Visual art

Sha Sha Higby’s multifaceted art to take wing at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sha Sha Higby’s art is a continual work in progress. The performance artist blends sculpture, puppetry, costuming, drawing, lights, and music, all influenced by ancient traditions from Japan, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian traditions. When Higby presents her one-person show “Paperwings III” at Bowling Green State University Wednesday, she will bring together two pieces. This is not their culmination though. The puppeteer-sculptor will surely make more alterations. Higby’s performance will be the opening event for the New Music Festival, which continues on campus through Saturday with a full schedule of concerts and presentations. “Paperwings III” will be staged Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. The performance is free. When people arrive, they will find a sculpture on stage. That sculpture that the audience sees will come alive. “I’m using my body as a motor,” Higby said in a recent telephone interview. The work then unfolds as she uses her limbs to bring masks to life. Her drawings are projected onto the wings of her costume, and the whole scene is bathed in dramatic lighting, designed with the assistance of her husband Albert Hollander, also assists with the music. That soundtrack washes over the scene. Some of it is original music, but mostly it’s snippets of sound picked up from her travels. It may be birds, electronics or a gamelan orchestra. (Higby performed years ago at BGSU with the university’s gamelan.) Some audience members will be given small bells so they can contribute to the sound. “It’s like a piece of poetry. You have to use your imagination to link the parts,” Higby said. “It’s a visual dessert of images that are flowing.” In addition to the performance a retrospective exhibit of her work will be on display at the Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center through Nov. 4.  “The costumes and sculptures are elaborate, lyrical and meticulously hand-crafted,” gallery director Jacqueline Nathan stated. The show will include a video of some of her earlier performances. The exhibit was  a challenge to set up because it is shipped in pieces and requires assembly. In fact, Higby said, the amount of work would cover a football field of arms, legs, wings, masks, and more.  “I’ll fluff it when I come,” she said. Higby, who was born in Michigan and grew up in California, started sewing and making doll clothes as a child. Her stepfather made shirts, and her brother also took up the craft and continues to make sails. Higby created dolls, clothes for them, and dollhouses. When she attended art school she was told that dolls weren’t art. So she focused on drawing. “It’s the most direct medium,” she said. “Drawings are the window to the soul.” In 1971, early in her college career, she traveled to Japan…

New Music Festival adds puppetry & dance to the mix

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, contemporary classical ensemble Hub New Music and puppetry/dance artist Sha Sha Higby headline the 39th annual New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University Oct. 17-20. The international festival features the work of more than 30 guest and BGSU faculty composers and performers and includes eight concerts, plus composer talks, panel discussions and a performance and exhibition by artist-in-residence Higby. Organized by BGSU’s MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM), College of Musical Arts and Fine Arts Center galleries, the festival supports the creation of new work and engages the University and regional communities in the process of music appreciation and awareness. Most festival events are free and open to the public. A complete schedule can be obtained online at Higby leads off the festival Oct. 17 with a 7 p.m. performance in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. She has entranced audiences with her mesmerizing puppetry/dance performances at major venues throughout the world since 1974. The first full day of events begins Oct. 18 with a 1 p.m. Composer Talk by Kernis in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center, followed by three concerts, two including his compositions. One of America’s most honored and prolific composers, Kernis’ music appears prominently on concert programs worldwide. He has been commissioned by America’s preeminent performing organizations and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco, Toronto, and Melbourne (Australia) Symphonies, Los Angeles and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, Walt Disney Co., Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Sharon Isbin. Also a conductor whose works have been recorded on several labels, Kernis teaches composition at Yale School of Music and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Classical Music Hall of Fame. Leta Miller’s book-length portrait of Kernis and his work was published in 2014 by University of Illinois Press as part of its American Composer series. Hub New Music performs at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Hailed by Oregon ArtsWatch as “one of the most talked about younger contemporary classical ensembles,” with its unique instrumentation of flute, clarinet, violin, and cello, the ensemble has been praised for performances of adventurous repertoire that are “gobsmacking and perfectly played,” said Cleveland Classical. The Boston Globe encouraged audiences, “next time the group offers a concert, go, listen, and be changed.” The festival’s final performance, at 8 p.m. Oct. 20 in Kobacker Hall, features the BG Philharmonia performing large ensemble works by Kernis, Kory Reeder, Martin Kennedy, John Corigliano and Erkki-Sven Tüür. “The Works of Sha Sha Higby” exhibition showcasing her intricate textile costumes will run through Nov. 4 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts…

Composer Harold Budd riffs on the changes in a life of art & music

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Composer Harold Budd said he was surprised when told his visit to Toledo would include a side trip to Bowling Green State University to talk with students. He said he’s looking forward to the master class Friday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. in Kobacker Hall. Asked what he’ll tell students, he replied: “The real truth is, it’s going to change. Whatever it is, wherever you are,  it’ll change, and it’ll be better. Enjoy the ride.” That optimism arises, the 82-year-old added, “against all odds, I would say.” Budd, who has been active as a composer and performer for more than 50 years, will be in residence at the Toledo Museum of Art through Sunday, Oct. 7.   The highlight will be a premiere performance of his chamber piece “Petits Souffles” for string quartet including Brian Snow of the BGSU faculty on cello and the composer on celeste. The performance will be 8 p.m. Saturday in the Peristyle.  “I don’t really perform very often, in fact, at all,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “This will be kind of a new experience for me.” Budd said that while the other parts of the ensemble are composed, his contributions will be improvised. He described his role as “modest … an occasional burst.” The “Petits Souffles” like so much of his work is inspired by paintings. A turning point for Budd came when he discovered in the 1960s the work of the color field painters Mark Rothko and Robert Motherwell.  That’s when what would be considered his style “blossomed inside of me.” Yet, he said, he’s gone through various experiences musically and artistically, and “I gave them all up.” He’s abandoned composition on two occasions, only to return. As he tells it, he has no choice. He’s not a performer, so this is what he does. One enduring influence, Budd said, is the 19th century writer and illustrator Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose work he reveres for being “overly romantic, overly decorative.” “It can’t be too vulgar for me,” he said. That from a musician whose work is marked by a shimmering simplicity with slowly unfolding melodies, music that is unhurried. He’s collaborated with a range of producers and composers, from within and without the classical field, including Brian Eno. His work has been lumped in with ambient music, a categorization he eschews. But back in 1959-1961 Budd collaborated with Albert Ayler, a free jazz saxophonist known for his volcanic sound. They knew each other when they were in the same regimental Army band in Monterey, California. Budd played drums in the outfit. He and Ayler would jam, often just the two of them. While these sessions were at first inspired by bebop, they moved far, far beyond. “It got away from that real fast.” Budd remembers: “For a while that form of…

Artists from kindergarten through seniors invited to submit work for Animals 4 Animals exhibit

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Four Corners Center will be hosting Artists 4 Animals 5 at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main Street, with an opening reception from 4:30-6:30 pm .on Friday, November 9. Interested artists can find information about the show and how to sign up on the Bowling Green Arts Council website, Artists of all ages, kindergarten through adult, will be exhibiting their animal- themed work in the show, which is free and open to the public, during regular Four Corners hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Exhibit of all artists can be viewed through November 28. The show features selected top winners in each age category as well as best domestic and wild animal. The winning images will be reproduced on note cards that available for purchase at the Four Corners Center and other Bowling Green venues. Sales of the cards will benefit the Wood County Humane Society and the Bowling Green Arts Council.

Art fest’s Chalk Walk competition goes on despite rainout

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Two weeks after the Black Swamp Arts Festival’s Chalk Walk competition was washed out by rain, four teams from Bowling Green High School were at work bringing their designs to life. Working on the sidewalk leading to the school the chalk-dusted students created out-of-this-world art. This year’s theme was Outer Space and the Solar System. After the competition had to be canceled, Tom and Lorena Perez, who coordinated the event for the festival, and guest artist Chris Fry decided that instead of judging the works based on the designs submitted by the 15 teams, they would give the students a chance to draw those designs at their schools. Most of the other teams have either scheduled or completed their work. They are teams from Otsego, Sylvania Northview, Eastwood, Holgate, Wayne Trace, Anthony Wayne, Genoa, and Lake. The basic rules remain the same — teams of five or fewer, no teacher involvement in the actual creation of the drawing, and a four-hour time frame to draw the image. Teams are required to submit time and date stamped photos documenting the beginning and end of the process, as well as other photos showing the work in progress. Teams have until Sunday at 6 p.m. to submit their work.  Winners will be notified at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. The BG students were disappointed that they weren’t able to create their work as originally planned. “I definitely prefer to do it at the festival,” Anne Weaver said. She loves “the ambiance with all the music and people walking by. “Still this is fun,” she added. “We were bummed we didn’t get to talk to the chalk artist,” said Sophi Hachtel. On Saturday morning each team had it own soundtrack. Etta Gallaway said she was glad the school organized the event so all the teams could work together. Kate Bozzo said she and her teammates have been participating in the event for the past three years since art teacher Lloyd Triggs suggested they give it a try. They always have fun creating art with their friends. “We’re all the secret sauce,” said Uzochi Nwauwa. “We all bring stuff to the table for the perfect recipe.” Sophie Pineau said that the chalk medium can be difficult. She highly recommends wearing gloves.  “When you don’t have gloves blending with bare fingers on asphalt is brutal.” But that blending is needed to bring out the full range of colors. Nwauwa said it did have a nostalgic feel, of drawing with chalk as a child. “It’s like that childhood experience,” Bozzo said, “except up a level. Now we can make it really, really beautiful.” Nwauwa said: “There’s a lot of hidden talent in Bowling Green. In an event like this you get to see that talent.”

BGSU art exhibit celebrates legacy of Bernie Casey & other African-American artists

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATION Bernie Casey’s death in September 2017 was the impetus for creating an art exhibition in his honor at his alma mater. The Bowling Green State University School of Art is hosting “So Much More … Ohio’s African-American Artists” now through Oct. 21 in the Fine Arts Center’s Willard Wankelman Gallery. Though Casey was best known to the world as an actor and professional football player, he also was remarkably talented as an artist. He attended BGSU on a football scholarship and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts in 1961 and 1966, respectively. According to Charlie Kanwischer, director of the School of Art, the exhibition evolved from a tribute to the legacy of athlete, actor and visual artist Bernie Casey and other African-American alumni to a broader, intergenerational conversation among alumni, current students and invited African-American artists from Ohio and beyond, addressing the intersection of racial identity and personal experience. “This conversation recognizes that the experience of African-American students in the School of Art has sometimes been fraught, that it has been and continues to be marked by the same fitful and incomplete progress toward equity and inclusiveness too long symptomatic of race relations in our country,” Kanwischer said. “Yet, approaching the exhibition only through the lens of race risks essentializing the participating artists and their work. “‘So Much More’ is fundamentally a celebration of the deeply personal and particular vision of the artists who gently but forcefully remind us that we’re all ‘so much more’ than our racial and ethnic identities, that the sense of agency arising out of a committed studio practice is a powerful means to push back against the injustice of stereotypical assumptions.” Work by 15 alumni and current students is included in the exhibition. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, 6-9 p.m., and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. “The exhibition features (Casey’s) work and that of African-American artists with ties to him, to BGSU and to the state of Ohio,” said Jacqueline Nathan, gallery director. Casey’s art was loaned from the collections of the Thelma Harris Art Gallery in Oakland, California; Barbara DuMetz; Vicken J. Festekjian CPA Inc., and Vicki McMillan. Nathan acknowledged three BGSU alumni who helped shape the exhibition’s direction: Col. John Moore Jr., Class of 1966; Edward Sewell, Class of 1968; and attorney Vivian Moore, Class of 1967 and 1968. “I would like to thank them for all of their energy and enthusiasm in helping to organize this show,” she said. Sponsors of the exhibition include the Ohio Arts Council and the College of Arts and Sciences Ethnic Cultural Arts Program.

Beth Genson exhibits nature paintings at Marathon Center

From MARATHON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS The Fisher/Wall Art Gallery, located in Marathon Center for the Performing Arts, welcomes encaustic artist, Beth Genson, whose exhibition, “Exploring Nature in Paint and Wax,” is now on display through Thursday, September 27, 2018. Trained in fine art and education at Bowling Green State University, Genson has spent the majority of her career as an art instructor for middle school through college-age students. She has also studied at France’s Grenoble University. Genson refers to herself as an artistic explorer which has led her to creating works in the ancient art of encaustic. This method of art uses a hot paint mixture of beeswax, damar resin and oil pigments. She finds encaustic is a medium particularly suited to her exploration of water as a subject matter thus rivers and ponds are the focal point of many her paintings. An advocate for access to potable drinking water, a portion of her sales is donated to Charity: Water, an organization that utilizes 100 percent of its donations to fund water projects. The Fisher/Wall Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 pm. and there is no admission fee to view the exhibit. An artist’s reception will be held on Wednesday, September 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.  

Here’s that rainy day, & night, theme for Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News This is what legends are made of — blues star Samantha Fish laying down the blues to a packed Howard’s Club H for closing set of the rain-soaked Black Swamp Arts Festival.  She delivered assertive blues with no holds-bar vocals and searing electric guitar to listeners happy not to standing outside in the rain. From the time her festival appearance was announced in June, fans have buzzing about Fish’s appearance. She delivered. Fish delivered more than a powerful set, she delivered a lift to a festival bedeviled by constant rain. The weather, though, never got as severe as expected. That forecast of heavy rain and a series of thunderstorms, led the festival’s organizers on Friday afternoon to cancel the outdoor activities for Sunday. The music was moved inside at Howard’s and Grounds for Thought to salvage most of the music. Bill Donnelly, chair of the festival, stood by the decision Monday. It was made with the safety of everyone involved — patrons, visual artists, performers, and volunteers.  The festival committee had been watching the weather, and consulted with the Wood County Emergency Management Agency and National Weather Service. On Friday, there was a 70 percent chance of heavy rain, strong wings, and lightning on Sunday. “Probability is probability.” That led the committee after meeting with fire, police and public works officials to cancel all outdoor activities on Sunday. He praised the site and logistics team, chaired by Alex Hann, site and logistics team for being “responsive, flexible and focused on protecting the safety of everybody” as well as the festival’s marketing committee for keeping the public informed throughout the weekend.  Cutting the art show short meant the tents in downtown disappeared Saturday evening, leaving Main Street feeling haunted and bleak on Sunday. Donnelly noted that even before the decision was made, artists were contacting the festival saying they would not come because of the weather. About 20 artists scheduled did not show up, he said, though how many because of the weather is not known. Others asked about the possibility of leaving on Saturday, Donnelly said. Having a scattershot exit of artists would have been  logistical nightmare. Though they lost a day of sales, most artists on Saturday were understanding. They appreciated the decision being made earlier enough so they could plan accordingly. One woman whose husband is an artist said that he has lost hundreds of dollars worth of work at shows that refused to cancel, Donnelly said. Though the catastrophic weather did not hit, even the weather that did arrive, cold, rainy, and blustery would have resulted in few patrons and fewer sales, artists told organizers. The rain out was rare this season on the art fair circuit. Artist Mike Grau was one of several who noted high temps, topping 100 degrees at some shows, were more of…

Art show judges take a shine to whimsical work at Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Whimsy was a winner at the Black Swamp Art Show Saturday. JBird Cremeans from Huntington, West Virginia, won Best of Show for her digital images which superimpose animals heads onto human figures taken from vintage photographs. First place in three-dimensional art went to the colorful ceramic houses created by Gint and Regina Sabaliauskas. The first place for two-dimensional art went to Nicholas Ringelstetter who creates intricately drafted paintings filled with cartoon figures. Other award winners were: ° Second Place: furniture maker Ellen Smith  ° Third place: Chris Plummer for his wood cuts and monoprints  ° Honorable mentions: Peggy Schuning, slate mosaics; Dave Thompson, metal found object sculptures; and Robin Lauersdorf, hyper-realistic drawings. Cremeans said she was inspired by seeing a man in her hometown of Huntington, West Virginia, selling his art in his driveway. She wanted to do that. Now she does about a dozen shows a year and plans to do more.  As a child she always loved anthropomorphic creatures such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She was inspired to head in this direction by seeing “the original cat memes” produced for books by Harry Whittier Frees. He created “these horrifyingly cute pictures” by dressing cats and posing them, Cremeans decided to do this digitally and use a variety of animals. She collects vintage photographs and decides what species or breed fits the personality of the human subject. She does custom work, allowing people to place their own pets into her images. Cremeans works in Photoshop with a variety of tools, and then prints them on light sensitive paper,  akin to photographic paper. Cremeans has been doing the art fair circuit for about 10 years. College towns tend to be a good market, with the exception of her hometown of Huntington. Big cities are receptive to her work as well. Cremeans has a steady following at the Black Swamp Art Festival with customers seeking her out. Ringelstetter said he was also inspired by an artist he encountered in his home town of Spring Green, Wisconsin. That artist Andy Van Schyndle, who trades in whimsical large scale paintings, also exhibits at the Black Swamp Arts Festival. Ringelstetter said he used to go to his hometown art fair just to see Van Schyndle’s work. About 10 years ago Ringelstetter decided to exhibit at the fair. He showed his first 16 paintings, which he’d done for “my own walls.” Thirteen sold, and he knew he had something. He turned to Van Schyndle who gave him all the advice he needed to be successful on the art fair circuit. The work he sells is an extension of what he’s been doing as long as he can remember. Whenever he had a pencil in his hand he’d draw aliens, monsters, and foreign planets. Growing up in a farming community “I felt like…

Young artist wins People Choice honors at Now OH exhibit

Amanda Gargac doubled up on her honors at the 11th Now OH exhibit in the university galleries. When the show closed recently the ballots for People’s Choice were counted and Gargac was the winner. The 18-year-old from Northwood also received the Kiwanis Youth Award  for her painting “Mother to All.” The painting is a portrait of her grandmother, the mother of 13 children. Gargac will be a sophomore at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Now OH exhibit is open to all artists in a 12-county region of Northwest Ohio. This year 65 artists exhibited work.

New Toledo Museum gallery sheds light on contemporary art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Toledo Museum of Arts has transformed storage space for light bulbs into a clean, well-lighted place for some of its most cutting edge art. “Sights & Sounds: Art, Nature, and the Senses” is the inaugural exhibit in the New Media and Video Gallery. “Some of these works … we haven’t been able to show because we haven’t had enough space,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, the museum’s director of collections who curated the exhibit. Takashi Ishida’s “Walk of the Sea” is a prime example.  Purchased in 2013, the three-screen high definition video has been in storage since. Now the museum has the space to do justice to its mesmerizing expanse. “Sights & Sounds”, Norton-Westbrook said, explores human’s interaction with the world. That’s evident in another recently purchased work David Hockney’s “Woldgate Woods, Winter, 2010” that toys with the viewer’s concept of perspective with a grid of nine screens. The black and white piece is a “personal meditation” on a place in England near where the British artist grew up, Norton-Westbrook said. It unfolds slowly over 49 minutes. Hockney’s road provides a contrast to fellow British artist James Nares’ “Street.” While Hockney plays with perspective, Nares plays with time. He filmed 16 hours of footage in his adopted home of New York City out of the back of an SUV. He then edited down to 61 minutes video that has been radically slowed down – if shown at natural speed, it’d last only three minutes. In speaking to staff, Museum Director Brian Kennedy noted that “Street’ shows the link between anthropology and art. “Street” captures people going about their day-to-day routines, living out the stories of their lives that are only hinted at in their brief appearances on film. Still they pique interest. What is up with the youngster shown running down the street with a smile on his face? The exhibit features an international cast of artists. Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian is represented by “Aram (Convertible Series).” The cut-glass mirrored construction reflects the influence of American artist Frank Stella. Norton-Westbrook noted the floral images and patterns in the work. Two works on paper by Farmanfarmaian are on the walls nearby. One focused on flowers, the other on the geometric shapes used on “Aram.” The piece is also notable in that the pieces of the work can be arranged in 12 different patterns. Norton-Westbrook said that, though the rearrangement is involved the museum, plans to show the work in another form at some point. Judit Reigl, a Hungarian artist living in France, draws her inspiration from music. “Art of the Fugue” captures her experience of listening to the music of J.S. Bach.  The blocks of abstract shapes created with enamel, acrylic paint, and powered bronze look like they could be a form of musical notation. Ohio-born Maya Lin, who designed…

Now OH honors familiar faces on local art scene

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A year ago Aaron Pickens won best of show at the Now OH exhibit with a painting it took him two hours to complete. The painting was a small a landscape painted on location. This year Pickens won Best of Show for a very different piece. “In Da Club” took two years in the studio to complete. It draws on Pickens’ fascination with toys, and serves as a commentary on the contemporary art scene. Pickens said the piece references fashionable trends in painting. In the middle is a small self-portrait that’s slashed by a splash of paint. He also plays with the use of repetition. He also employs social media “love” and “like” icons. These are the tropes he sees in the work that are featured in magazines and are accepted in juried show. “In Da Club” has not been accepted in any juried shows. Pickens said. But the Now OH, is open to all comers from 12 counties in Northwest Ohio. The 11th community art exhibit Now OH opened Friday night in the Bowling Green State University Fine Art Center with a gallery talk by juror Michelle Carlson and the awards ceremony. The show continues through July 28. Gallery hours are: Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The 65 artists who showed work included avocational artists, some who have been at it for decades, and an art professor. The prize winners included names familiar to those who frequent local arts events, such as Art Walk and the Wood County Invitational at the Black Swamp Arts festival. They are stalwarts in those shows, though not necessarily award winners. Painter Craig Blair received the first place in 2D work for his painting “Girl with Balloon.” In her talk Carlson praised Blair’s mastery of spray paint art and the way he used a few simple images – a woman, a balloon, a blimp – to create an evocative effect. Blair said in his 50 years of painting he’d never won an award. He’s been a regular exhibitor at Now OH. “I like the quality of the art especially for a non-juried show,” Blair said. He doesn’t paint to win awards. “I just do it because I like it.” Others seem to appreciate what he creates. “I sell a lot of paintings.” Carlson said the juxtaposition of two award-winning works demonstrates the way the show reflects the diversity of the region. Meghan Kozal’s finely cut wood piece “And Word Became Flesh,” featured layers of what appear to be Arabic script. Carlson praised the technical skill of the laser cutting. Hung nearby was Photographer Richard Davis’ “February, Defiance County,” a stark winterscape of a church and a line of trees. While the image is something one associates with Northwest Ohio, Carlson said, it also resonates with deeper emotion. “That’s the power of an…

Community exhibit, Now OH 11, to celebrate local artistic talent

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Artists are invited to submit to Now OH 11, a community art exhibit hosted by Bowling Green State University Art Galleries, opening July 13. For the 11th consecutive year, BGSU Art Galleries will provide a professional setting to celebrate the talented artists of all skill levels from 12 counties in northwest Ohio. Artists who display their work at the exhibition are eligible to win up to $1,500 in cash prizes and gift certificates, including the Best of Show award, the Kiwanis Young Artist Award, Toledo Federation of Arts Society Award and a People’s Choice Award. This year’s show will be juried by Michelle Carlson, who will also deliver a gallery talk at 7 p.m. July 13. Carlson is the artist and youth services coordinator for the Toledo Arts Commission. She has taught at BGSU, the University of Toledo and Owens Community College, as well as private workshops for youth and adults throughout Toledo. Artists are eligible to submit if they are 16 years of age or older and are from the following counties: Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams and Wood. There is an entry fee of $15 for artists ages 16-18 and $30 for artists ages 19 and older. All entrants are able to submit up to three entries. Online registration is open until June 15. For further information, please visit Volunteers are also needed, and artists who volunteer will receive a registration discount. Volunteers will assist with the setup and takedown of the event, as well as be gallery hosts during the exhibition. Contact Jacqueline Nathan at for more information about volunteering. The Now OH Exhibition is located at the BGSU Fine Arts Center and is free and open to the public. It runs July 13-28, and is open Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Sponsors for this event include Bowling Green Kiwanis, Ben Franklin, the Village Idiot, and Drs. Phipps, Levin, and Hebeka.

Black Swamp Arts Festival’s juried art show takes shape

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Marissa Saneholtz was a kid she’d squirrel away her allowance in anticipation of the Black Swamp Arts Festival. She could always find a ring or print that she wanted to buy, she said. “I’ve been interested in art forever. This year Saneholtz, who teaches metalsmithing at the Bowling Green State University School of Art, is one of the jurors who selected the artists and artisans who will exhibit in the juried show. The Black Swamp Arts Festival will be Sept. 7, 8, and 9 in downtown Bowling Green, starting with music, food vendors, and beer garden on Friday, Sept. 7, and continuing with art, music, youth activities, food vendors, and beer garden, Saturday Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 9. “It was really amazing to be asked to jury it,” Saneholtz said. She joined Dan Chudzinski, curator for the Mazza Museum, and painter Jessica Summers on the panel. Saneholtz doesn’t think people will have difficulty finding something that catches their fancy. “Overall there’s such a wide variety of artists that apply.” Knowing the community helped inform her work as a juror. “I know what price points people will buy at, from the kid saving their allowance to the professional.” She has her taste, she said, but must look beyond that. “I’m also trying to think: Would my family members want to buy this?” High quality is first and foremost for the jurors, she said. “I mean there’s always the people who just blow your socks off.” Artists apply through the online service Zapplication. They must submit slides of their work, their display, and their process. The jurors then review those slides individually before coming together as a panel to make final decisions. Just over 200 artists and artisans applied this year. Stacy and Josh Poca are chairing the festival’s visual arts committee this year. They said a few artists got the highest marks in the first round, and immediately made it into the show. Also the winners from last year’s show automatically get a spot, and all but one are coming back. There were also a few whom jurors agreed didn’t make the cut before the jurying session, Stacy Poca said. But most fell somewhere in between. The jurors look for the best work as well as a balance of media. Jewelry always accounts for the greatest number of applications. That’s why about 10 years ago, the festival decided to increase the jurying panel to three, so they always have a metalsmith looking at the work. That’s Saneholtz, who is recognized as an up-and-coming jeweler. She said that the jewelers worked in a range of materials, sometimes recycling found items and others using silver and gold. The juried show will feature 108 artists in booths arranged in blocks of four running down the middle of Main Street. While this…

Law’s exhibit celebrates nature & the flowering of community

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Painting wasn’t enough for Rebecca Louise Law when she was an art student. As much as she loved the richness of painting, she longed for something more immersive. She tried installations, including some horrendous efforts involving food. Law found what she was looking for in her father’s garden – dahlias. Fifteen years after that first flower-based installation, “Dahlias,” the English artist has created an installation that she said most fully realizes her vision. Law’s “Community” opened Saturday in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Canaday Gallery. The site specific work was created over the past several weeks by Law, her four-member team, and more than 400 local volunteers. It uses 520,000 dried flowers. Of those 10,000 were harvested locally, including some from the museum’s grounds. The rest are the flowers used in her previous 51 installations. She saves everything. After an installation’s run, everything is boxed up for future use, even the dust that the flowers eventually become. These are encased in glass. She will return to Toledo in September for a residency at the Glass Pavilion working with that dust. On Saturday, Law discussed the evolution of her work with the museum’s Director of Curatorial Affairs Halona Norton-Westbrook who curated “Community.” Growing up in the countryside near Cambridge, England, she spent her time in the fields and fens. If it wasn’t raining her mother sent her and her siblings out to play. If they were inside often it was among the dried flowers in the attic. Law went on to study painting. “I felt incredibly frustrated. I wanted to work outside the canvas. I couldn’t figure out how to paint in the air.” Then she had her epiphany. Law started to “paint” with flowers. That led her to discover and study a whole new world of botany. “Personally I’m blown away by nature,” Law said. “That’s my ultimate inspiration. The more I know, the less I know.” The flowers are draped across the Canaday’s ceiling and hang down to the floor. From the entry the effect is a shimmering tableau. Then the viewer walks into the scene to be among the blossoms. During a press preview on Friday Law explained that she stands back while others arrange the flowers at her direction. The arrangement is guided by mathematics and aesthetics. Saturday Law said of the effect she seeks: “I suppose it’s spiritual, the presence of the beauty of what we have here on earth.” Last December Law visited the museum to finalize the details for the exhibit. She was shown several possible locations for the installation. When she saw the Canaday she decided: “I’ll take that space, thank you very much.” She said the lighting arranged by Claude Fixler, exhibition designer, was the best for any of her installations, brighter and more open. Also, during her initial visit to…