Visual art

Artist brings color & pride to South Toledo

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Miguel Hidalgo and Vicente Guerrero, heroes of Mexico’s fight for Independence, are riding again, now in South Toledo. The two are the central figures in a mural created by artist David Cuatlacuatl and students involved in the Bowling Green State University mural project. Cuatlacuatl, a Mexican-born, Indiana-raised artist, was the guest for this year’s project. He is the resident artist with the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center. He’s been at the center since last summer, but his connections extend further back. He first visited when his brother Frederico Cuatlacuatl was studying for his Master of Fine Arts in digital arts at Bowling Green State University from 2013-2015. But David Cuatlacuatl was offered the opportunity to come to Toledo when the director of the Quintero center visited an artist-in-residence program that the Cuatlacuatl brothers co-directed in their native Puebla, Mexico. She offered him the position in Toledo. Gordon Ricketts, the BGSU instructor who runs the mural project, knew his brother and approached him to work with a few students to create a mural as part of the summer project. (For a story on the mural project see http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-students-paint-murals-to-animate-toledo-neighborhoods/) So Cuatlacuatl set about designing a mural for a wall two blocks from the Quintero Center. It’s on the back of the building that houses the food pantry run by the Immaculate Conception Church that’s right across the street. In the center he placed Guerrero and Hidalgo on a horse, and in a contemporary touch he has them wearing running shoes, the Nike swoosh evident on Guerrero’s footwear. The general’s presence reflects the ethnic mix of…


Local artists promote awareness through book “Migraine365”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel doesn’t take her migraines lying down. Migraine disease may immobilize her at times, but she’s resolved to be a voice for others who suffer. It means being active on social media as Lady Migraine at ladymigraine.com. It means writing for migraine.com, and appearing in videos being the face for the many tormented by the silent demon. It means teaming with her husband John Roberts-Zibbel to write a graphic journal, “Migraine 365,” that looks at daily life for someone with migraine disease and their loved ones. In their case that includes two daughters Isobel, 8, and Alexandra 12. The book was self-published and can be purchased at blurb.com. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have them,” she said of the severe headaches and array of symptoms that accompany them. She was diagnosed when she was a child and remembers always having at least one per week, but the headaches didn’t become chronic, fifteen or more per month, until she was 30. “It was always a big problem,” Roberts-Zibbel said. “It took me a lot longer to get through college.” She persisted, but so did the migraine disease. Her first pregnancy was debilitating, and her second even worse. “Sometimes the pain gets so bad you want to shoot yourself in the head.” The disease forced her out of jobs. Now as a partner in Zibbel Media, she is a key player on the BG Independent News team, handling advertising, posting obituaries, and occasionally contributing articles. John Roberts-Zibbel got the idea for “Migraine 365” in 2014 while the family was on vacation in Cape May,…


BGSU galleries hosting NOWOH art exhibit

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University Art Galleries is hosting the 10th Annual Northwest Ohio (NOWOH) Community Art Exhibition. NOWOH celebrates the talents of regional artists in a professional setting. The show opens Friday, July 14 at 7 p.m. with a gallery talk by the award juror Robert Thurmer, followed by the opening reception with light refreshments. Located at the BGSU Fine Arts Center, the exhibition is free and open to the public. Robert Thurmer has served as the director of the Cleveland State University Art Gallery since 1990. As a professor of art studio at CTU he is interested in the development of the individual from simple visual literacy to connoisseurship, and the understanding and appreciation of the elements and principles of art. Artists who display their work at the exhibition are eligible to win up to $1,500 in cash prizes and gift certificates. Among the awards are Best of Show, People’s Choice, the Kiwanis Young Artist Award and the Toledo Federation of Arts Societies Award. Artists of all skill levels, 16 years of age and older, are encouraged to enter. Online registration is open until July 1. Artists may enter in person on July 8. Further information regarding how to enter can be found at www.NowohArtShow.org. Artists from the following counties are eligible: Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams and Wood. For artists ages 16-18 the entry fees are $15, and for artists 19 and older entry fees are $30.  All entrants are able to submit up to three entries. Volunteers are needed to assist with the set up and take down of…


Tom Muir’s signature vessel finds home at Toledo Museum of Art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News It has taken 30 years for Tom Muir’s “Cycladic Figure Impregnated” to find a home. The metal coffee server, one of the silversmith’s signature works, could have entered the White House collection of American Crafts. Instead that institution received a vessel inspired by Beluga whales. And it was one of the two works being considered by the Institute of Art of Chicago. That collection got the first in the series of these fertility figures though. Muir has had private collectors offer to buy it, but the price wasn’t right, and he kept it close to home. Now the 30-year-old vessel has found its place in the collection of the Toledo Museum of Art. “This was always one of my favorite pieces,” he said. The piece is made of 18-carat gold, sterling silver, oxidized copper and anodized aluminum. “I wanted it to have red belly to make it alive.” The base is shaped like udders. “It was a more interesting way to present it.” The museum has been holding the piece for several years, said Muir, a Distinguished Professor of Art at Bowling Green State University. The intent was to purchase it when the proper arrangements could be made. Jutta Page, then curator of glass and decorative art at the museum, contacted him earlier this year, to start the purchase process. Now the executive director of Old Dominion University’s Barry Art Museum, Page said she was pleased that the museum completed the purchase. In an email, she described “Cycladic Figure Impregnated” as “a significant American contemporary work by this much-revered local artist, nationally recognized metalsmith,…


Kara Walker provides visual commentary on historic Civil War images

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has installed all 15 prints from the 2005 series Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) by distinguished American artist Kara Walker. The portfolio, recently acquired in its entirety by TMA, features the artist’s signature silhouette figures in silkscreen layered over enlarged wood engravings of U.S. Civil War scenes taken from Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War, first published in 1866. By uniting her contemporary re-imagining of events with the historical record, Walker creates a powerful visual statement that complicates and challenges conventional accounts of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. For over two decades Walker has been renowned for her meaningful and provocative engagement with issues of race, gender and sexuality and is one of the most successful and influential artists working today. “The Toledo Museum of Art believed it was important to acquire this particular series by Kara Walker, as it represents the first time that she uses the type of visual culture that has inspired her work as the physical, material support for it,” said Museum Director Brian Kennedy. “The merging of historical and contemporary imagery in this project brings her remarkable vision full circle.” Kara Walker, Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), which will be on view at TMA from June 17 through Oct. 22, 2017, is curated by Robin Reisenfeld, the Museum’s Works on Paper Curator. “The dramatic force that Walker creates through her lively dialogue with traditional Civil War-era iconography is both poignant and layered,” said Reisenfeld. “We look forward to engaging the greater Toledo audience with…


2016 BGSU grad Brach Tiller finds his artistic vision through hard work & Instagram

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Brach Tiller graduated from Bowling Green State University just over a year ago, he faced an existential question. “What the hell am I going to do now? What am I going to paint?” he wondered. The 26-year-old has spent his first year after receiving his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree discovering the answer. What he found is now on display in River House Arts’ Gallery 6, on the sixth floor of the Secor Building at 425 Jefferson on downtown Toledo. The work he created while studying for his BFA at BGSU was photorealistic with dark and disturbing overtones. It showed the ability to render realistic images in detail. “I decided it wasn’t providing me what I needed,” Tiller said. So he found himself a studio and began to paint. “I was getting a lot of bad paintings out of the way,” he said. In the past year he figures he’s discarded 30 paintings. While in each one he’d find something to reject, he’d also find some element worth exploring further. That would get worked into the next work. While engaged in this process, “I was exploring Instagram to see what people were doing in the contemporary art world.” BGSU as an art school is “a hidden gem,” he said. Still it is isolated from any center of art. So Tiller used Instagram to reach out, as well as to document his own work. “I had to use Instagram as that tool to find art in the world because you want to be part of the conversation of what’s going on out there.” Instagram…


Art in the air at Simpson Garden

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Simpson Gardens Friday evening was lush with hosta greens, delphinium and coreopsis complemented by artists scattered about the grounds intent on capturing the images of plants, rocks and water. Along with the sounds of birds, mixed the trill of a Chinese bamboo flute, the rumble of a tuba, and young actors singing a show tune. The occasional plop of a drop of rain provided an accent to the thrum of hand drums. The third annual Art in the Park drew more visitors, as well as more artists, said Jacquie Nathan, of the Bowling Green Arts Council, which sponsors the event, hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Artists took time from creating their art to chat with visitors. Landscape artist Barbara Houdeshell has been painting outside, or plein air, for 17 years. It’s a natural for her. “I like painting, and I like people.” Christie Moser, of Bowling Green, had stopped to chat with the painter. Moser moved to town about a year ago, and when she heard about Art in the Park, she knew she wanted to go. “I can really relate to this,” she said. “I’ve been a musician myself all my life,” Moser said. She plays flute and sings.  “I know the passion that swells within the soul that has to be expressed.” Houdeshell’s passion was emerging before her as she looked over a small pond. This is a study that she will bring back to her studio and may turn into a much larger oil painting. She grew up in Wood County, she said, but this is the first…


Simpson Garden hosts open air arts celebration

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department will host Art in the Park on the grounds of Simpson Garden Park, 1291 Conneaut Avenue, on Friday, June 9, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Festive fun in a beautiful garden setting with live music, dance, and theatrical performances, artists painting on easels, interactive art activities for children and light refreshments. FREE and open to the public. As they stroll through beautiful Simpson Garden Park, attendees will have an opportunity to view and vote for their favorite artist at work. They will also enjoy local musicians, music by students of the BGSU College of Musical Arts and performances at the Amphitheater by Julie’s Dance Studio, the Black Swamp Players, and Horizon Youth Theatre. Julie’s Dance Studio will kick off the performances at the Amphitheater at 4:45 with a presentation of a mix of difference dance styles from ballet to musical theatre. The Black Swamp Players will present an excerpt from “Dixie Swim Club” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten at 5:30 and at 6:30 in the Amphitheater. Horizon Youth Theatre will present two excerpts from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at 6:15 and at 7:00. Strolling and stationary musicians throughout the grounds will include the Root Cellar String Band featuring Lucy Long, Dave Strickler, Steve O’Regan, and Tom Goodwin; Toraigh an Sonas featuring Mary Dennis, Kathy Moss, Bill Lake, and Bob Midden; the Grande Royale Ükulelists of the Black Swamp, a.k.a. GRÜBS, with Sheri Wells-Jensen, Jason Wells-Jensen, Anne Kidder and Geoff Howes; Fire Breathing Sloths From Mars featuring Henrique Battista, Hong-Da Chin, and Aaron…


BGSU students paint murals to animate Toledo neighborhoods

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Art students from Bowling Green State University have left their mark on the streets of Toledo’s Old South End and East Toledo. Each summer since 2010, groups of students, under the direction of instructor Gordon Ricketts, have made their way to these neighborhoods to paint murals that bring a burst of color and inspiration to the residents. This year, they’re at it again working on both sides of the river. In East Toledo, on East Broadway they contributing to a corridor of color started by previous students, visiting artists, and community members. Ricketts estimates the project has completed about two dozen murals in the southern end of the city. Driving down Broadway, headed west, you first encounter Martin Luther King Jr. on a wall, then nearby Cesar Chavez. Further down there’s the comic book character Green Lantern on the Green Lantern restaurant. Closer to the intersection of South Street, the murals multiply. On a recent morning 15 students had gathered on East Broadway in East Toledo. Ladders up, and transforming a drab viaduct into a vivid celebration of the neighborhood. Trains rumble over the nearby overpass. Traffic whizzes by. Sometimes drivers honk approval and give a thumbs up. Passers-by will express their appreciation and offer to pick up a brush. Ricketts points to a short wall where neighborhood children emulated the BGSU artwork. “This is something that’s visual evidence that positive things are going on in their community,” Ricketts said. “These images are respected,” he said noting those done in previous years have not been tagged with graffiti. “They don’t mess with us.” The…


Ancient Mediterranean artisan gets first solo show at Toledo Museum of Art

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The first major museum exhibition focused on the art and career of the influential ancient Mediterranean artist known as the Berlin Painter will visit the Toledo Museum of Art July 8 through Oct. 1, 2017. Eighty-four vessels and statuettes of bronze and terracotta from the early fifth century B.C. will be shown – including dozens of the finest vases attributed to the Berlin Painter along with works by other noteworthy artists of the period. University of Oxford scholar Sir John Beazley (1885-1970) identified the work of a single anonymous artist in over 200 vessels worldwide, and named him after a characteristically painted vase found in a museum in Berlin in 1911. The exhibition features masterpieces on loan from 15 renowned museums and two private collections, including the British Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; J. Paul Getty Museum; Vatican Museums; Musée du Louvre and the Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. “The Berlin Painter and His World represents the exceedingly rare opportunity for the individual style of one of the most important and prolific ceramic artists in history to be traced through extraordinary works of art gathered together from around the world,” said TMA Director, President and CEO Brian P. Kennedy, Ph.D. “It also provides a rich glimpse of Athenian life 2,500 years ago.” Divided into four sections – “The Berlin Painter’s World,” “The Berlin Painter’s Style,” “Gods” and “Heroes” – the exhibition explores a range of painted subjects, from athletics and musical performances to the rich body of Greek myth and epic. “We look forward to making these wondrous works of ancient…


BGHS senior studio culminates in exhibit & awards

Graduating art students recently celebrated completing their Senior Studio, the culmination of four years of study in the Bowling Green High School Art Program. The students last week stage a one-day show of their work at Four Corners in downtown Bowling Green. At the high school awards assembly May 15 the annual honors were awarded. Senior studio, said Claire Wells-Jensen, “ allows you to explore what you want to do. It’s more exploratory.” The studio time also gives students a chance to more broadly try out ideas that may be used in outside projects. Wells-Jensen said her experience in senior studio played into her stage design work for the Drama Club’s production of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” in the fall. She was the lead designer for the giant puppet of Aslan, the lion. Meghan Worthy, who with Wells-Jensen helped organize the senior studio exhibit, said the studio gave her a chance to explore different media. Students, she said, must often rely on their own research because teachers won’t necessarily have a lot of experience in a particular medium. Worthy said that the self-reliance, time management skills, and organization that senior studio encourages are skills that carry through to other non-art activities. Other students in senior studio were: Breann Burkhart, Ryan Cox, Alysa Grabowski, Logan Mannin, Tim Oakley, Madeleine Ross, Peter Wishart, Frances, Zengel, Alexandria Coppeler, Trevor Craft, Haily Kirchner, Kaila Miller, and Bryn Parker, Claire Wells-Jensen, and Meagan Worthy. Awards went to: Senior Studio T-Short design: Alexandria Coppeler PTO Award; Trevor Craft, “Tieing the Nation Together,” nails PTO Award: Maddie Ross, “Out of Focus,” acrylic. 2-D Award,…


BG Arts Council invites artists to get some fresh air

From BG ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department will host Art in the Park on the grounds of Simpson Garden Park, 1291 Conneaut Avenue, on Friday, June 9th from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Artists of all ages are invited to bring their easels and art supplies to the park to paint in the gardens for this event. Artists can register to participate by sending an email to blair@surrealogic.com. No sales can be made on Park premises; however, artists may bring a sample finished work and are encouraged to bring business cards to distribute. To encourage artist participation, The Art Supply Depō in Bowling Green has donated a $100 gift certificate for the artist voted “People’s Choice” by those in attendance. In addition to the artists at work, Art in the Park will feature hands-on arts activities for children. There will also be local musicians, music by students of the BGSU College of Musical Arts and performances by the Black Swamp Players and Horizon Youth Theatre. Some light refreshments will be provided.


Recreation center gets funky & functional glass mosaic

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Artist Gail Christofferson is proud of her most recent work. While being interviewed near the track on the second floor of the Bowling Green Recreation Center, she asks those passing by what they think of the new glass mosaic above the lobby. The walkers approve. Christofferson shares that sense of pride with hundreds of others. Almost 800 Bowling Green residents, kids through seniors, had a hand in creating those 40 glass quilt squares. They helped sort and trim the bits of glass and place them within the designs. Those designs were created not just by Christofferson, but also by Bowling Green High art students, the Conneaut Art Club and members of the Black Swamp Quilters Guild. On Tuesday, May 9, at 4 p.m. a celebration of the installation will be held. Those “funky quilt squares” were appropriate for the project, Christofferson said. “A quilt was made by the community. It was an heirloom that was valued. I like that concept.” And like a quilt, the mosaic is functional art. Parks and Recreation Director Kristen Otley approached Christofferson about creating the mosaic to help moderate the sunlight that would pour into the lobby at certain times of the day during mid-summer. Those rays left those working at the front desk literally blinded by the light. The “funky quilt” idea worked because the artist wasn’t sure how many mosaic panels she’d have to work it. Besides forming the artistic vision, she had to martial the community forces to work on it. Christofferson said she could have done the work herself, but having the community involved was…


Portraits in friendships between BGSU student photographers & Wood Lane individuals exhibited at Toledo Museum

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News To find the Wood Lane photo exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art, walk toward Matisse’s “Apollo” on the ground floor, then take a left. Just down the hall from that masterpiece, images of people served by Wood Lane line the walls of the Community Gallery. Most of the photos were taken by students in Lynn Whitney’s Community Projects class at Bowling Green State University. Some were taken by the Wood Lane individuals themselves. The exhibit, “Speaking of,” is the culmination of semester long project through which a dozen BGSU student photographers were teamed up with Wood Lane individuals. This is the project’s fifth year. At the opening, Whitney said this was “a project that seeks to bring a voice and alternative vision to a community of especially wonderful people.” In the beginning the Wood Lane individuals were the subjects. The photographers worked with them to depict their lives. This year, though, they were also given cameras and with the guidance of their student partners also made photographs. They went out bowling, shopping, for ice cream, and talked, said Lisa Kaplan, a BGSU graduate and a professor at Adrian College who has watched the project develop. And they came to the museum both for a visual literacy workshop and to view the Kehinde Wiley exhibit. This kind of partnership is especially needed now, Kaplan said. “We face a nation that’s increasingly suffering in many ways from a terrible lack of empathy. The struggle continues to get to a place where people with disabilities are fully integrated members of society who have full access to…


Art brightens a dreary day as downtown BG hosts 25th Art Walk

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Art work filled a variety of nooks and crannies in shops downtown Saturday for the 25th Art Walk. The annual event offers people a chance to view the work of a variety of artists, from school kids to elders, and visit shops downtown they may never have been in. That was the case at the Painted Clover on South Main Street. One woman walked in, exclaiming “I haven’t been here since it was Art-a-Site!” as she looked around. The shop’s manager Morgan Savage said traffic was better than a usual Saturday and a number of those who came into shop were there specifically for Art Walk. For many, it was their first time in the store that sells hand painted furniture and home décor. Painted Clover was displaying silk-screened prints of birds created by Savage, a graduate of the Bowling Green State University School of Art. Savage was happy to have the opportunity to show her work. A few doors down in Encore Bridal, Michael Neal, son of the owner, said “a lot of people came strictly for that, for the art.” Foot traffic ebbed and flowed during the day. “I think the weather kept a lot of people away,” he said. Still Mary Dennis said she was pleased with the number of people who stopped by her display inside Grounds for Thought. This was the first time she’d exhibited and was glad she did. Across the room painter Randy Bennett was at work. He didn’t have paintings out for sale. Instead he set up his easel and was dabbing paint on one of…