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Summit Artspace exhibiting gallery’s artists

1/30/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Roger Durbin

Bradley Hart’s “Hole in the River” is on view in Summit Artspace’s Upstairs, Downstairs.
Photo courtesy of Summit Artspace
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit Artspace has provided studio space for artists for 10 years.

The current exhibit, Upstairs, Downstairs, on display through Feb. 22, is the first time the gallery has presented works by the eight artists in residence on the third floor of the building — Joan Colbert (printmaking), Cari Miller (mixed-media), Terry Klausman (sculpture/drawing), Carolyn Lewis (painting), Katina Pastis Radwanski (painting/sculpture), Bradley Hart (photography), Ron White (sculpture/drawing) and Connie Bloom (art quilts).

It’s a good idea, for announcements generally focus on exhibits on the ground floor even though there are regularly concurrent displays on the third floor plus the resident artists. Without advanced information from organizers of the other exhibits, visitors can overlook the other works even though the person at the door would encourage viewers to take in the art on the upper floor. Consequently, they would not have the opportunity to visit the studios of the resident artists.

The third floor concurrent exhibits are: a fabric quilting exhibit of artists Carole Pollard and Ted Maringer called Like but Not Like, and a small solo show by Greta Ramey called Through the Pleats of the Curtain. The solo show has an artist statement about the exhibit to help viewers understand what is being shown.

The first floor gallery always has information about each of the works being presented plus information from jurors in competitive displays or descriptions for thematic exhibits, such as the current Upstairs, Downstairs.

It’s interesting to note that in Upstairs, Downstairs, the resident artists represent such a wide range of the visual arts. The current exhibit shows them off at their best, while viewers can venture to the third floor and wander through their studio spaces to see more of their art.

As with any art show, some works catch immediate attention when viewers circle through the space. This show is no exception.

One that commands artistic respect and notice is White’s very large charcoal on paper work called “Woman of 2000” that wraps around a corner of the main exhibit area. This artist has a large and active imagination. The work depicts a woman who has two hands on her right side and one on the left attached somewhat to a male reclining figure that makes you think of the pose of the character Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Miller has two works that seem quite different from her other works in her studio on the third floor. They are abstract pieces — “Memories” and “Round and Round” — that attract through a combination of inventive color and form.

Not all the pieces are two-dimensional. Klausman’s welded steel sculpture “Umbilicii” is a large, flowing work suggesting the reaching and tension of connection the title implies. He has other related titles elsewhere in the gallery, such as “Umbilicus” and “Umbilicus Minor.” Be sure to seek them out.

Nearby is Radwanski’s painted steel work sculpture “Daedalus and Icarus,” representing the characters in the celebrated tale about over-reaching. The work is purely captivating.

In the adjoining room are three smaller linoleum block print works by Colbert. Done in black and white, the works call for consideration about the artist’s knowledge of esoteric ideas and concepts. Visit her studio on the third floor and see continuations of her subjects and technique. Her works are thoughtful and superbly rendered.

A series of artist demonstrations and workshops will be offered along with the exhibition. All are free and open to the public. For more details and to preregister, which is required, call 330-376-8480.

Summit Artspace, located at 140 E. Market St., is open Thursdays from noon to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Parking is adjacent to the building. Admission and parking are free.

 

Roger Durbin is professor emeritus of bibliography at The University of Akron and an avid art enthusiast. To contact him, email r.durbin@sbcglobal.net.

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