Making It: Process and Materials
Anthony Becker, Katherine Gibson
Jennifer Purdum, Jonpaul Smith
June 3rd - July 17th
Opening Reception: June 3rd from 6-9 PM
The disparate works by the four artists in Making It: Process and Materials are a reflection of the diverse and exciting art making methods and processes in Cincinnati’s art world. The exhibition offers an exploration on a range of materials, additive and subtractive means of making, and the creation of patterns and abstract imagery.
The works are the result of the variety of artistic processes from collage, printmaking techniques, collecting, assemblage, painting, sewing, and an emphasis on the act of artistic creation.
Since graduating from Yale in 1981, Anthony Becker has been challenging himself to “see things and causes” in the world around him. Working in a wide range of materials from steel, wire, and wood, to oil paint, paper, and fabric, he has made large eagle-sized nests from rusty wire, installed paper birds flocking in an airy atrium, and cobbled together ruined angels from chicken wire and rice paper. He has exhibited throughout the country, including notable shows at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington, Kentucky, the Spertus Museum in Chicago, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, The Weston Art Gallery, The Dayton Art Institute, and Creon Gallery in New York City. He taught community education at the Art Academy and works with high school students in the Taft Museum’s ARC program. Recently, he collaborated with children of all ages on House, an installation at Prairie Gallery. He also works with the artists at Visionaries and Voices, often collaborating with members on individual projects.
Katherine Gibson (b. 1980 in Middletown, Rhode Island) is an artist and educator primarily working in painting who has been trained as a metalsmith. She studied art at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, earning her BA in Sculpture, then moved to Richmond to study metalsmithing at Virginia Commonwealth University. She brings a keen awareness of craft and labor that is influenced by her study of sociology and philosophy and her professional experience as a metalsmith. Her research is focused on meaning-making in the intersubjective landscape of media, most recently the world of 1990’s teen magazines, and how these texts are interpreted and expressed by young women. Using textile techniques, painting, and recycled teen magazines, she creates items associated with comfort and protection. In so doing, she illuminates disparities between the fictive construction of an ideal self in the world and the less glamorous, easily overlooked reality of teens’ life experiences. She earned her MFA in Painting from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, & Planning, in 2020.
Jennifer Purdum has been exhibited internationally and nationally, including the “Printmaking Today” at the Cincinnati Art Museum, where her “Exodus Print Series” is part of the permanent collection. She has exhibited her drawings and collages internationally.
Jennifer has been teaching studio arts, design, and art concepts for 15 years since graduating with my MFA from American University. She is both a professor of art and an owner of a printmaking studio in OTR, Cincinnati. Jennifer’s current body of collages are an extension of her research into place and identity. The layered and ripped detritus from mass produced materials accumulates into “rock-like” sediments, a kind of amalgamation of culture and rot references held together by fragile taped skins. Her work is an investigation into architectures’ ability to shape our world views and our world views’ ultimate resting place in both the intentional and unintended built environments we create.
Born in Logansport, IN, Smith received his M.F.A. and Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Cincinnati, D.A.A.P. His B.A. is from Hanover College in Indiana and he also studied fine arts at the University of Wollongong in Australia. Smith frequently conducts visiting artist seminars. He has also completed a residency and exhibition in Budapest-Hungary, Paducah-Kentucky and was the working artist in residency at Tiger Lily Press in Cincinnati, OH where he is now Vice President on their board. Smith has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. His work is included in many prominent private and public collections.
Remembrancer: Selections from Lisa Merida-Paytes, Robert Pulley,
April 1st - May 15th
indian hill gallery
Remembrancer: Selections from Lisa Merida-Paytes, Robert Pulley, and Patrice Trauth, is a group exhibition of work from the regionally based artists and puts their work in dialogue together to create relationships between their visual languages and use of materials.
A remembrancer is a person who reminds another of something and is also a reminder; memento; or souvenir. Through the alluring use of found objects or the manipulation of materials, the artists’ work allows us to think about their methods in conversation with a material, personal, or natural history.
As an artist with disabilities caused from Ataxia, a rare neurological disease that is progressive, affecting my ability to walk, talk, balance myself and use fine motor skills, my artwork not only considers the essential structure of skeletal or embryonic animal references but has become a vehicle to interpret transformative changes occurring in my body caused from the progression of the disease. Also, my work researches and brings awareness people living with disabilities while pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. My work discusses these concepts by focusing on movement's copious flow, a manner of passage of the living body to one’s gait and gesture. This work drives examination and permits curiosity uncovering aspects of human nature and wonder of origin. These juxtaposed ideas reveal blurred distinctions between connections and dysfunction exhibited in multi-media multivalent invocations of the body.
My work serves as a metaphor between our connections, wonder of the natural world and to our future. Like a river or the blood flowing through our veins, our human connection and vessel is in continuous change, transition and movement. This work explores the malfunction of systems to communicate with the whole body and the interrelated fluid parts that flow together. My work discusses and celebrates the fluid connections and movements of body and time, like a river in motion moving toward transformation and hope for our future.
I have been weaving different paper qualities and gauges of copper and steel wire together while strengthening the materials with liquid starch, paper clay slip and epoxy. Also, I have been hand building ceramic molds to cast paper or glass frit while incorporating woven copper pieces inside each of the different materials. When the copper and steel wire structures are added to the cast paper they create unique textures, strength and durability. When the copper wire structures are added to the glass frit and fired in the molds they oxidize and create iridescent hues that are incased inside the glass structure.
Each piece is incredibly light weight because of the materials used and the audience has the opportunity to interact with my work in an intimate way. For instance, the audience is drawn into find these references provocative and they offer me an opportunity to understand our own growth and decay. This work conjures the past, present and future in order to invoke the contemplation of our existence.
I grew up in the American Midwest where frequent solitary walks in the woods and along the creeks and rivers of rural Indiana etched strong impressions into my memory of the varied forms, colors and textures around me. Evidence of the effects of time were everywhere in the rock strata, glacial till, and aboriginal artifacts. I found a sense of wonder that embraced mysteries of nature, of change and of time.
I have always been intuitive, reactive and spontaneous. I love improvisation, expression and the power of chance and serendipity. Here is how it works:
In my creative process there is always a time of free improvisation using easily manipulated materials on a small scale. The materials may have qualities of a found object, chance forms that must be reacted to, much as a jazz musician riffs off a casual theme. The resulting models are very crude, casual and many. A chosen few undergo editing, refinement and transformation as they are built into full size sculptures.
The creative process for me is an extension of life. It is a fluid record of the lived, relational interactions of my world. My work is influenced by everything I absorb on a daily basis: nature, the spiritual world, along with the symbols and beliefs that unite people. These experiences and encounters in life continually create a metamorphosis within my consciousness. My art always surprises me with a tangible, visual diary of these transformations.
Reclaimed materials are often used as compositional elements. These lost or discarded materials are relics of our culture and the natural world. They are sometimes a springboard that jumpstart my creative process. These "found" objects invite me to breathe new life into them. Juxtaposing various materials creates a new metamorphosis in the story of my work.
I find myself thinking about human connections to place, both past and present. Over the years, travel has opened a window of appreciation and understanding of different cultures and beliefs. Art is a universal language and I try to use this language to engage in dialog and connect to the heart and soul of others.
The River and the Thread:
Fiber and Woven Forms from the Ohio Valley
Sandra Palmer Ciolino, Judy Dominic, Frauke Palmer,
McCrystle Wood, Melissa Lusk
January 7th - March 13th, 2022
Indian Hill Gallery
The River and the Thread: Fiber and Woven Forms from the Ohio Valley is inspired by a Rosanne Cash album, while also defining the geographical area the artists in this exhibition are living and working in. The connections between a river and thread are compelling. They both weave through material, time, terrain and the human condition. Our own Ohio River simultaneously passes - and connects - a disparate terrain and disparate people like the threads in these extraordinary works.
This exhibition features the work of five artists in the Ohio Valley whose practices are as diverse as their materials. We can marvel at how material and thread come together and how fluid actions done by the artists can create a striking synergy, like the harmony in a flowing river.
Means the Most
Michael Agricola and Michelle Whitmer
October 22nd - November 28th, 2021
Indian Hill Gallery
Indian Hill Gallery's fall exhibition, Means the Most pairs two local artists, Michael Agricola and Michelle Whitmer, and a selection of candid paintings inspired from their environments and everyday life. The viewer can peer into the moments, scenes, and spaces, that the artists’ draw from and spend time in. These moments are explored with bold uses of color and mark making, the history and layers of investigation made visible on the surface.
Michael distorts and transforms the space and its occupants, relying on memory, where the specifics are gradually lost as he leaves the viewer with his recollection of the scene. Michael’s paintings are a place where he floats between the imagined and observable world.
Growing up and living in Ohio, Michelle notices the potential in places and objects not typically considered “beautiful". Michelle finds the mundane alluring and discovers complexity in lackluster places, using the personality of paint as a true companion to explore imagery of contemporary American life.
Both artists use evocative shapes and a sense of movement, to create a visual diary- a collection of intimate moments reflecting their own personal worlds.
Michael Agricola studied fine arts at the University of Cincinnati School of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP) and graduated in 1996 with a BFA in Drawing. During his time at DAAP, he received a study abroad scholarship to the Glasgow School of Art. Since graduating, Agricola has been working in the arts and creative fields. Making art is a vocation that he has remained devoted to.
Michelle Whitmer grew up in Northwest Ohio, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Bowling Green State University. During her time at Bowling Green, she studied at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. Her work was recently published in the New American Painting periodical. Michelle has relocated to Cincinnati where she uses her new surroundings as a focus in her work.