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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 Fest Preview: See BalletMet live outdoors!

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BalletMet’s Friday night’s headline performance at 8:30 p.m. at the Arts Festival is sure to be a highlight of weekend. One of the nation’s top 20 largest professional companies, BalletMet consists of dancers hailing from across the nation and the world and boasts a premiere academy for aspiring professional dancers, one that’s been recognized as an institution of local and national stature.

Since 1978, BalletMet has brought incredible dance to theaters in Central Ohio and beyond and their commitment to bringing dance to the Columbus community, especially in underserved areas, is unparalleled.

Art of War Photo by Jen Zmuda

From in-school programs to theater field trips, scholarships and free performances, the company is dedicated to making dance accessible to all. More than 10,000 children attend the company’s Morning at the Ballet field trip performances each year. And thanks to a grant from PNC Arts Alive, BalletMet’s second company, BalletMet 2, has performed at free events at the King Arts Complex, Franklin Park Conservatory and more, throughout the 2018-19 season.

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In addition to the free performance at the Arts Festival BalletMet will perform at Dance on Dakota on Friday, May 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Franklinton. This performance is also free.

Dance on Dakota, co-hosted by Franklinton Arts District, is part of a weekend-long block party in Franklinton and features free food and drink and a collaborative performance with TRANSIT ARTS. The event will take place at Dakota Ave. and Town St.

Dancers Grace Anne Powers and William Newton Photo by Jen Zmuda

BalletMet’s Columbus Arts Festival performance will include a mixed repertoire of shorter pieces from its past productions and will be preceded by music from DJ Donnie M. of Damn Girl.

And if these performances capture your interest, the company recently announced its 2019-20 season, which includes ALICE, based on the later stories of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, Twisted 3, a collaboration with the Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus, and, of course, The Nutcracker.

More info at www.balletmet.org. For all your Arts Festival details visit www.colubmusartsfestival.org

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Arts Fest Preview: You wood hate to miss local crafter

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Woodworker and Art Makes Columbus featured artist Devon Palmer has been working with his hands since his upbringing in northeast Indiana. His mother a wood carver and his father a carpenter and cabinet maker, Palmer took a more mechanical route by obtaining his pilot’s license and attending Purdue University to pursue a career as an airplane mechanic.

But as his career transitioned from maintenance to the tech field, he yearned to work with his hands again. Originally he considered pottery, before a class he planned to attend got canceled. But a trip home the weekend before Thanksgiving led to his father introducing him to woodturning.

That was more than 15 years ago. And though he is largely self-taught, Palmer also credits local woodturners from the Central Ohio Woodturners (a chapter of the American Association of Woodturners) for taking him under their wing. In 2005, he opened his first studio just north of Downtown, and in 2007 he began teaching woodturning at Woodcraft Columbus.

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Today, Palmer does a bit of mentoring of his own. He teaches classes in blade and bowl turning, resin cast pen turning and more advanced projects like hollow vessel turning in his studio at the Idea Foundry. He is also adding a series of LGBTQ date night pen turning classes to his growing schedule of classes, shows and demonstrations.

Palmer says his work represents “family and connectedness” with work ranging from salad bowls and laser engraved pens to funerary urns and ornaments. The details in his hand-crafted tableware and home goods manage to invoke a warm sense of community, fellowship, and hospitality.

Devon Palmer works in internet technology and is also a pianist and ordained minister.

Make your own wood turned pen with Devon Palmer at the Columbus Arts Festival, June 7-9, at the Big Local Art Village located at the Festival’s Franklinton entrance. Learn more about Devon at www.columbusmakesart.com/stories/devon-palmer and get all your Arts Festival details at www.columbusartsfestival.org

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Arts Festival Preview: Dr. E uses voice to overcome adversity

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Dr. E, singer-songwriter and author Cleveland-born singer-songwriter Dr. Elaine Richardson — known by her stage name Dr. E — has used her voice to detail the incredible circumstances she encountered while overcoming great adversity. Born to a musician father and Jamaican immigrant mother, Dr. E begun tapping into her talent while singing in church, her school’s choir, and in girl groups.

Dr. E continued to sing despite the difficult path she faced. As a teen, she became a sex trafficking victim and fell into addiction. In her recovery, she pursued higher education at Cleveland State University and Michigan State University. During this time Dr. E also began performing as the frontwoman for a number of cover bands and placing her original music on various TV shows. She recorded her first album, “Elevated,” in 2010.

Dr. E’s introspective song lyrics reflect the often difficult process of healing while defending those who share her experiences or face exploitation and discrimination in other ways.

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On her sophomore album, 2017’s “Songs for the Struggle,” she gives a soulful retelling of her journey from sex trafficking survivor to university professor, Ph.D., author and advocate. Blending elements of soul, rock, funk, rhythm and blues, and jazz, Dr. E sings with an astonishing amount of hope and positivity; Though the album details the trauma and exploitation experienced by Dr. E during her teen years, her power message ultimately expresses affirmations of self-love and acceptance employed with an equally powerful and joyous voice.

Dr. E is currently a professor of literacy studies in the College of Education at The Ohio State University. She has written a number of books on African American literature as well as a memoir, “PHD to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life.”

See Dr. E. perform at the Columbus Arts Festival, Saturday, June 8 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the Big Local Stage on Rich St.

For hours, artist listing and all Festival information go to www.columbusartsfestival.org

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