exploring different mediums like ceramics, her work knows no creative limits.

Morgan has exhibited at the Columbus Arts Festival nearly every year since 2011. She has gone on to win two jurors’ choice awards in the 2D category at the Columbus Arts Festival, as well as sell and have work juried at other major festivals across the country. In Columbus, her work can be seen as part of the Columbus Makes Art and Donatos Pizza collaborative mural “Every Piece Is Important” at the John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

Morgan has a BFA from CCAD and currently works out of her Franklinton studio in Columbus. Experience this stunning work first hand when you visit her at booth M572 on the Main Street Bridge during the Columbus Arts Festival from June 7-9 at the downtown riverfront.

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Arts & Culture

Be Square: Changes coming to arts community at 400 W Rich

Mike Thomas

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If you haven’t visited the thriving arts community at 400 West Rich street in awhile, you might be surprised to see how much things have changed. Now, the minds behind the city’s hub for the arts are changing things up to better reflect the area’s evolution.

400 Square is the new collective moniker for the array of concepts that currently occupy the buildings on the 400 block of Rich street in Franklinton. The rebrand seeks to unify the community of artistic innovators who call the area developed by Urban Smart Growth their creative home.

Promo art for 400 Square by Anthony Damico

Spaces encompassed in the rebrand include Strongwater, The Vanderelli Room, and Chromedge Studios, and of course, the studios at 400 W. Rich. While the name may be changing, the group remains committed to providing and sustaining a thriving hub for creatives through education, resources, and entertainment opportunities in the area.

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With the launch of 400 Square, Urban Smart Growth Director of Operations Seth Stout has led his team to develop new offerings for each of the growing spaces. Food and Beverage Director Lauren Conrath and Events Director Molly Blundred have taken the lead with changes to the Strongwater brand, while Community Director Stephanie McGlone and Art Director AJ Vanderelli are facilitating programming for all ages and abilities on the artist side.

Through all of the changes on the way, the staff at 400 Square are committed to bringing the public the same high quality of workshops, events, exhibitions, and more that have always been part of their unique creative community.

Stay tuned for more info—the new 400 Square officially rolls out during the weekend of Columbus Arts Fest 2019, June 7-9.

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Arts & Culture

Arts Fest Preview: Cousin Simple to wow crowd with energy, passion

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As a young up-and-coming band, Cousin Simple is excited to play at this year’s Columbus Art’s Festival. In their two years as a band, they have already done a lot of really cool things, such as making a single with L.A. multi-platinum music producer David Kershenbaum, playing at Vans Warped Tour at Blossom Music Center, and selling out shows at the A&R Bar, the Basement and The Big Room Bar. But there is much more they want to accomplish including recording more music, making a music video and playing more shows in and out of Columbus.

The band members are all Columbus born and raised. Four members currently attend The Ohio State University, while their drummer Joel is finishing up his junior year at New Albany high School. Cousin Simple brings an energy and passion to the stage and gives everything they have to their performances, regardless of the crowd size. They just released a new single in February called Honeybee, available on iTunes and Spotify and have a single set to release May 10 titled “Star Destroyers.”

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Columbus is a great city for musicians. Whether you’re in the indie, rock, or hip hop scene, there are other musicians and music industry people willing to help you out. Columbus also takes a great sense of pride in its “local gems.” People love to see musicians who are doing well in their hometown and are willing to support them in many ways.

There are so many organizations that have taken this to heart and are helping bands get great opportunities. CD102.5, WCBE 90.5, PromoWest Productions and the Columbus Music Commission have helped Cousin Simple get airtime, shows and support. When it comes to music cities, Columbus may not be the first place that comes to mind, but there are so many bands and musicians doing exciting things it’s making the future bright for them and the Columbus music scene.

But Cousin Simple recognizes that none of this would be possible without the support of their family, friends and FANS that come to each and every show. They are humbled and motivated by their audiences who energize them to make every performance an experience their fans won’t forget. 

Cousin Simple will perform on the Big Local Music Stage on Rich Street on Friday night, June 7 at 7:45 p.m.

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