Visual art

BGSU arts events calendar through Nov. 9

At the galleries – “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramer,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group, continues through Nov. 21 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit, a collaboration with the New Music Festival, claims to be a recreation by the Poyais Group of outsider artist Kranmer’s (1867-1977) private lifework, a tent version of the town where she lived, with each tent representing someone who had died. Discovered by a team of anthropologists after her death but then lost in a fire, the installation was remade by the Poyais Group (Jesse Ball, Thordis Bjornsdottir, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles) based on notes by one of the original anthropologists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Oct. 27–Creative writing M.F.A. students will read from their work at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Oct. 27–The International Film Series continues with the 2012 German film “Oh Boy (A Coffee in Berlin),” directed by Jan Ole Gerster. A young man in the dreamy process of losing everything he has wanders through Berlin to the accompaniment of comedic mood music. His contemporary angst plays out on the black-and-white background of a city with a dark past. It’s never been so difficult to get a cup of coffee in a huge city. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 27 – A performance of “Evelyn in Purgatory,” an award-winning dark comedy by Topher Payne, will begin at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theater located in the Wolfe Center…


Tom Muir wins the championship belt for best buckle

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Making a belt buckle is not as simple as it seems, and it has taken master jeweler and metalsmith Tom Muir decades to get around to the task. Muir, who has taught in the Bowling Green State University School of Art for 25 years, said as a graduate student in the early 1980s he did try his hand at it. “But it never worked out quite right.” Even as he pursued other work that landed him recognition as one of the nation’s top jewelers, including an ornament on the White House Christmas tree in 1993, the challenge of making a belt buckle was in the back of his mind. Recently a technical and aesthetic considerations aligned, and he started creating belt buckles. And those are some buckles. One just won the World Champion Belt Buckle Competition. What’s the prize? A $250 in cash and a belt buckle, of course. Buckles are often awarded from traditional masculine activities, such as hunting and fishing and more recently barbecuing, Muir noted. (Making belt buckles may not be so gender-specific – one of Muir’s former students, Marissa Saneholtz, a BGSU and Bowling Green High graduate, received an honorable mention in the competition.) An avid amateur naturalist, Muir has been using forms from nature in his most recent work. He made one designed like a pig’s snout, a nod to competitive barbecuing.  In the case of the winning entry, he used the snout of a star-nosed mole for the buckle. In a statement for an exhibit Naughty Narrative (another former student from Bowling Green, Andrew Kuebeck, curated the show)…


‘Tis the season for music of our time

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University is a fall ritual. Just before Halloween, BGSU becomes the center of the contemporary music universe. Maybe that’s why this year’s event started on a macabre note – the opening of “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramner.” The art installation transforms the Bryan Gallery in the School of Art into a village of the dead. The conceit of the work by the Poyais Group is that folk artist Mary Elizabeth Kramner created these tents as a recreation of her German village, each structure representing how a former inhabitant died. The viewer wanders about this village of the dead in darkness. The tents illuminate at odd intervals, and small organs set among the tents emit mournful chords. The viewer is suspended between life and death, between reality and fantasy. The mystery seeps into the bones. Yet festival, hosted by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music,  celebrates the music of living composers. Presenting the expected is not in the festival’s mission statement. In another seasonal coincidence, this year’s featured composer is Dai Fujikura, who told the audience at the Composer Talk, that he was influenced early on by the musical scores of horror films. He was about 10, and growing up in Osaka, Japan. This was the music he loved to listen to. He was also drawn to composition because he was a mischievous piano student. He said if he didn’t like a measure of music, even by Beethoven, he would change it. And why did Haydn have a measure of rest? He would just ignore it,…


Contemporary Art Toledo on a mission to get people thinking about art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The glass on display at River House Arts gives a clear view of the mission of the newly launched Contemporary Art Toledo. The art on exhibit in HUSH.ex challenges what viewers may expect from an art medium so closely tied to Toledo. The works are more than beautiful objects, but provocations. Jessica Jane Julius intentionally “mars” some of her work, questioning the ideal of perfection. She also created long shimmering panels. Are these glass? Yes, glass-infused paint, normally used to paint stripes on runways. Amber Cowan’s milk glass pieces at first glance seem like they were retrieved from an old aunt’s estate. But they subvert that thought, teasing out the line between art and kitsch. And the work by Megan Biddle and Sharyn O’Mara tests the boundaries between drawing and glass. The work, which is on view through Nov.4, in the show “pushes the medium and pushes the history of glass,” said Brian Carpenter, one of the two founders of Contemporary Art Toledo. The show is the second sponsored by the nascent arts organization. The organization’s roots go back to when Carpenter and Paula Baldoni, the owner of River House Arts, were introduced about two years ago. They found they had similar thoughts about the regional arts scene. “We immediately started talking about artists,” Carpenter said. Both were interested in exposing local viewers to a different kind of work. Carpenter teaches and is gallery curator at the University of Toledo. Baldoni and her husband, William Jordan, founded River House Arts 12 years ago in Perrysburg. Early this year they brought their operation, which includes…


New Music Festival showcases contemporary music at BGSU, Oct. 19-22

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The 37th Annual Bowling Green New Music Festival will showcase the work of more than 30 guest composers and performers Oct. 19-22. The four-day international festival includes concerts, lectures and an art exhibition. This year’s featured guests include composer Dai Fujikura and the Spektral Quartet (See related stories at: http://bgindependentmedia.org/musical-specters-come-to-life-in-string-quartet-concert-on-campus/ and http://bgindependentmedia.org/music-of-now-intersects-with-classics-in-spektral-quartet-concert/) Organized by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM), the College of Musical Arts and the Fine Arts Center Galleries at BGSU, the festival supports the creation of new work and engages both the University and city communities in the process of music appreciation and awareness. Most festival events are free and open to the public. FESTIVAL SCHEDULE Wednesday, Oct. 19 7 p.m., Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery, School of Art Exhibition opening: “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramner,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group. Thursday, Oct. 20 1 p.m., Bryan Recital Hall Composer Talk: Dai Fujikura 3pm, Bryan Recital Hall Concert 1: chamber works by Dai Fujikura, Peter Eötvös, Marissa DiPronio, and Chin-Ting Chan. 7:30 p.m., Kobacker Hall Concert 2: Ensemble works by Roger Zare, Takuma Itoh, Dai Fujikura, Christopher Dietz and Jason Eckardt. 9:30 p.m., Clazel Theatre (127 N. Main St., downtown Bowling Green) Concert 3: Works by Dai Fujikura, Anthony Donofrio, Dan VanHassel, Alex Temple, Mario Diaz de Leon, and Matt Marks. Friday, Oct. 21 10:30 a.m., Bryan Recital Hall Concert 4: Chamber works by Steven Stucky, Dai Fujikura, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Girard Kratz, Eliza Brown and Joe Dangerfield. 2:30 p.m., Kobacker Hall Concert 5: Works by James Romig, Chun-Wai Wong, Robert Morris, Marilyn Shrude and Dai Fujikura. 8 p.m., Kobacker Hall…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Sept. 28 – Oct. 12

From BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications  At the Galleries –“Face It: Reimagining Contemporary Portraits” continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. “Face It” explores an expanded definition of photographic portraiture. Curated by BGSU art faculty Lynn Whitney and Andrew Hershberger and BGSU Galleries Director Jacqueline Nathan, the exhibit features photos by 27 renowned artists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free. Sept. 29 – Award-winning author and book critic John Freeman will read from his works as a part of the Visiting Writer Series. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 29 – TheInternational Film Series continues with “Abrazos (Embraces),” directed by Luis Argueta. A group of children travel from Minnesota to Guatemala to meet their grandparents for the first time. The film documents their pilgrimage, exploring family, heritage and immigration. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 29 – BGSU composition students will present their works at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 30 – TheBGSU Wind Symphony will be in concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. On the program are “Skating on the Sheyenne,” by Ross Lee Finney; “Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum,” by Olivier Messiaen, and “First Symphony for Band” by William Bolcom. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Tickets can be purchased…


Face It exhibit at BGSU takes intimate look at portrait photography

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Photographic portraits have always had their allure. Think of those ghostly images staring back at you from 19th century daguerreotypes. Viewers will find the contemporary descendants of those models in Face It: Reimagining Contemporary Portraits now on exhibit at the Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Building on the Bowling Green State University campus. Recently this reporter was treated to a tour of the show accompanied by the three curators and two photographers who have work in the exhibit. The seed for Face It was planted with a passing remark by Jacqui Nathan, the gallery director, to Lynn Whitney, who teaches photography at BGSU. How about a portrait show? Nathan asked. That casual suggestion took a couple years to gestate, but with the help of art historian Andrew Hershberger it has now come to fruition. Photo portraits are “very common,” he said, “Very familiar.” We carry them around with us in our wallets, on our telephones. We have identification cards with portraits on them. And we treasure them. In the event of a disaster, after family and pets are safe, people will grab the family portraits. “Arguably this is most common type of photography ever,” he said. “Yet they remain mysterious.” Back in the days of daguerreotypes, “people were frightened of these portraits,” Hershberger said. “The kind of impact portraits can have is pretty dramatic.” That pull is evident in Face It, whether it is the tightly cropped images of photographer Nicholas Nixon and his wife, who in a couple images peers surreptitiously out at the viewer or Greg Miller’s photos of children…


BGSU Lively Arts through Oct. 5

Through Sept. 28 — The 33rd annual juried exhibition of Ohio designer craftsmen continues in the Willard Wankelman Gallery in BGSU’s Fine Arts Center. The exhibit showcases works in clay, glass, fiber, wood, metal and mixed media by many nationally recognized Ohio artists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Oct. 6 — “Face It: Reimagining Contemporary Portraits” continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the BGSU Fine Arts Center. “Face It” explores an expanded definition of photographic portraiture. Curated by BGSU art faculty Lynn Whitney and Andrew Hershberger and BGSU Galleries Director Jacqueline Nathan, the exhibit features photos by 27 renowned artists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free Sept. 21 – The BGSU Faculty Artist Series features pianist Cole Burger in recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 22 – Creative writing students in BGSU’s Master of Fine Arts program read from their work beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 22 – BGSU The International Film Series features the 2010 Guatemalan film “AbUSed: The Postville Raid,” directed by Luis Argueta. The film conveys personal stories from a small Iowa town that witnessed the May 2008 mass arrest of 400 immigrants at a meatpacking plant. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 22 – The BGSU Guest Artist Series puts a spotlight on jazz…


BGSU Lively Arts through Sept. 28

Sept. 14 – The Faculty Artist Series features Caroline Chin, assistant professor of violin. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 15 – BGSU’s creative writing MFA students present their work. Their reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept 16 – The first ARTalk of the season features Joshua Kosker, a visiting professor of art in jewelry and metals from Indiana University. Kosker’s work is rooted in contemporary craft and body adornment. His talk will begin at 5:30 p.m. in 204 Fine Arts Center. A reception will follow in the Willard Wankelman Gallery. Free Sept 16 – EAR l EYE: Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art features BGSU doctoral candidates from the College of Musical Arts responding to works of art. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Free Sept. 18 – The Sunday Matinee Series continues at 3 p.m. with two 1919 films, “The Breath of a Nation,” directed by Gregory La Cava, followed by “The Greatest Question,” directed by D.W. Griffith, with Lillian Gish and Robert Harron. In 1919 Griffith was in top form, this being a year of the masterworks “Broken Blossoms” and “True Heart Susie.” However, no less inspired is the gorgeously photographed “The Greatest Question” (by Billy Bitzer, cameraman on all the Griffith features that incredibly busy year). Somehow it has been mysteriously overlooked, yet is no less fascinating and no less a worthy role for the extraordinary, resilient, ageless Lillian Gish. Free Sept. 18 – Celebrate the history…


Philly glass artists display work at River House Arts

River House Arts and Contemporary Art Toledo will present HUSH.ex, an exhibition of works in glass and mixed media by Megan Biddle, Amber Cowan, Jessica Jane Julius, and Sharyn O’Mara. The show opens with a public artists’ reception on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. and will be on view through Oct. 22, running concurrently with Hot Glass/Cool Music, a month-long community celebration of glass and music in Toledo. HUSH.ex is the second iteration of a body of work that debuted last spring at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Working over the course of a year, the artists, who are also colleagues on the glass faculty at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, created visually and conceptually diverse works that include site-specific installations as well as individual sculptures and drawings. At the outset, the artists recognized commonalities in their practice: reflection (literal and figurative) and distillation. They began with a collective desire to see past the overstimulus of the digital age and to focus on the analog, narrow the vocabulary from color to gray scale, and capture the power of memory and reflection in interpretation of experience. And yet, there is nothing simplistic either in the ambition or scope of any of the artists’ work. This ambition and scope has not gone unnoticed. In the September 2016 edition of Glass Quarterly, Alexander Rosenberg writes. “It is uncommon to find the flashy and performative medium of glass used to express silence or solitude, but the four artists here offer a convincing alternative to the noise and hyper-connectivity of digital culture.” Megan Biddle is an interdisciplinary artist whose work orbits between sculpture,…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Sept. 6- 21

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Sept. 6 – Tuesdays at the Gish kicks off with “Almost Famous” (2000), directed by Cameron Crowe. Set in the 1970s, this semi-autobiographical story based on the director’s experiences as a rock journalist for Rolling Stone continues to be a beloved coming-of-age and rock-n-roll film. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 7 – The Faculty Artist Series continues with Penny Thompson Kruse performing on violin presenting a recital on the theme of Farewell to Summer. The recital begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 8 – The Visiting Writer Series welcomes American fiction writer Alissa Nutting, author of “Tampa” and the short story collection “Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls.” The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 8 – BGSU’s International Film Series commences with “Fordson: Faith, Fasting and Football,” directed by Rashid Ghazi. The 2016 documentary follows a predominantly Arab-American high school football team from Dearborn, Mich., during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and unearths the story of a community desperately holding onto its Islamic faith while struggling to gain acceptance in post 9-11 America. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Free Sept. 10 – The Falcon Marching Band will perform during the BGSU vs North Dakota football game. Join in the festivities at 3 p.m. in the Doyt Perry Stadium. Tickets to the football game are available at bgsufalcons.com/buytickets or 1-877-247-8842. Sept. 10 – Guest artist Stacy Mastrian, soprano, will…


A gathering of voices rises from Wood County’s past at Living History program

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Voices from Wood County’s past gathered and spoke Sunday at the 13th Annual Wood County Living History Day. Though no longer walking among us, these figures, said master of ceremonies Michael Penrod still have an impact on how we live. This collection of personages brought together by the county Historical Society had in common the theme of collections. They collected or the work they created was collected. Dominick Labino, a glass innovator in industry and art, created distinctly colored glass pieces that are in museums around the world. “That’s quite legacy,” said Keith Guion, the actor who portrayed him. Dorothy Uber Bryan’s paintings created while undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer are collected at the University of Toledo Health Science campus. Ella Dishong’s collection was the assembled goods of the small rural business proprietor that over time became collectible. Floy and Earl Shaffer found themselves collecting as a diversion from the grief of losing two sons, one as a child, and one in middle age. And Floy Shaffer’s own pottery was collected by regional buyers, including those who purchased her work in the early days of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. Lloyd Weddell’s skill as a woodworker meant his figurines and fiddles were treasured by many in the area. Jerry Hagerty’s interest in collecting Native American artifacts found in recently tilled farm land was one of the reasons he was asked to be the first caretaker of the Wood County Historical Center and Museum. Together these seven people’s stories, each presented by an actor and through a script penned usually by someone who knew…


Art Supply Depo opens up shop in Bowling Green

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Hardly two weeks after celebrating the fifth anniversary of the opening of the first Art Supply Depo in Toledo, Jules Webster and her crew has opened up shop in Bowling Green. The second Art Supply Depo will mark its grand opening on Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. and an opening party. The store is open this week 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. As was the case in Toledo, the opening is timed for the start of classes at local universities. Opening up an Art Depo Supply in Bowling Green was a natural, Webster said. Faculty and students from the Bowling Green State University School of Art as well as artists from Bowling Green were already faithful customers. Webster saw “a gap in the market.” “Bowling Green has such a strong art program it seemed a little crazy that Bowling Green didn’t have a specialty art supply store,” she said. When considering the new store, she checked the numbers at UT versus BGSU. UT has 175 undergraduate art majors; BGSU has 625 undergraduate and graduate art majors. While artists from Bowling Green would travel to Toledo for supplies, it often wasn’t convenient especially for younger students who didn’t have cars. Webster said staff has been “hoarding supply lists” from BGSU students in previous years to help guide stocking the shelves. This location also better serves artists in the surrounding communities of Perrysburg and Waterville, some of whom were reluctant to travel to downtown Toledo, even though as Webster points out, it’s the safest part of the city. Here they’ll also have…


Black Swamp Arts Festival has been music to the ears of Best of Show winner Chris Plummer

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Kentucky printmaker Chris Plummer, a change of scenery shifted his gaze to the landscape. About two years ago Plummer quit his job at the Kroger bakery and moved with his family from the outskirts of Cincinnati to a more rural part of Kentucky. “I do a lot fields and barns because that’s what I see around me now.” Before he focused on woodprints that depicted slices of stories that reflected the angst of folks on the edge between the country and suburbs. Now he creates colorful monoprints, abstracted color landscapes, all inspired by scenes within a few miles of his home. “With woodcuts, for whatever reason, I tend to focus on what is wrong, and with monoprints what I’m looking at is the beauty around me.” Plummer had started to experiment with monoprints, as well as painting, before he moved. Now that has taken hold. Those prints were praised by the jurors at the 2015 Black Swamp Arts Festival when he won Best of Show honors. He also took the top prize at the festival in 2013. Plummer said he’s heard a lot of positive reactions to the newer work, though some people have said they prefer his older work. Still others noted that they like that he’s continuing to change as an artist. “I know a lot of people find what works and stick to that,” he said. “To me that would be boring.” Though he’s done as many as 20 shows a year, Plummer has settled into doing about a dozen. He particularly likes college towns with their bookstores and coffee…


Arresting images portray intersection of policing & art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ben Schonberger’s art installation, “Beautiful Pig,” at River House Arts in Toledo couldn’t come at a more fraught moment coming as it does in a time when our reactions are color coded. The heart-felt cry of Black Lives Matter giving rise to the reaction of Blue Lives Matter. Schonberger collaborated with retired Detroit detective Marty Gaynor to create a portrait of the cop and his community and the relationship between the cop and the artist. “I think it’s an incredibly fragile moment,” Schonberger said. “I don’t think it’s ever been more relevant.” He sees the exhibit as an opening to an “alternate” conversation about policing and community, one “that doesn’t begin with a charged reaction.” In every incident, “everybody has an alternative story,” he said. This isn’t work, he said, that someone will see in the gallery and buy to hang in their home. “The best part about this work isn’t the art, it’s to be able to have an alternative conversation about people and process. If you can have a conversation about humans and feeling, identity, empathy, survival and history, if you can understand someone’s brain for a minute, that’s when contemporary art is so powerful.” Fittingly this is the first collaboration between the gallery’s owner Paula Baldoni and the nascent group Contemporary Art Toledo. Brain Carpenter, the founder, said the group is interested in exactly these kind of shows that are more about generating debate than displaying objects. The River House walls are lined with the pictures of suspects, and cryptic symbols, documentation of Gaynor’s 31 years on the streets of Detroit….