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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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Q&A: Columbus artist Mandi Caskey wants to bring us together

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Photo by John Thorne
 

Context plays one of the most important roles in our understanding of art. For instance, if you saw the unveiling of Columbus artist Mandi Caskey’s latest masterpiece, you’d probably equate the message to the daily protests that have been held in Columbus over the past week.

When the mural on the abandoned highway overpass near Scioto Audubon Metro Park was started, that wasn’t the case. It was a message meant to distract us from the hardships that COVID-19 flooded our lives with.

Now, to some people, the mural’s message, which stretches over 400 feet, takes on a new meaning.

(614) caught up with Caskey to find out the inspiration behind the piece and how she feels about subjectiveness in art. Check out a brief Q&A below and some incredible aerial footage from photographer/videographer John Thorne.

Obviously a project this big can't be tackled alone. Who all helped bring this idea to life?

This project was originally an idea that I wanted to do secretly aka illegally, but my business partner came up with a better idea. And that was to get other artists involved and pay them during the stay-at-home order. 

The whole time we honestly didn’t think we would be able to get approval on all the permits we needed, but thanks to Lori Baudro, over a month and a half we got permission and permits from the Department of Public Service, ODOT, and the Arts Commission. We were honestly in shock. 

When it came down to businesses, we started working with Tim Cousino, who’s an architect. He figured out all the measurements we needed. From there we had to get our hands dirty and clean the surface of the bridge, which had five 9-foot around dirt piles that we shoveled off.

Once the surface was prepped and ready to go, we had Jacob Bench come out. He’s an engineer that helped translate all of Tim’s measurements. The project would have been 10 times more difficult without him! 

Through the process, we slowly grew the team. David Greenzalis is my partner in crime so he was there from the beginning. Katie Bench, Hawke Trackler, Lisa Celesta, Ariel Peguero, Chris Blain, Patrick Cardwell, Eric Terranova, Sam Rex, and Justin Paul, who has taken the amazing footage everyone has seen. All of these people are passionate, hardworking, and just awesome to be around. I was excited when we all came together. 

From what I've read, it seems like your idea for this was green-lit very quickly and easily. Why do you think people responded to the idea in your message so strongly?

There’s a combination of reasons everything moved so quickly (in terms of government) ha-ha. Part of it was the fact people were at home; they wanted something to get excited about. This was a project people could easily get geeked out about: 400-foot long mural on the bridge that has been abandoned for 10-plus years! I think they just wanted to see if it could happen. Also, the bridge will be torn down in a year or so; this means the mural doesn’t need any upkeep. The fact it was temporary made it an easy Yes for people. Still in shock this all worked out so smoothly.

What roadblocks did you run into during the process of creating the mural?

A big roadblock that no one could help was the weather. Man, was it a beast to work with. When we first started prepping the bridge, it was raining and around 40 degrees outside. We were in coats with gloves for half of the project. Then it rains for almost two weeks straight, which pushed back any painting we wanted to do. The days when we did get to work was easily 95 and scorching! We were all burnt to a crisp! It was stressful but fun working with this crazy Ohio weather.

How do you think art helps people during times of unrest and uncertainty like we're in right now?

Art is truly the bridge between thoughtful conversations and action (pun intended). Public art specifically can be the most impactful since it’s meant to be viewed by everyone. There’s no fee to look at it, no dress code, no need for art knowledge, just acceptance and appreciation are necessary. 

Art in general helps people look outside of their own personal bubbles. We can see into someone else’s mind for a split second and become apart of the art and experience. I think we forget that art is a living representation of us, but I hope through this unsure time we start to remember why humans started painting in the first place.

I think there's something to be said about how the mural was made on the basis of the coronavirus pandemic and bringing people together and now it can take on the meaning of the social change that needs to happen in this world. What are your thoughts on that?

Originally the mural was made because I personally felt alone and knew so many other people were feeling the same way during the stay-at-home orders. Once the project actually started to become a real thing, “we are stronger together” became more about the people who were working together; so many different types of backgrounds and artists. People from different periods in my personal life, all coming together and making something epic. 

When it was all said and done, the words are made for everyone, from any background, race, gender, far and wide. It’s a message that I hope makes people know I’m with them, that no matter the craziness in the world, someone’s got your back.

 

 
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Columbus artists employed to paint boarded-up downtown for #ArtUnitesCbus

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The Columbus arts community has really stepped up to the plate when it comes to trying to unite and inspire during tumultuous times. One of the latest efforts from visual artists around the area includes CAPA and Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) latest partnership, #ArtUnitesCbus.

“When I do these projects, I try to remember to have fun and enjoy my loved ones. Even though it’s a bad time, there’s always room for love,” visual artist Hakim Callwood said.

The creative venture will exist to employ around 20 Columbus visuals artists. Their job will be to paint murals in place of the broken windows at the Ohio Theater and GCAC office. 

The art installations are expected to be finished by the end of the week.

“#ArtUnitesCbus is just one small way the arts community is trying to help. These murals are not the answer, simply a message that we ALL can, and must, help heal our community,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, President & CEO of the Arts Council, in a GCAC press release on Monday

Now more than ever is an extremely important time to give our community artists a platform. 

“The Columbus artists are more of a family than I think people understand,” Callwood said. “Whether we all talking every day or hanging out together; it doesn’t matter. When there’s times of need we always use our talents to support.” 

Check out the progress of their murals below.

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Weekend Roundup: 5/29 – 5/31

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With Ohio slowly starting to fully reopen, initial in-person gatherings have trickled into our news feeds.

Below are a few things you can check out over the weekend if you’ve been itching to leave your house and are capable of following COVID-19 guidelines.

Friday

Fair Food Weekend @ Oakland Nursery

One of the most disappointing summertime cancellations was the axing of the Ohio State Fair. For those still wanting to get their elephant ears or deep-fried oreo fix, Chester Foods will be bringing a pop-up food truck to the Oakland Nursery. Corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried oreos, fresh-cut fries, and lemonade shake-ups will all be on the menu. Fair food will be set up on both Friday and Saturday.

Time: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. | Address: 4261 W. Dublin Granville Rd.

Saturday

Sonic The Hedgehog/Jumanji: The Next Level and The Hunt/The Invisible Man @ South Drive-In

With movie theaters in Ohio still closing their doors, the drive-in revival has been sweeping the state, nation, and world. Once drive-ins were given the go-ahead by DeWine, South Drive-In began to provide the double feature experience to eager moviegoers. Admission is $9.50 on Friday/Saturday and $7.50 on Sunday for those 12+, $2 for ages 5-11, and free for those under 4.

The showings for this weekend are as follows: 

Screen 1:

  • 9:05 p.m. Sonic The Hedgehog (PG)
  • 10:53 p.m. Jumanji: The Next Level (PG-13)
  • 12:56 a.m. Sonic The Hedgehog (Friday/Saturday only) 

Screen 2:

  • 9:25 p.m. The Hunt (R)
  • 11:05 p.m. The Invisible Man (R)
  • 1:09 a.m. The Hunt (Friday/Saturday only)

Check out the South Drive-In website to see what social distancing guidelines need to be followed.

Time: Arrive 1-2 hours prior to first showing | Address: 3050 S. High St.

Sunday

Reggae on the Patio @ Skully’s Music-Diner

If you’re in search of a relaxing Sunday, look no further than Skully’s. The music venue/bar will be opening its patio for those to have socially distance hangs, drinks, and wings. Skully’s will be setting the mood perfectly for a chill Sunday by spinning reggae music all night long. Get yourself out of the house and go catch some island vibes.

Time: 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Address: 1151 N. High St.

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