Thursday, July 26, 2007

Columbus ALIVE Article: Art Fits

Hooray! It's my first appearance in the newspaper, ever: Columbus Alive, weekend of July 26th. Read the article below, or check it out on Columbus Alive's website.


Fitting in

by Bryan Bullock


"I'm very intimidated by the arts scene," said ink-and-paper artist Michael Ingledue.

Ingledue's concern echoed during a chair-circle conversation with artists in the upcoming show Art Fits! It's not the kind of thing you typically hear from an artist, but this is not a typical exhibit.

More than 20 artists who have never shown their work, or haven't for some time, will be on display at Junctionview Studios this Friday. Curator Michael Reed listens quietly as several artists sit inside his lofty studio discussing their on-and-off relationships with art.

As the dialog turns to their handiwork, artists glow as they excitedly show their pieces. With no fees to pay up or jurors to win over, they were given complete control in deciding what and how much work to display.

"I've been impressed and humbled by the quality of submissions I've received for this show. It's inspiring to think of the art people are creating when no one is looking," Reed said.

Through the smash success of shows like Agora, Reed and the 15 other Couchfire Collective artists have stirred much public interest in their Junctionview Studios events. Art Fits! is a solo project for Reed. He sees the event as a chance to help others find a place where making and displaying art fits in their lives.

For some that means just finding time to make art. Amy Neiwirth teaches art to grades K through 12 and is a grad student at Ohio State University. She turns to short-term projects, like drawing and crafts, to get her creative fix.

Originally a realistic oil painter, Neiwirth currently explores how fine art meets craft—in an oven. "I've been thinking about baked goods and pastries a lot," she said. "They're beautiful—decadent and colorful."

Her meticulously arranged collage, Meditation on the Goodness of Sweets, is a hypnotic circle of miniature cookies cut from vintage cookbooks. She also constructs miniature cookies out of polymer clay, again playing with scale to throw viewers off.

Like pulling a Halloween costume together right before a party, Steve Sauer is drawn to the show because he works best under pressure. "That's how you get your best costumes, and that's kind of how I make art," he explained.

As a change of pace from his job as an industrial designer, Sauer enjoys the open-ended process of artistic exploration. He'll be presenting several oil paintings characterized by soft primary colors and an abstract exploration of brushstroke.

"I'm always doing art, but 99 percent is in my head," Sauer said. Dabbling in new territory, he also plans to construct an installation from weathered wood.

"This show means a lot to me," Ingledue said. Not showing his work since high school, he always wanted to be an artist but never knew how. He works part-time and, with the support of his wife, focuses all his extra energy drawing.

Opening his long portfolio case reveals intricate black and white illustrations fueled by wailing heavy metal imagery—skulls, monsters, babes and all.

To artists like Ingledue, Art Fits! is a stepping stone to a hoped-for career. For others it's just an effort to reclaim creative space in their lives.

"It's about creating a stage for people's voice," Reed said. Reclusive artists who want to share their voice are welcome to come early and bring art. "We'll try and find a place for it," he added.

Sleepybird, DJ Dave Espionage and several other bands will perform for the event. Drinks and light food will be provided. Doors open at 6 p.m.; donations are accepted, but not required.

What: "Art Fits!"

When: Friday, July 27

Where: Junctionview Studios, Grandview Heights


July 26th, 2007

Copyright © 2007 Columbus Alive, Inc. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Siobhan said...

Congrats on the article, and the show! I like the idea, artists who haven't shown work recently or at all.