Showcasing Kent, Ohio and the surrounding Northeastern Ohio Region.
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The glass sculptures of Brent Kee Young affect our sense of
perception and our understanding of functionality. The work in
his ongoing Matrix series often features depictions of common
objects, but their treatment is such that startling new realities
result. A kind of otherworldly surrogate is created in place of
the original source. Some of the artist’s intentions are consistent
with traditional art making endeavors such as defining
form and the role of light, but those serve as a means to an end
of magical content: impossibly delicate archetypes of recognizable
forms. Young also works in directions that move away, in
varying degrees, from the strictly representational into pure

The original idea regarding the construction of pieces in the
Matrix series “came from several observations. One was an
exposed root structure of a tree or plant. The other was a pile
of rebar building rubble from a razed building. With these
images, making forms from that organic matrix was revealed.”
He devised a way “to form an organic, interconnected structure
of which almost any shape might be realized.”
Some of Young’s creations lend themselves to what might be
the genesis of stories in the mind of the viewer.

dark split seed wax and graphite powder, 1 x 1.25 x 1.5”, 2015

Mark Keffer

KSU Class of ‘88


dark cowrie wax and graphite powder, 1.5 x 2 x 1.5”, 2014

Nothing literal is indicated, but rather the forms are loaded with subjective potential. He states: ‘Quest…’ For example, speaks to a narrative that is endemic to the artistic mission, that is to be constantly looking, searching, for ways to communicate ideas through this medium. This piece explains something about myself, what interests me, and hopefully communicates these notions and resonates with the viewer. The objects depicted, often are chosen for being iconic in a familiar sense and in being everyday, can reach a wider audience. The work asks us all
to see things differently. Brent Kee Young is Professor Emeritus, Cleveland Institute of Art, where he was head of the glass department for over forty years. In 1990—1991, he developed the glass program at Aichi University of Education in Kariya, Japan. He received a BA, with glass concentration, from San Jose State University (1971) and an MFA from the State University of New York at Alfred University (1973). His work has been shown extensively and is in many permanent museum collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Renwick Gallery; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; the Cleveland Museum of Art; and the Hokaido Museum of Art, Sapporo, Japan.

#446, Re-echo ©8/15, 73 x 66.5”, cotton, wool, digital jacquard, power loom woven, hand made felt

ruff wax and graphite powder, 0.5 x 1.75 x 1.75”, 2014

Matrix Series: “Across a Crowded Room...” flame worked borosilicate glass, 39 x 27 x 22”, 2009, Collection of the Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

#453, Local Journey: Dry Air ©6/16, 57.5 x 57.5”, silk, linen, cotton, digital jacquard, hand woven TC2 loom, painted warp, shifted weft ikat

She states:
I seek forms that are archetypal and selfcontained in the way of a stone or a piece of fruit. Desire, disease, fecundity and constraint are recurring themes; I worry at them like a dog with a bone. By wrapping, polishing and embellishing, I make physical metaphors for these ideas and give in gracefully to the human desire for artifice and decoration. Creating a positive by removing material is both magical and challenging; wax is a pleasure to work—cool, responsive, translucent. As I carve, form and meaning shift. Knowledge, intuition, imperfect memory and imagination coalesce into hybrids that inhabit a zone between the organic and functional, the psychologically charged and the coolly neutral. Kate Budd was born in Nairobi, Kenya. She received a BA degree (with honors) from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland (1990) and an MFA in sculpture from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (1995). Her work has been exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Akron Art Museum; William Busta Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio; Rudolph Poissant Gallery, Houston Texas; and Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, New Art Examiner, and Sculpture magazines and she has received three Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. She taught at the University of Texas, Austin and is currently Associate Professor of Art at the Myers School of Art, University of Akron.

The power loom jacquards are woven on large industrial looms made accessible to the artist through digital technology. The loom and the personal computer can be linked through coded/programmed information generated through the use of certain image based software. Pixels viewed on the computer monitor correspond to the intersection (matrix) of threads on the loom and, as such, provide the blueprint for the woven output. A palette of color or value is determined through the calculation of weave structure formulas which represent the interlacement of threads on the loom. The nuance of detail is a distinctive attribute of these weavings with high thread count.

Janice Lessman-Moss received a BFA degree from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University (1979) and an MFA from the University of Michigan (1981). She is currently Professor of Crafts/Textile Art at Kent State University. Her work has been exhibited in England, Poland, Japan, Israel, China, The Netherlands, Korea, and extensively in the US, including solo shows at the Museum of Fine Art and Culture, Las Cruces, New Mexico; the Kent State University Museum; William Busta Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio; and Marcus Gordon Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, among others. Two solo exhibits were held in Lodz, Poland. She has received grants from the Ohio Arts Council on numerous occasions and her work has been featured in national publications including American Craft and Fiberarts Magazine.

“Pattern, as an abstract system, is a source for meaning in my work. With roots in nature, culture, and process, networks of motifs provide beauty, function, and a platform for poetic association.” Janice Lessman-Moss’ description of her work concisely conveys an unusually rich and varied artistic practice. The awe-inspiring array of creations in the medium of weaving—over many years of effort—is wonderfully balanced by a resolute sense of focus throughout her body of work. It is this committed exploration over time, not random jumps in direction, that have produced such a distinctive and vivid array of work. The images that result from her involved processes are essentially abstract, but do have connotations of natural phenomena from the observable world. Weather patterns and the experience of weather come to mind, but this is only one limited reading. Other works seem to highlight pure emotional or psychological states, in spaces that vary from compressed to virtually limitless. The tone of the work can range from serene and contemplative to highly active, even agitated, in differing degrees. As an insight into part of her process, Lessman- Moss explains:


Matrix Series: "Forge...!" flame worked borosilicate glass, 13.5 x 34 x 10”, 2016

The intricate sculptures of Akron artist Kate Budd are diminutive in scale and possess a magnetic pull on the viewer to observe closely. The forms are finely-crafted, self-contained worlds of associative meanings with implications that lead to calm and contemplative responses. There is a sense of mystery at work as well, due to the sense that what is being observed is at once familiar and alien. Questions arise as to the source of the forms and how they are made. Are these representations of forms with a specific origin? Are they hybrids of some sort? Is the material stone- or steel-like, or something more delicate? These thoughts generally remain suspended in a poetic realm of esthetic appreciation, but perception can be affected by learning that the materials used are most often simply wax and graphite powder. The sculptures can trigger connotative connections both to relics of the past and artifacts of a somewhat futuristic nature. They reference human anatomy and plant biology, functional objects and mineral formations.

Matrix Series: "Quest...." flame worked borosilicate glass, 14 x 39 x 11”, 2014

#431 ©7/13, 74 x 69”, cotton, wool, digital jacquard, power loom woven, hand made felt

The role of craft is an important part of the work of many contemporary artists. It involves skill and knowledge, with a special concern for materials. While it may be true that a high level of craft itself is not an adequate marker for merit in art, it is also true that when especially well-made objects serve as a means to a substantial artistic end, the results can be particularly rich and meaningful. The three artists featured here achieve such ends in the media of wax and graphite powder sculptures, high-tech weaving, and glass constructions.