Fresh Art show highlights newest creations by artists

by April Helms Special Products Editor Published:

Several local artists were honored at the 10th annual Fresh Art show at Summit Artspace at the opening of the exhibit March 7.

More than 50 works, ranging from paintings to collage to sculpture, were chosen for the juried exhibit, which encourages area artists to submit new works that present their chosen medium in a different way.

Four artists were awarded the Top Honors at the opening: 

• BEST of SHOW award of $500 recognized Maggie Duff for her print, "Found Sign V."

• A new $200 award, the FRESH AIR award went to Nate Mayfield for his painting, "Stick a Fork in It."

• Second-place awards Andy Dreamingwolf of Brimfield, who received $150 for his painting, "Sister Ray."

• Third place for $150 went to Frances Lehnert of Kent for the pastel work, "Driving Miss Daisy."

In addition, five artists received an honorable mention: 

• Eric Ford for his sculpture, "Untitled"

• Seth Madden for his painting, "LA Alhambra"

• Erin Miller of Kent for her mixed media work, "Effectiveness of Modern Medicine"

• Michael Swaisgood for his piece, "Pull"

• Sharon Wagner for her sculpture, "Migraine"

Alexandra Nicholis Coon, the director of the Massillon Museum of Art, was juror for this year's Fresh Art show.

"I thought this year's show was a wonderful mix of talent," Dreamingwolf said. "It introduced me to works by some artists whom I had never seen before and am looking forward to following. It's refreshing to see Akron's contemporary art scene flourish at shows like this."

Dreamingwolf said that his piece was part of a larger two-person show he has scheduled with artist Scot Phillips in 2015 in Cleveland.

"It's loosely based on Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy and an homage to old drugstores and five and dimes," he said. "It is a play on pharmaceuticals and novelties. The title 'Sister Ray' is taken from a Lou Reed penned Velvet Underground song in which Lou describes a scene of debauchery and decay. He said he envisioned Sister Ray as a transvestite smack dealer."

Miller, a textiles major at Kent State University who will be graduating this spring, said her work was "in response to a laparoscopic surgery I had in 2009 to remove an ovarian cyst."

"The surgery ended up causing significantly more damage than the cyst would have if it had been allowed to naturally and gradually reabsorb," she said. "This experience encouraged me to make more educated decisions about my health and reexamine the uneducated decisions I had made previously. I chose to weave the medical mask because it represents the cleanliness and sterility of the medical world. I wanted to represent the clean and dirty aspects of medicine so I chose a variety of materials as my weft."

Duff said she been collecting the signs used by "people who collect money near my house."

"I wanted to put myself in their shoes," she said.

The exhibit can be seen through April 19.

Regular gallery hours are Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Akron Art Museum, and Friday and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Summa Health System provided the exhibition's cash awards.  

Free workshops 

Summit Artspace is presenting free workshops for artists to assist them in the development of their creative careers. All the workshops will be at Summit Artspace, are free and there is no advance registration. 

• March 20 at 7 p.m., with photographer, Bradley Hart, Photographing your 2D & 3D Artwork for Reproduction

• April 8 at 7 p.m., sponsored by The Foundation Center, the Akron-Summit county library and Summit Artspace on Grant Seeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts.

Summit Artspace is at 140 E. Market St., one block east of the Akron Art Museum, and is a project of the Akron Area Arts Alliance, in cooperation with Summit County government. The building also houses individual artist studios and the galleries of Akron Society of Artists & Artists of Rubber City, - The Box. The Artists of Rubber City also is exhibiting its annual members show at the same time as the Fresh Art show. 

In addition to regular gallery hours, the artist building is open during First Night and every Artwalk, the first Saturday of the month with open galleries, studios and when scheduled, performances by AAAA member organizations and area artists.  The next Downtown Akron Artwalk will be April 5.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438

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