Visual art

Marissa Saneholtz makes her mark as a woman artist to watch

By DAVID DUPONT BG independent News Marissa Saneholtz only has two smallish tattoos. The women she depicts on her jewelry, though, are covered with ink. Yet these women are depictions of the artist, proud assertions of her feminism. The copper and enamel broaches with decals fired into the surface that mix of social commentary, aesthetic grace, and technical mastery, have earned the Bowling Green native a place in Women to Watch Ohio – 2018. The show is now on exhibit in the Riffe Gallery in Columbus. The exhibit, which features the work of 10 women artists working in metals, is a collaboration of the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Advisory Group of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Saneholtz honed her skills close to home, first in the Bowling Green High and then at Bowling Green State University, before heading to East Carolina University to earn her Master of Fine Arts. After stints in Italy, Vail, Colorado, and at Appalachian State University, she’s back home as an instructor in the metals and jewelry program at BGSU’s School of Art. Saneholtz, 32, said her art activity started from the time she came out of the womb. Her mother, Karen, did the arts projects for Plan, Do, and Talk. And when her daughter was a preschooler, she served as her “Guinea pig.” If she could do a project, the other kids could as well. When Saneholtz was older, she’d help her mother by demonstrating the projects. At Bowling Green High School, she started in art inspired by teacher Becky Laabs. As a freshman, Saneholtz won a prize in a state competition. She thought, “I can do this.” Academics came easily for her. “Art was good because I could challenge myself and research anything I wanted and turn it into art.” Metalsmithing was a good fit. The process jibed with her talents in science and math. It takes logic and organization. It’s “very planned out,” Saneholtz said. Science meets art…

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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,…

Exhibit of photos by Bianca Garza looks at authentic versus synthetic

Submitted by ART SUPPLY DEPO Test Plot: An Exhibition of Medium Format Photography by Bianca Garza is now on exhibit at he Art Supply Depo, Bowling Green. 435 East Wooster, Bowling Green. A reception with the artist will be held   Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 5-7 p,m. The show continues through March 25. Sustainable, locally sourced light finger foods from Fowl and Fodder will be served at the reception, as well as locally sourced beverages. Test Plot is meant to serve as visual commentary regarding our society’s tendency to replace the real with the synthetic. Greatly inspired by the effects of industrialized agriculture on soil, plant, animal, and human health, the photographs in this body of work aim to ask, ‘has our movement towards a culture that places an emphasis on the surface and the short-term fix been worth it?’  As we move further away from a deep understanding of that which truly sustains us and towards greater magnitudes of industrialization, what are we losing? Bianca Garza is a photographer currently living in Grand Rapids, Ohio along the Maumee River. In 2012, she received her bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication Technology from Bowling Green State University. As a contracted photographer, she now works with BGSU’s Office of Marketing & Communications, creating images for their website, magazine, social media, and other various marketing materials. Outside of her commercial freelance work, she maintains a practice of traditional medium- format photography, alongside passions for regenerative agriculture and ancestral wisdom. More of her photographs can be found on her website and blog at

Past, present, & future live in the art of indigenous activist Dylan Miner

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In the language of the Metis one word refers both to ancestors and descendants. The word means both great-grandparents and great-grandchildren. For indigenous people the past, present, and future are not a continuum but ever present, said Dylan Miner, an artist, activist, scholar and educator from Michigan. “All are intimately connected in a being that is myself,” he said. And all that’s connected in the art he creates. Miner, who teaches at Michigan State, was the guest for the opening talk in the Homelands and Histories Speaker Series presented by the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society at Bowling Green State University. He spoke Tuesday at the Wood County District Public Library. Miner’s art is deeply rooted both in the history of indigenous peoples and their current struggles, which are fought to secure the future. Miner is Metis on his father’s side. The Metis are a people that trace their ancestry back to the descendants of indigenous people and French and English fur traders. Miner’s people lived on Drummond Island until removed. The land of the Metis stretches from the Georgian Bay to through western Canada, straddling the border with the United States. The Metis language, Michif, is a mix of French nouns and Cree verbs and grammar. Miner introduced himself in Michif and then in Ojibway, which he learned from Ojibway elders living in Lansing. The first art work Miner discussed was a fire bag, called colloquially an “octopus bag,” which his grandfather’s grandmother had, and which still remains in his family. It was used to carry the herbs for medicine. Miner continues to use natural materials for some of his own art. In a piece celebrating Louis Riel, a Metis who led two insurrections against the fledgling Canadian government in the late-19th century, Miner altered archival photos by covering Riel’s image in birch bark. The legal systems that ended in the executions of Riel in Canada or 38 Dakota men…

Hard work & inspiration on display at BGSU undergrad art exhibit

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Laura Dirksen was 7 years old, she went digging for clay. She’d just learned about the material and was intrigued that it could be found in her back yard. She was so intent on her search and digging the hole that she almost got stuck. Her father had to come out to get her. In truth, Dirksen admits now, mostly she found mud. She rediscovered clay about a dozen years later in her second year studying art at Bowling Green State University.  She started as a painting major. “I fell into the ceramics program my sophomore year,” she said, “and things really shot up from there.” And it made her feel her nostalgic for her childhood adventure. Dirksen’s ceramic sculpture “Degrade” won the Medici Circle Best of Show Award at the Undergraduate Art Exhibition, which opened Sunday in the University Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. The show continues through Feb. 19. “Degrade” is her reflection on the tendency to denigrate people, especially women. The form reflects her own shape, and features the admonition: “Why do you always degrade Tom?” “Tom,” she explained, is a stand in for society. While “a lot of people tear things down … I try to bring out the best.” Dirksen, who grew up in Maria Stein in Mercer County near the Indiana border, wasn’t sure she’d ever make it to college. “In high school my academic level wasn’t exactly the best, but my art stuff was always what kept me going.” After high school she ended up working two jobs and realized that’s not what she wanted. Dirksen recommitted herself to her art. She came to BGSU as a painting major. In her sophomore year, she was introduced to ceramics. Working with clay heightened her sense of touch. “It’s really intense. You’re always working. It’s humbling,” she said. “You work constantly at something, and you’re not going to get your best results unless it’s something you’ve done…

Visiting photographer Osamu James Nakagawa captures intimate images of life & death within his family

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Osamu James Nakagawa photography is a matter of life and death. Nakagawa bookended his Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture on campus last week with two images. One showed him still a baby being greeted by exuberant relatives on his family’s arrival back in Tokyo. It was the first time, they’d seen either him or his older brother, both of whom were born in New York City. He closed with a video of his mother on her death bed, close up images of her last breaths. This autobiographical streak runs through the photography he showed to the audience gathered in the Fine Arts Center at Bowling Green State University. It does not totally define him though. Nakagawa has won acclaimed for his series of photos of the cliffs and caves on Okinawa where people go to commit suicide. The cave shots are so dark that they barely registered on the screen. He shot them he said at a very slow shutter speed with a flashlight as the only illumination. Also, he photographed the areas around the U.S. military bases on the Japanese island. They are stark representations of an unwanted military presence that brings crime, including rape, to the province. Nakagawa studied painting and sculpture in Houston, and then returned to Japan to work as an unpaid assistant to his uncle who was a photographer. To earn some money, he worked with American photographers helping them find the subjects and locations their editors wanted. The lists of requests were always the same – geishas strolling down the street and Mount Fuji. He knew he wanted to photograph what they were missing. He returned to Houston to get a master of fine arts in photography. In 1998, Nakagawa said his life was a whirlwind. At the time his daughter was born, his father was diagnosed with cancer. The photographer was living in Indiana, where’d he’d just taken a position at the University of Indiana….

Older artists invited to submit work for 50+ Shades of Grey exhibit

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL Bowling Green Arts Council is proud to announce 50+ Shades of Grey, an exhibit that will feature the work of artists who are 50 years of age or older. The show will occur February 23rd through March 28th, 2018 at the Wood County Senior Center, 305 N. Main Street, BG. All artists may submit up to two original works of art in any two-dimensional medium.  Members of Bowling Green Arts Council may submit up to three works. The entry fee for the show is $20 and the deadline for submission is February 5, 2018.  For more information regarding this exhibit and the application and payment process, please consult the BG Arts Council website at, or you may obtain an entry form at the Senior Center. An opening reception at the Senior Center with refreshments and entertainment will be held from 5-7 pm on Friday, February 23. Guests will be able to vote for a People’s Choice Award to be announced at 6:45. The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate courtesy of The Art Supply Depo.  50+ Shades of Grey is sponsored by the BG Arts Council and the Wood County Committee on Aging.