By Melissa Starker
22 June 2014
On an opening-night visit to “Good Grief” at the ROY G BIV Gallery, visitors were greeted with an environment that reached out to multiple senses.
The aroma of freshly sprayed fixative was in the air and classic country music filled the ears. For the eyes, there were walls covered top to bottom with drawings featuring cartoonish characters and a floor papered with a glossy, squiggly ink design as well as an installation suggesting that the creatures had popped off the walls to take up residence in the gallery.
“I’ve always been interested in spatial installation — transforming the gallery into another zone because that’s what my comics do,” said John Malta, whose work is featured on the floor and walls of the gallery alongside contributions from his fiancee, Nichole Senter, and their longtime friend, Michael Marine.
A teacher and freelance illustrator whose clients include The New York Times, Malta is based with Senter in Kansas City, Mo. The two Columbus College of Art & Design alumni and Marine, an illustrator based in Cleveland, provide pieces that are visually fun and full of pop-culture references — and personal in content.
The title makes reference to the artists’ admiration for Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. Though comical, their works have a tinge of darkness and wistful nostalgia.
Malta presents panels from the first issue of his comic book Baboom!The pieces are hung like wallpaper on one side of the gallery. Large, flat, free-standing versions of a couple of the characters rest nearby.
In 2012, while Malta and Senter were living in New York, she launched a comic to vent some of her anxieties about living there — centered on a socially awkward vampire named Baron von Badtooth. She has created an enchanting history for the character through childlike, humorously captioned portraits of old acquaintances in colored pencil and watercolor wash.
Marine offers two mixed-media installations that act as a visual record of recent travels to New Mexico and the South, and some time spent with his father. A gift from him, a decorative bottle, is incorporated into one of the works, next to an old cassette player loaded with the show’s soundtrack.
By Bill Mayr
3 April 2014
Installation and sculptural pieces by area artists Elizabeth Nelson and Amy Ritter will be on view at Roy G Biv Gallery, 997 N. High St.
Nelson works with fluorescent colors and bold patterns.
“By creating spaces that contain a mixture of unrecognizable and obscured imagery, I aim to make the viewer search for meaning longer,” she said.
“In using the combination of bright colors and high-contrast images, I want to cause a sense of uncertainty, a feeling of unease and the need for static.”
Ritter examines gender and life experiences.
“I grew up as a tomboy rejecting gender, as it didn’t have much importance to me,” she said.
“Memories are resurfacing and finding meaning within the objects and fragments that I’m creating.”
A reception for the artists will start at 7 p.m. Saturday at the gallery.
By Christopher Yates
2 February 2014
In its 14th year, the annual “ImageOhio” juried exhibit showcases photographers and video and other media artists from throughout the state.
This year’s jurors — Aspen Mays, an assistant professor of art at Ohio State University; and Shannon Benine, an assistant professor of photography and multimedia at the Columbus College of Art & Design — selected 49 works by 31 emerging and established artists.
With a variety of traditional and innovative work, the show in the Shot Tower Gallery at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center broadly revolves around the theme of perception. Put simply, what we see and believe are more complex, tenuous and uncertain than they seem.
Lillianna Marie investigates real and imagined obstacles. Her two-sided sculptural wall — The Floor Deserves the Floor and Of Heaven That Is a Ceiling as We See It — challenges our ability to distinguish the real from the illusory. Three-dimensional physicality comes from the material presence of the cement-block wall. Illusion comes from the two-dimensional photographic imagery “printed” on both sides of the wall. On one side, the image depicts a fragmented blue sky with white clouds. On the other, a sunset can be seen through a raindrop-covered window.
The Eric Sherwood performance video Get Up, Get Out, Go Home is excruciating. An exploration of futility, it records the efforts of a man repeatedly climbing a ladder placed against tree limbs. He slides, teeters and falls to the ground, eventually breaking the ladder into splinters.
With a contemporary technique called focus stacking, Claire Brewer and her father, Stephen Brewer, use 30 exposures to create a single black-and-white image. Documenting plant specimens, the simple subjects found in images such as Red Clover 1 are strangely alien.
The uncertainty of memory is the focus of Jessica Naples’ Bath Time With Grandpa Bill. Consisting of a snapshot grasped in a person’s hand and set against a dark background, the image suggests profound loss.
A provocative response to the contemporary world’s passion for speed, Timothy Smith’s video Infinite Expectation of Dusk records the changing light on the edge of a wall in a dimly lighted room.
Elisa Gabor’s Surface II — a photo of a microfilm reader that is lighted but lacks any film to project — speaks to technological advances and obsolescence.
Other strong works include Jacob Koestler’s video Red Magnet, Jason Schwab’s photo Post Identity, Allison Ezzo’s photo In the Stillness of Remembering No. 3, Griffin Pines’ video Mary and Emmily Chang’s photo Massive.
By Jesse Tigges
23 January 2014
Even in its 14th year, the annual, juried exhibition ImageOHIO is still an original and innovative collection of works. The exhibit has evolved over the years, initially with a sole focus on photography, adding video a few years back and digital artwork last year. While the inclusion of new genres is important to staying on the cutting edge, ImageOhio’s originality stems more from its works and their approach to the medium.
“A lot of the photos are breaking some of the traditional rules for what a photo should be; it causes you to stop, notice them and explore them,” said Ken Aschliman, gallery director of ROY G BIV Gallery, which presents the ImageOHIO exhibition.
There’s a one-hand-washing-the-other aspect to this year’s selections — many of which are first-timers to ImageOHIO — as this year’s jurors, Aspen Mays (assistant professor of art at Ohio State) and Shannon Benine (assistant professor of photography and multimedia at the CCAD), sought out the more groundbreaking works among the submissions.
“The jurors were also looking for … work that’s on the cutting edge, breaking the traditional rules and pushing photography and video in a different direction,” Aschliman said.
This motif is at play in many of the works, but a prime example of challenging convention is Jacob Koestler’s “Red Magnet.” He took videos of Red Rock and projected two different versions of the same video onto crumpled sheets of paper. One side is the basic projection and the other is Koestler’s manipulation of RGB, distorting all the colors.
A slightly more traditional — if that term even applies to ImageOHIO 14 — yet emotional piece is Emmily Chang’s “Massive.” The dark photo is predominantly occupied by a projection of an elephant with two silhouettes at the bottom. That one of the figures is completely ignoring the pained giant in lieu of her smart phone gives “Massive” an effective sense of sorrow in disregard.
A reception and awards ceremony, where the jurors selected a Best In Show and Juror’s Choice for both photography and video, will be 7-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24.