“Top Picks” at Harris Stanton Gallery

Opening reception for the artists: Friday January 9, 5:30pm – 8pm

The Harris Stanton Gallery of Akron is pleased to announce the opening of Top Picks.
This is a selection of the work of outstanding recent graduates from the top universities and colleges of our region. In an effort to recognize the diversity of talent in our schools we have elected to choose young artists from different disciplinary backgrounds for this first exhibit. We hope that this will become a yearly event and we have planned a sister exhibition for our Cleveland Gallery for 2016. From the Cleveland Institute of art we have Abbey Blake, a printmaker and enamel artist. Sean O’Donnell, an abstract painter, is an MFA candidate at Cranbrook and a graduate of Akron University, Meaghan Reed, a multimedia Sculptor is a graduate of Kent State University, where she is currently teaching. Omid Tavikoli attended CSU but is now enrolled at CIA. Tavikoli practices digitally manipulated photography.
ODonnellSSketch22_83x84     Sean O’Donnell is a painter whose minimal canvasses combine signs or archetypal symbols with large bright decorative expanses of color reminiscent of children’s toys or game boards. He is in fact very interested in ideas of play, game space and how identity is constructed through the interactions that people have with rules. His paintings imitate visual commands in an attempt to engage the viewer to experience the work interactively. He is very interested in the dynamic relationship between the created object (painting) and the viewer. He writes,” as we grow and move through different social, economic, and political settings I believe it is important to understand the rules, spoken or unspoken, that dictate each of these spheres and how they affect the understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Sean graduated from Akron U with a BFA in 2010 and has been attending Cranbrook and teaching there also since 2013. He has exhibited widely in our area as well as Detroit.

Meaghan Reed’s background as a textile artist is apparent in her recent mixed media body of work. The layering of information found in the patterns of woven textiles has been converted into a new kind of multi informational object. She incorporates found objects woven with wire, thread and monofilament, along with etched glass into wooden cases and drawers to produce intimate landscapes that beg the viewer to stop and peer into their world. “ By creating a space that will engage the viewer, I invite them to peer into it and investigate. These curious spaces …evoke the imagination and small intimate, materials stir the joy of discovery.” Meaghan graduated in 2013 with an M.F.A. in crafts from Kent State University. She has won both the Directors awards and the Jurors Choice Awards from the Ohio art’s Council Ohio State Fair in Columbus.

Omid Tavikoli’s carefully constructed narratives focus on women and use the symbol of the dress to open a dialog with the viewer about gender issues, sexuality, femininity and rites of passage. He first photographs women in dazzling evening gowns then deconstructs the dress (by rephotographing it in sections) and digitally reconstructs it into a provocative shape. By swirling the dresses around the figures he creates a narrative with mythological or fairytale qualities. The shapes formed by the dresses reference astrological, celestial, mythological, astronomical as well as meteorological influences. Omid’s major area of study at Cleveland State University was Art history with a minor in Anthropology and Women’s Studies. He is enrolled now in a post –baccalaureate program at CIA with a focus on Photography and Digital Media.

Abbey Blake studied biomedical art as well as printmaking at the Cleveland Institute of Art and graduated with a BFA in May 2014. Her interest in cellular structures is apparent in the forms she uses in her abstract paper installations as well as her mixed media wall reliefs which combine enameling with wood. The paper forms are made using new laser cutting technology available to artists at the Case Western Campus. The installations in turn have informed her digital prints. So even though she is producing three distinct types of art in three distinct media the work done in one inspires the work produced in another. She was the recipient of several scholarships and awards while a student at CIA and was chosen to be a part of the 2014 New Now exhibition.

The show opens with a wine & cheese reception from 5:30 – 8pm, that is free and open to the public. A brief gallery talk given by the artists will take place mid way through the opening. The gallery is handicap accessible and there is plenty of free parking available.

Select works from this exhibition may be viewed on line at http://www.HarrisStantonGallery.com. For more information about the exhibition please contact Meg Harris or Christine Ries at 330.867.7600    info@HarrisStantonGallery.com

Gallery Hours: Tue. – Fri. 10:30am – 5:30pm, Sat. 10am – 4pm
Harris Stanton Gallery
2301 W. Market St.
Akron, OH 44313