Visual art

Bianca Garza’s photos rooted in concern about our relationship to the soil

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Photographer Bianca Garza knows in her gut that something is wrong in humanity’s relationship to their environment. She suffers from the effects. Growing up, she consumed processed and artificial food. She drank pop instead of water. Then with the encouragement of her boyfriend, Aaron Pickens, and his family, Garza started eating a “practical paleo” diet, based on foods grown sustainably. She ate traditional foods like those people ate before chronic diseases began taking their toll. Now, Garza said, she was “hiking and biking.” That is until gum surgery in 2016 threw her back, and triggered chronic fatigue syndrome. During that time of convalescence she looked at some of the photographs she’d been taking, and she saw they coalesced around a theme. Garza had captured odd juxtapositions between the natural world and artificial representations of the natural world. That breakdown, Garza believes, was manifesting itself in her own health issues. She’d worked briefly for Don Schooner at Schooner Farms, and that enhanced her appreciation for sustainable and regenerative agriculture – the belief that healthy soil produces the nutritious foods needed to nourish a healthy body. And depleted soil depletes our health. People become like the wheat stock in one of her photos, “Unyielding,” trying to break its way through cracked and dry ground. “I really believe many of our health issues come from replacing what we’re supposed to get from the earth with something artificial that no longer holds that energy.” A photo of abandoned truck trailer parked in an abandoned lot with a cornucopia decorating it cut to the core of the problem. “We have a lot of food stuff but we don’t have food with a lot of nutrition, and that’s what matters.” That image, “Abundantly Clear,” is one of a baker’s dozen photographs now on display at Art Supply Depo, 435 East Wooster, Bowling Green. The exhibit remains up until March 25. A reception with the artist will be held Saturday, March 24, from 5-7 p.m. The 2012 graduate of Bowling Green State…

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Alli Hoag glass art takes wing at the intersection of technology & daydreams

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Inside the River House Arts gallery in the Secor Building in downtown Toledo, art lovers can find respite from the dreariness of winter. Projected on the wall is an image of glistening water with bubbles rising to the surface looking up through the surf at the Hawaiian sky. The water is reflected in the surfaces of the reflective concave domes spread across the gallery floor. The domes were salvaged from a failed solar panel plant. The projector is hidden beneath one of the domes. The work is part of “Alternative Beginnings,” a solo show of work by glass artist Alli Hoag. The exhibit continues in the gallery through Jan. 27. (For information on hours click.) The art in the show plays on Hoag’s fascination with nature and how we perceive it. In an age when so much is at a digital remove, Hoag wants to engage the viewer’s body in the act of understanding art. Most of the pieces use convex glass domes. Inside are cast glass images of moths, canaries, and hummingbirds. “Using the distorted lens makes them (the viewers) evaluate what they’re seeing,” the artist said. It’s as if they are “seeing with a new set of eyes.” “They have to be very present to understand the work, and the work changes as they move through the space.” People will view the work from a different angle depending on their height, or where they are standing in the gallery. As they move, that view changes. The glass domes at once magnify the image, and yet keep it at a distance. Hoag aims to give the viewer both this physical experience and the psychological experience of “being immersed in your own thoughts, your daydreams, your internal dialogue.” The creatures are set against mirrors. Sometimes the reflection completes the form. “It’s a really fun way to take these elements that I cast and make them a little more than themselves within this space,” she said. A living hummingbird could never be caught this still….

Alli Hoag solo exhibit opens at River House Arts, Dec. 14

From RIVER HOUSE ARTS An opening for  Alli Hoag’s solo exhibition “Alternative Beginnings” will be held Thursday, Dec. 14 at River House Arts in the Secor Building, 425 Jefferson St., Toledo. This new collection of work investigates the translation of the real through the distorted lens. Sculptural compositions of glass and mixed media are created as a synthesis of both physical and mirage, manifesting in the same realm as one’s perception. Hoag has exhibited extensively across the U.S. and Europe and is currently serving as head of the Glass Program at Bowling Green State University. A graduate of Alfred University (MFA) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (BFA), Hoag developed her work internationally through residencies at Cite des Arts International (Paris, France) and S12 Galleri og Verksted (Bergen, Norway). “Alternative Beginnings” runs through January 27.

Photographer captures the hope & resolve of global refugees

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Alishia McCoy was so moved by the faces staring at her from the photographs on the wall at Jerome Library, and by the stories that accompanied them, that she just had to tell someone. She turned to the two men also looking at the display of images of refugees. Those photographs made her reconsider her life. Attending Bowling Green State University from Cleveland, McCoy was very aware that most students here have more than she has. Many receive gift cards from parents, she has to work for everything she needs. “I could write a book about things that could be better,” she said. But here was the image of a woman who gets a kilo of beans and two tablespoons of salt every two weeks. “These people have nothing,” she said. “Literally only their bodies.” As it turned out one of the men was Tariq Tarey, who was a refugee himself and now lives in Columbus. His mission is to capture the stories and images of refugees around the globe. These were his photographs. And just a photograph inside the study room nearby could be of an older man from Brooklyn, not from a Greek refugee camp, so could McCoy or either of the men be the subject of one of the photographs. All are humans. “Refugee Stories from Three Continents” opened at the library as part of the Immigrant Ohio Conference held earlier this month at Bowling Green State University, The photographs will remain on display through April in the first floor of the library, inside the study room adjacent to the Thinker’s Café and on the wall outside. Tarey is no stranger to the world. He was born in Mogadishu, the son of a Somali diplomat. He spent a good part of his youth in the Arabian Peninsula and in India before arriving as an asylum seeker in Columbus. That’s where he got involved in photography. He loved the craft, but more than just taking photos, he wanted to use his art…

BGSU Arts Events through Dec. 3

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Nov. 26 – Praecepta, the student chapter of the Society of Composers Inc. at BGSU’s College of Musical Arts, will give a performance at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 27 – The Graduate String Quartet will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 28 – The University Choral Society will perform a festive holiday program titled “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration,” featuring the BGSU Graduate Brass Quintet and Michael Gartz, organist at First United Methodist Church. The performance will begin 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Bowling Green. Free Nov. 29 – Trombonist Brittany Lasch will give a Faculty Artist Series performance. Lasch was the winner of the 2015 National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by the U.S. Army Band and the 2010 Eisenberg-Fried Brass Concerto Competition, and was the recipient of the Zulalian Foundation Award in 2014. Her trombone quartet Boston Based was just named the winner of the 2017 International Trombone Association’s Quartet Competition. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30 – The Concert Band will give a concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. Dec. 1 – Celloist Deborah Pae will conduct a free master class at 3:30 p.m. in the Choral Rehearsal Hall and give a free performance at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, both at at the Moore Musical Arts Center.  Pae’s 2017-2018 season highlights include concerto performances of “Rhapsodies for Cello and Strings” by Jeffrey Mumford and Haydn’s Concerto in C as well as chamber music and solo recital tours in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Brussels, France, Indonesia and Taiwan. Dec. 1 – The Men’s and Women’s Chorus will be in concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall,…

“Glorious Splendor” pulls Toledo Museum visitors into the wonder of early Christian Era art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Toledo Museum of Art’s new exhibit Glorious Splendor” comes in a small package. Don’t let that fool you. The 27 objects dating from 200 to 700 A.D. tucked into the museum’s Gallery 18, live up to the grand title of the show. They are a dazzling array of gold and silver object encrusted with jewels that draw the visitor in with their intricate detail. The objects, both sacred and secular, have historical significance that matches their physical beauty. “Glorious Splendor: Treasures of Early Christian Art” will be on exhibit through Feb. 18. A few of the items are from Toledo’s own collection but most are from private collections in North America, which curator Adam Levine has brought together for this exclusive exhibit. Once the show closes the objects will be returned to their owners. “If you do not see this show, you’ll never see them again,” Levine said during a press preview last week. Levine, the museum’s associate director and associate curator of ancient art, said he’d developed relationships with the private collectors. It took about a year to pull the show together. “The donors just want to make sure their objects look as beautiful as they can,” he said. The pieces have been at the museum of several months so custom mounts could be made to show them in the most advantageous light.  Levine did further research about each piece, so the donors learn more about their objects. The museum’s reputation for collecting “only the highest quality works” and maintaining that high standard in its exhibits is also important to the donors, he said. “Collectors are honored when we tell them their collections are the same caliber as our permanent collections.” The period covered by the exhibit is one of great historical significance, as the Roman Empire, evolved from a pagan entity to a Christian one. While scholars have written extensively about it, Levine said, it is difficult to bring together objects that tell that story. That’s the mission of “Glorious Splendor.”…

Art 4 Animals show on exhibit at Four Corners

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Four Corners Center is hosting Artists 4 Animals 5 at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main Street, from November 10 through November 28th. Thirty-two artists of all ages, kindergarten through adult, are exhibiting their animal-themed work in the show, which is free and open to the public during regular Four Corners hours of 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday. The show features selected top winners in each age category as well as best domestic and wild animal. Several of the artworks depict dogs and cats currently at the Wood County Humane Society, as depicted by Eastwood High School students. First place award winners are: Best Domestic Animal, Anna Gerken, “Begging for Treats” Best Wild Animal, Jean Gidich-Holbrook, “Iguana” Adults, Isabel Zeng “Bunny Ears K-4th Grade, Aya Aldailami, “Two Animals” 5th-8th Grade, Robbie Witte, “Racing Steeds” 9th-12th Grade, Hope Harvey, “Baybee” The winning images are reproduced on note cards that are available for purchase at the Four Corners Center.  Sales of the cards will benefit the Wood County Humane Society and the Bowling Green Arts Council.  This event is sponsored in part by The Copy Shop and Kabob it BG.