Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Scintillating Scraps


Scintillating Scraps

Goku vs. Superman

detail - Goku vs. Superman

Skottie Young/ Stan Lee Tribute

Snakes On An Astral Plane

Jazzy Sessions

Open Your Eyes

By Tom Wachunas

   Marvel is a cornucopia of fantasy, a wild idea, a swashbuckling attitude, an escape from the humdrum and the prosaic. It's a serendipitous feast for the mind, the eye, the imagination, a literate celebration of unbridled creativity, coupled with a touch of rebellion and an insolent desire to spit in the eye of the dragon.”   - Stan Lee


   EXHIBIT: The Pieces That Fit – collages by Perris Mackey (p _ ThaNerd)   at  Patina Arts Centre, 324 Cleveland Ave NW, downtown Canton, OH / ending on APRIL 23 / Gallery Hours: Thursday 12-8pm, Friday 8-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm

     Perris Mackey - a.k.a. p_ThaNerd – constructs spectacular collages that are dense, intricate agglomerations of fragments salvaged from damaged comic books and recycled magazines. Collectively, his pictures are a celebratory smorgasbord - a confluence of facts and fantasies incorporating iconic celebrities and characters – all seasoned with street-smart theatricality.

    At some points in your looking at this tantalizing mélange – and there are only a few days left to do so - you might even envision the artist as a savvy master rapper. Or maybe a virtuosic jazz horn player, belting out crazy fast improvisations with inexhaustible alacrity.

   These facile fusions join together myriad irregularly-shaped scraps of images, texts and textures to form labyrinthine backgrounds that exude a rococo kind of complexity. Here, “edgy art” acquires new meaning. In turn, the particulated forms of bodies and faces emerge from their surrounding clamour, like fractions becoming whole numbers, and take on a nearly sculptural solidity.

     So welcome to a parade of paper with a pulse. Have a rollicking romp through repurposed pulp festooned with the confetti of Pop culture. Nerds, unite!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022




"Muses" by Beth Lindenberger

"Deathbed" by Sherry Bradshaw

Antimony Bottle" by Donna Webb

"Spill Over" by Donna Webb

"Glyph Cairn" (left) and "Spiked Cairn" by Beth Lindenberger

By Tom Wachunas and others

“My surfaces are based on microscopic organisms and natural objects. I am interested in responding to nature, not copying it. Whether seen as individuals or in a group or system, I see these pieces as part of a larger environment.” – Beth Lindenberger

“I collect artifacts that wash up on the Lake Erie shoreline or end up at the side of the road… turning original identities into something magical yet absurd.  I am interested in the paradox between beauty and death.  And, I also love bird watching.”  – Sherry Bradshaw

“…Repetition provides a key to scientific understanding of species and of all other forms of knowledge. Variation also pops up everywhere. These exceptions keep us from becoming complacent and provide fresh reason for staying engaged in research. The meaning of the exception to the rule allows for interpretation, and therefore art and poetry.”  – Donna Webb


   EXHIBIT (ended on April 9, 2022): At The Lemmon Visiting Artist Gallery, in the Fine Arts Building at Kent State University at Stark: Natural Order: Accumulating Meaning - ceramic sculpture by Beth Lindenberger (curator), Sherry Bradshaw, and Donna Webb, exploring themes connecting art, science, and collaboration. / 6000 FRANK AVENUE NW, NORTH CANTON, OH

   Unexpected and daunting personal circumstances have recently wrecked my time and concentration. One regrettable casualty has been my blog activity, including offering a more timely review of this enthralling exhibit. Ironically enough, this situation has transpired while I’ve been teaching a course at Kent Stark called “Arts Engagement,” which focuses on practices and techniques of writing about contemporary art.

   So consider this post my soft reentry into the land of the writing, but with a twist. Here’s a review composed by multiple authors, including my ten Arts Engagement students. I’m proud of their mindful attentions to the marvelous works presented by three truly remarkable artists. Each student wrote a review essay, and so I present here, with much gratitude, edited excerpts. They collectively capture the overarching spirit of the show while resonating solidly with my own appreciation of the exhibiting artists’ works.

   Of Beth Lindenberger’s porcelain Protista: Dispersed, Caden Haines wrote, “…  as a material, porcelain is often seen as fragile and delicate. But to me, this work harnesses those fragile and delicate qualities in order to shift that impression. The spikes look as if you tried to pull on them they would easily snap, and yet they give off this air of defense and protection.”

   Observing Donna Webb’s Spill Over, Paige Johnson noted, “… Each tile creates a mood. For example, while the bottom left tile works quite wonderfully with the whole piece, looking at it by itself is very calming… It reminds me of rain on glass, hitting the surface and trickling down slowly.”

   Sherry Bradshaw’s Pegasus (an altered invisible horse kit with bird feathers) prompted this response from Ashley Winn: “Inside each creature is the better, bigger version. When a cat looks in the mirror does it see itself as a tiger, lion, perhaps a cheetah? Does a horse see its reflection in water and see a Pegasus? I feel with this piece, every horse, deep down, is a Pegasus.” 

    About Donna Webb’s Quest with Redwing Blackbirds, Alex Snyder offered, “Overall, the piece holds a certain energy for viewers, a fascination with the journey these blackbirds are taking, almost as if we are witnessing a brand new world outside our own cage…”  

    Here’s Samuel Gentile, on Beth Lindenberger’s Glyph Cairn: “… something as simple as stacked stones implies importance. These human-made constructions could have multiple meanings, such as remembering an achievement on a mountain plain; a warning to be wary of creatures in a dense forest terrain; or a ceremony for loved ones who have passed. The use of the crackle glaze gives the stones an appearance of rust, generating a feeling, as if discovering an artifact hidden away for years.”

   In his comments on Donna Webb’s Antimony Bottle with Strange Particles, Thomas Pedrotty wrote, “…The small particles floating around the work help elevate it from something relatively simple to a more complex analogy of a galaxy of possibility in the jar…I now have a greater appreciation for the infinite possibilities of ceramics…” 

   Sarah Vega wrote of her viewing experience, “…I was met with, if not overwhelmed by, wordless stories about the beautiful fragility of life… This show is a story written by the dwarves who could not bear to hide Snow White’s beauty even in death. I felt the memory of the fairy tale, ghostly yet comforting, surround me as I wandered through the poetry.”

   Similarly, from Christine Rogers, “… this exhibition is a raw experience of nature’s Oroboros of life and death, or the beautifully tragic tale of the circle of life… You can walk yourself through the gallery full of whimsy, but it will keep your feet grounded in the reality of the world we live in.” And Nicholas Hoover concurred: “… Both in process and form, themes of life and all of its cycles are present, from the smallest cell, to the local wildlife, even to the fungus found, all treated with immense respect. All of the works complement each other and build on one another.”

   And finally, this gem from Jessica Morton: “The exhibition is a liminal space where science meets spirituality. Sculptural artists Donna Webb, Beth Lindeberger, and Sherry Bradshaw, along with two-dimensional works by Jack McWhorter, create a space where the repetition and variation of life and nature are captured. The accumulation of works suggests a life cycle throughout time, from single cell to multicellular, from birth to death, transforming the gallery into a transcendent biorepository.”