One way to get through the harsh reality of winter in northeast Ohio is to try something new, or for those of us who love the visual arts, to go see something new. .
“FRESH,” the 18th annual juried exhibition at Summit Artspace, is curated to “push the boundaries of what art can be – stylistically, conceptually, and technically – and challenge the viewer to see the world through a new lens.” .
Frankly, it’s been a few years since this exhibit felt “fresh” at all. However, this year has improved dramatically over years past, and the exhibit not only shows exciting new work, but helps rekindle a sense of hope for the visual arts in Greater Akron, which needs venues. like Summit Artspace to be dynamic and strong.
Judging by Jared Ledesma, senior curator at the Akron Art Museum, this year’s exhibition had 155 entries but only accepted 31. The large number of applications and the limited number of works chosen for inclusion contributed to make this exhibition stronger and more coherent.
In the juror statement, Ledesma states that “In reviewing entries for FRESH, I paid particular attention to items that were difficult to classify in a separate category or items whose materials or subject matter made me laugh. or works whose imagery could even seem grotesque.To me, these works are incredibly fresh and provide insight into how artists in our community are expanding the definition of contemporary art.
These important choices and the juror’s insights help frame the exposition and explain why the show has improved so much over the past few years.
The first-place winner of the exhibition, “I Know Why My Favorite Color Is Orange” by Katie Mongoven, is a 31-inch by 31-inch hand-dyed cotton lotus-shaped embroidered artwork.
Due to the interior pattern used to create the overall lotus shape, this piece captures and reflects light in a way that helps amplify its texture and color. It is a work that jumps out at you when you enter the gallery. Its shape and form immediately draw you in and make you want to better understand how the piece was made.
The second place winner is “Foundation of Stability”, a sterling silver ring by Ellie Payne.
For this work, the artist has created a ring that has a rigid skeletal structure with an elongated oval shape that sits on top or “in view” when the wearer looks at their hand.
Payne writes in the artist’s statement: “As you slide the sterling band across your finger, the rigid composition becomes hidden. What the wearer now sees is an organic, natural shape floating at the top of their hand. When it does does it not happen in the world? Ever. There is always a structure behind what you are looking at, a skeleton, a blueprint. My question is what does my final form look like? Who will I become, what will I become I have my plan here in my hand, now what?
What’s most exciting about the ring isn’t just the design and look of the item, but also how the artist has chosen to write about why she’s making it happen. ‘work. It is invigorating to understand the thoughts and depth of the creator behind the object.
Third place winner is “Tongues”, a 22-inch by 29-inch oil on canvas painting by Madison McSweeney.
This textual and evocative work highlights the sense of humor of the artist as well as that of the juror of the exhibition. The painting was created with wet-look paint and features a canvas filled with tongues that ripple and move throughout the composition.
The artist states, “I was first drawn to language as a subject because of too many horrible, language-heavy macking sessions that left me with an aversion to languages.”
Indeed, the artist’s feelings about tongues came out loud and clear, as this is a piece that can make you cringe the more you look at it.
“It’s Complicated” is a molded kozo fiber sculpture by Samantha Taifi, “Empty Houses” is an assemblage by Lou Camerato, “Ministry Of Waste Disposal & Obsolete Armaments, Sub-Level D7″ is an assemblage by Andy Tubbesing and ” Fractured, Sometimes Broken” is a textile work by Muriel Tillman. These four pieces won honorable mentions at this year’s show.
Tubbesing’s assembly features what looks like the outer shell of an old TV or desktop computer that’s filled with toys and model parts that have been reassembled and given new identities since they were first made. origin. Each figure inside the main structure has been painted in a pink to orange shaded style.
The sculpture is clearly a riff on important parts of contemporary culture, and it stands out in the gallery as one of the boldest created works included in the exhibition.
Beyond the winners, this 18th version of “FRESH” is full of many engaging works that are worth seeing at the Summit Artspace.
The juror did an outstanding job of choosing a show that highlights some of the interesting work going on in northeast Ohio. Hopefully the bar that has now been set can be maintained for years to come.
Contact Anderson Turner at [email protected]
Exposure: Exhibition-competition “FRESH”
Place: Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St., Akron
Hours: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays until March 26
More information: 330-376-8480 or https://www.summitartspace.org/