Openings and Closings

Opening and Closing

“Works on Paper” & “Your Turn” awesome gallery shows are on display right now!

I appear for the “Works on Paper” show at the opening reception. It’s so full I can’t even fit in the room initially. I am here on buisness as a reporter for Dayton City Paper I suppose. I’m fairly new at this so I’m still finding my feet. I awkwardly hide in the back as they announce the winners. At some point I slide into the room behind the crowd. In a tight little corner I find my self too distracted by the art work displayed on the wall nearest to me to fully listen to what Shayna is saying. I sorta work for her when I teach art classes at Rosewood. She’s really cool, but you must know I am so so easily distracted. Anyway I knew I could ask her about the important facts all in due time. On the wall nearest to me there was a colorful collages with turtles (“Turtles at Play” by Anita Wilson) and a playful photo of a dog, which I’m ashamed to say I don’t have the formal name of. (Try and find this corner now 😉

So anyway the crowd thins and I am able to go around and do my thing. There is a really cool variety at this show. There are several pedestals for pieces that couldn’t possibly be mounted to a wall. The first one of these I encounter is an environmental statements made with cardboard packaging; “Mr Triscuit” by Jeff Rutledge. It looks at first like a stack of empty packaging, and it sort of is. Yet, there is a very clear intention in the way it’s wired together, like it could easily topple over and yet is it secure so it only displays this way.

Another notable pedestal holds a tiny little book accompanied by a pair of white handling gloves. “Sugar an artist book”; is brought to us by Kerri Harding and Liz Wuestafeld of Dayton. It’s a book that appears to be about one inch in both height and width. It’s adorable and I find the tiny illustrations to be playful and pretty in a youthful way. Kerri Harding explained to me that she has a masters in book art which lead her to a job in book conservation. “The gloves are meant to protect the pages but it’s become a huge debate. I think that without as much feel you’re more likely to damage the paper,” Harding explained. She also explained to me that she’s in a book society and that this piece had originally been made for a different competition. I get the feeling Sugar was more appreciated in this show than that competition but I really can’t say for sure. Perhaps our crowd was just more enthusiastic. Apparently the miniature book society is full of bizarre and interesting characters. Perhaps someday I can check out one of their sponsored shows.

I get a chance to talk to Leesa Haapapuro who also teaches at Rosewood upon occasion. This makes us like maybe co-workers. Anyway she is responsible for a piece called “Falling Angles”. Her handmade paper creations can be found spread out periodically throughout the show. Each angel is made of a different color. Each little body has a different stance. This gives each one it’s own unique personality. Haapapuro explained to me that she first made a clay mold of one angel. After that she pressed fresh made paper into the mold to create the doll. From there she could manipulate and paint each angel to fit it’s own expression. I regret that she had a free open paper doll class last Saturday and I did not go.

Admittedly I have not done much adventuring in the last few weeks. I feel into a bit of a slump but that shall change I assure you. I just wore my self out and physical exhaustion overtook my need for adventure.

Anyway I simply must mention “Up in the Air” a paper mobile by Pete Mitas of Kettering Ohio. This mobile features stars bursting open and humans riding birds soaring into the sky. The white paper cut outs are cute silly and fun. The piece itself is so big it demands your attention immediately.

In the other room I find a more subtle piece has drawn the attention of a small crowd. Feeling more confident and having enjoyed a glass of wine I make my way to the back of the crowd. This piece is a mucky brown green with a shape coming through. It’s not so obvious at first which is my initial reason to stare closer. After a moment I realize “Hey that’s a shirt!”

Francis Schanberger of Dayton made “Somnambulist #3” for “Works on Paper” in what is possibly the most interesting process of anything from this show. “It had started in the early 1900’s as an attempt to make photo sensitive material from plants,” Schanberger explained. Basically, he took clumps of fresh cut grass and hammered them onto paper. The paper absorbed some of the pigments from the grass taking on a musty green brown color. After that Schanberger put a pajama top over the piece of paper and left it out in a window for sunlight. The silhouette is cast from that with the help of a little photosynthesis. “[I] wanted to make a visual surprise,” Schanberger explained. “I never know exactly how it will turn out.” This is insanely cool to me and I make a mental note to try this out in the summer.

Francis Schanberger is married to Bridgette Bogle who teaches art at Sinclair Community college. In fact she had been my favorite art teacher. I tell her this with a slight melancholy feeling, for I do miss the days of being a fine art major. At one point I desperately wanted to get duel associates in fine art and creative writing. Prefect for comics right? But upon the realization that meant staying in Dayton at Sinclair Community College for another semester and having to use straight loans I decided to just peruse creative writing. I tell myself I don’t regret this decision. I can still draw and do comics. I’m getting too old to waste anymore time and frankly I’m ready for a change of scenery.

Anyway Schanberger and Bogle are both are featured in the Works on Paper show. Bogle has recently begun to work with print making again for the first time since her college days. Her Print works “Tilted Horizon” and “Just a Little Explosion” are both on display.

The pair of Schanberger and Bogle are currently running a show together. It’s like a visual duet. Schanberger will be displaying some photography while Bogle has created a series of paintings that are direct responses to those photographs. The show is called “Your Turn” and it will be held at the Blue Sky Gallery on 8 North Main Street downtown. It will run from February 1st to March 1st. Both opening and closing receptions will run from 6-10pm. The closing will feature a creative “inspirational potluck” where everyone is encouraged to bring something that inspires them. Think of it as food for the mind. Click here

I plan to attend this cool closing reception and enjoy myself a first Friday in Dayton. I’ve only once done that before and yet I’ve gone to First Friday in Columbus two or three times now. I do you wrong Dayton and I apologize. Perhaps this is me making a declaration to attend every Dayton First Friday I can before I move out of the city? Yes it should be and I’ll blog it. Future art reviews probably will be less formal. Some of the material in this post was borrowed directly from my Dayton City Paper article. That will be coming out in the Feb. 12th edition. Click here

You can see the Works on Paper show for free at Rosewood Arts Centre; 2655 Olson Drive, Kettering, Ohio 45420. They are open Monday through Thursday, 8 am – 9 pm, Fridays, 8 am – 6 pm
and Saturdays, 9 am – 3 pm. It will be up from Jan. 28 to March 8.
Click here

Photos provided by Boone