The Art Academy of Cincinnati is pleased to showcase works by six sculptors representing Art Academy graduating classes between 1976 and 2009. The exhibition includes media such as character and toy design, mixed-media sculpture, wood, cardboard, fiber, raku, cast glass, porcelain paper clay and acrylic paint.
The exhibiting artists are: Voss Finn (1976); Jeff Casto (1987); Lisa Merida-Paytes (1991); Kendall Bruns (2000); Carla Johnson (2008) and Zach Rawe (2009).
Finn will exhibit a large conceptual installation made of wood blocks, strips and pieces, combining formal constructs and absurdity. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Milton Avery School of Fine Arts, Bard College.
Castoís mixed-media sculptures employ an undercurrent of seriousness alongside a liberal dosage of humor, horror, pathos and satire. Through his works, the artist presents abstract concepts of future dystopic worlds. The artist says: "Food shortages, nuclear annihilation, over population, pandemics and terrorism are possibilities that either currently exist or could. Apparently, the sunny outlook of yesterday has become todayís cloudy forecast." Having made art for nearly 30 years, Casto has exhibited throughout the Midwest and New York. He fuses painting with sculpture and merges found objects with fantastical imagery. Casto holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Cincinnati.
Merida-Paytes evokes the animal spirit through respectful treatment of skeletal and embryonic animal forms and connects her art to her childhood memories of her fatherís vocation as a taxidermist. ìMy fatherís taxidermist / slaughterhouse business was an overwhelming environment with powerful images of hanging carcasses of deer, piles of sawed off animal feet and freezers full of animal hides,î the artist says. ìThe intent of my work is to evoke the animal spirit that was once destroyed and to make amends for the discord and waste.î Merida-Paytesí work has been featured in exhibitions and publications regionally, nationally and internationally for the past 15 years. Her work was featured in the John A. Ruthven Exhibition Gallery at the Cincinnati Museum Center in 2011 and the Vancouver Artist Trading Card Exhibition during the Vancouver Olympic Games, Canada.
Bruns has been utilizing character design to create bigger-than-life toy-like beings, giving emotion and personality to the characters brought to life in his studio. Along with other pieces, Bruns will exhibit ìLuckyî and ìZonk,î works recently exhibited at the Baltimore Contemporary Museum. The artist says: ìI was inspired by the designer toy movement that has invaded independent record stores and art museum gift shops. These vinyl, plastic and plush figures fascinated me with their ability to recall childhood sensations with an added sophistication and endless possibilities.î Bruns is an award-winning artist who has worked with many disciplines, including sculpture, design, brand management and filmmaking.
Johnson will exhibit seven sculptural portraits that reflect her experiences growing up in Cincinnati as an African-American woman. Her art reveals the journey that all women have taken to discover their strengths by acknowledging their history of loss, disregard and victimization. Johnson says: ìThe materials I use for remembering the discarded and forgotten women were themselves discarded and forgotten. I found these bits of flotsam and jetsam in vacant lots and alleys, in the streets, trash bins and abandoned yards of the community where I live, which is also discarded and forgotten. I am attempting to illustrate that all things are useful and beautiful, like these women.î
Rawe produces works that prompt emotion using store-bought materials and a wide range of references (whether memory, historical or pop cultural.) The artist says: ìI ultimately create works that situate themselves between product and art, removed sentimentality and personal engagement; navigating our messy personal lives.î Rawe is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. While enrolled at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2008, Rawe was awarded a semester-long residency through the New York Studio Residency Program, administered by the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.
Exhibition Dates: November 9 - December 14, 2012
Artistsí Reception: Final Friday, November 30, 5:00 - 8:00 pm
The Exhibition and Final Friday Reception on November 30 are free and open to the public.
The Pearlman Gallery is on the first level of the North Building at 1212 Jackson Street across from the Kroger Parking Garage. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. Standard gallery hours are Monday ñ Friday, 9-9 and Saturday and Sunday 9-5. The Gallery will be closed on Thursday, November 22 for Thanksgiving Day and will close at 6:00 pm on Friday, December 14, the last day of the exhibition. Please call 513.562.6262