Only through Sept 12th, in the side gallery of Cyrus Framing on Cleveland Ave, one will find a wonderful exhibition by the staff of the Massillon Museum. It is an extension of the show at the main museum expanding upon the concept of artists responding to the works of others, in particular, from the permanent collection of the MassMu. A mounted statement on the wall and a list of the 15 participants and their positions with the museum provides details that I don’t need to list here. You have to go “there” to appreciate the works anyway as my words are only a hint of what awaits.
It has been way to long since I have had the time to blog about our arts but that is changing. Despite the carpal tunnel, the almost broken ribs (did you know dumpsters have steel projections on the sides?) and the mysterious wings of a guardian angel that prevented me from being run over by a car (God is suggesting you buy my work now for future investment because the next time I might not be so lucky), I’m still up and moving (and moving) to find hidden gems for your viewing experience.
Cyrus is open from 10-ish (gotta love honesty) to 6, M –F and Sat 11 – 3. For the sake of equality and efficiency, we will start inside the door to the right and move counter clockwise around the room with the work of Scot Phillips. Based upon a 1914 photograph of a round house collapse (a round house is where train engines would be turned around, it is not a yurt), his 5 small micro dot screen prints are on found wood pieces. Superimposed doodles, some with dates, act as graffiti such as that found on train cars today, but in different context of style. I enjoy watching how he uses this signature technique in so many different ways over the years.
Next one will encounter two photographs by intern Jamie Woodburn, inspired by the work of American landscape artist Albert Blakelock. The two pieces are meant to be considered together, one as a larger metaphor for the path we all travel, and another for those small shelters we seek out when the journey gets hard and respite is needed. Look for the little critter captured on film while on his own slow travels.
Alex Coon shares an audio recording and in assorted jars, collections of things that spark memories of places visited. She has the gift of restraint… a rock or two, a shell, a piece of driftwood, a trait that will serve her well as those munchkins grow and start gathering things of their own. The simplicity of the presentation has a charm reminiscent of earlier times when all one needed was a rock, not a hundred selfies to recall the blessings of family.
Heather Bullach is such a natural talent and well known in the local arts scene so I will only point out my favorite gem this time…how she captured the connection between a young Nell Dorr and herself as women finding their paths and discovering who they are. It is a brilliant resolution to the concept.
BZTAT has a painting in the show that is dazzling in its simplicity but complex in its rendering of a balloon man at the circus. The perspective is from the bleachers in the eyes of child and the balloons are not round but elongated, which adds just a bit of whimsy to the image. The compositional bones and use of color placement is as sophisticated as any master work, as making the “simple” work, is often harder than filling space with complex forms. The personal memory shared in her statement will make the connection even more endearing.
Mandy Altimus Pond made me laugh. Stan Baltry is her inspirational superhero, pharmacist by day, photographer by night! Before all the glitz and glamour and green-screens of today’s action figures, men were just as grand and gallant. The depiction of her own super hero (Brian) by way of her signature photographic techniques and historical presentation are charming as they are personal.
Meghan Reed presents us with three brick shaped canvases painted with small brick patterns. They reminded me of those cardboard bricks with brick patterns that my children played with years ago. There is an innocent spirit and message in these three forms….starting small, one piece at a time, we can create great things, as whole cities are built by one brick at a time.
The gem in Emily Vigils work, again a well-known and very talented area artist so I won’t dwell, can be found in her large diptych oil painting. My eye was drawn to the red shoes of the little girl entering into the woods. In this sea of greens and woodland browns, little red riding hood has ditched the cape and gone all “big girl” on us and opted for red shoes. They sparkle like Dorothy’s in this work and leave you wondering about her journey into the future that no one can predict.
Rats, I am hitting my word limit so here is a cheat sheet synopsis:
Michelle Waalkes – the photo transfer of grid over a pathway with unreachable light, creating multiple layers of crosses based upon the old Mass State Hospital for mental patients…..spot on, loved it.
April Olsen – a woodcut of Christ, but oriented on an angle, not the usual vertical, makes the presentation a layer deeper.
Chris Craft – enjoyed how his rendering of the connection between beauty and torture for the sake of others contrasts with the same concept by Heather Bullach. He used mixed media drawing, while she is drawing on her own face. His inspiration is a photo of the permanent wave machine from 1928.
Margy Vogt – smaller digital photography vignettes that capture a rusted train bridge as if an old engine itself and been repurposed as the bridge upon which it once traveled. “Rust Belt” on bands of rust like stacked belts…nailed it.
Demi Edwards, Diane Gibson, Samantha Lechner are also represented in this show but I am at my 1000 word limit so time to cut this off. Please try and stop in this week or next and view these works by the MassMu family. Not one red dot when I was there, we need to change that!! Some purchases will benefit the museum fund as designated on their tags. Don’t chide, I plan to put my money where my words are and dot one or two tags unless someone beats me to it.