The human form is clearly a fundamental subject for representation in visual art. The face, in particular, is a wonderfully rich source for a multitude of forms and ideas for artistic expression. Three artists featured here utilize this vehicle to explore distinct and personal content. From precise photographic realism, to inventive, multi-layered woven forms, to contemporary takes on the ancient form of ceramics, these artists aptly represent the richness and diversity of approaches to art making in Northeast Ohio. Visual Art Showcase
Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (b. 1959) produces work in a wide range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, and performance. His creations, bursting with color and texture, are optical delights that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds. A deeper look reveals that they speak to issues surrounding identity and social justice, specifically race, gun violence, and civic responsibility. His trademark human-shaped sculptures—called soundsuits because of the noise made when they move—began as a response to the beating of Rodney King by policemen in Los Angeles more than twenty-five years ago. As an African American man, Cave felt particularly vulnerable after the incident so he formed a type of armor that protected him from profiling by concealing race, gender, and class.
Along with broadcasting an increasingly urgent call for equity, Cave wants his art to spark viewers’ imaginations and aspirations. This exhibition’s title, Feat., refers to the exceedingly hard work that goes into attaining success (it takes, for example, roughly seven hours to hand-sew just one square foot of a button soundsuit). It also plays on how talent is often listed in promotional materials—an appropriate nod to Music City and its creative community. Through this immersive installation, Cave hopes to provide a transformative place where your narrative can be featured and your dreams
In the mid-twentieth century, abstract painters pushed back against the venerable tradition of easel painting, applying pigment to canvas sprawled directly on the studio floor. A generation of artists working in the late 1960s and 1970s went further, manipulating canvas or paper in ways that fabric is commonly handled: folding, scrunching or sewing. The Fabricators brings together the work of four abstract artists who treated traditional art supplies like one might treat cloth.
While best known for his painting-sculpture hybrids of canvases draped from gallery ceilings and walls, Sam Gilliam (born 1933) is also an accomplished printmaker. For his print Thursday, Gilliam paired a handmade sheet of paper with another covered in marks applied with a silkscreen. The artist stitched the two pieces together using a sewing machine. Craig Lucas (1941-2011) applied acrylic paint to the surface of paper collaged with tape, fabric and paperboard. For his large untitled work from 1973, Lucas folded the linen-back paper as he worked. Alan Shields (1944-2005) learned to sew while growing up on a farm in central Kansas. He used Rit, a common fabric dye, to add color to paper and canvas, and embellished the surfaces with beads and machine-stitched thread. Kenneth Showell (1939-1997) crumpled canvas into balls and showered them with tiny droplets of paint using a spray gun. After the canvas dried, he stretched it tightly across wooden bars.
The Fabricators is organized by the Akron Art Museum with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and Rory and Dedee O'Neil.
Craig Lucas, Gates of Ishtar II
McKay Bricker Framing | Black Squirrel Gallery | 141 East Main Street Kent, Oh 44240 | (330) 673-5058
Great selection of art, cards, frames, hand bags, t-shirts, and much more. Gifts for all occasions. Connected to KSU Downtown Gallery and a short walk from the KSU Hotel & Conference Center.
The Kent State University Museum advances the understanding of world cultures through collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting fashion, textiles, and related arts to students, scholars and the general public.
The Kent State University Museum is a highly visible access point for the University, serving as a world-class destination for the study and presentation of historic and contemporary fashion, textiles and related art forms.
Kent State University Museum