April 27, 11:00am - June 23, 5:00pm
Tues. - Sat. 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun. 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday, April 28 2–4pm
It’s Only Natural
On Curating this Exhibition,
Martha Young, Spring 2019
It’s only natural that these three artists, Robbie Grodin, Paula Zinsmeister, and Freeland Southard, should be showing here together. Though they each work in different materials, they all have a reverence for nature and natural materials. I have chosen these artists not only for their affinity for the natural, but their visually interesting way in which they bring their own voice to their work.
Robbie uses alpaca wool and silk to make nuno-felted garments. This type of felting combines and agitates the fibers, using heat, moisture, and soap, resulting in a durable textile. The sophisticated forms that she creates are used as a canvas for her well-developed eco-dyeing technique in which she extracts unusual and naturally vibrant color from botanicals. Her creations are a beautifully rich combination of color and form.
Paula’s delicate and sensitive prints also use botanicals, but in a different way. In particular, she has chosen to use native grasses found in Ohio, both as subject matter and in dyeing her papers. The subtle differences among the grasses “are reflected in slight variations in color, texture, height, flexibility, and structure”. The fact that plants from nature are used in her printmaking processes, tying our native environment to her vision, increases the appeal and interest and invites the viewer for a more intimate dialogue.
Freeland’s focus is on the “natural and manicured qualities of the materials” that he chooses for his work. Marrying sculpture and function he combines a live edge wood slab to steel and glass elements to create a very visually engaging wall shelf. Placing a chunk of rock salt as the table top set on steel legs, Freeland goes far “beyond the convention of prescribed boundaries and expectations” with his inventive combinations of materials and functional form.
Whether it is work to be seen by the viewer, worn on the body, or used as furniture, all three artists have developed a keen and focused appreciation for our natural world.
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