Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
The Artist in Residency program returns to Scioto County this year, with Ohio visual artist Kate Kern hosting the annual high school program teaching local students about installation art.
The Artist in Residency program is offered through the Ohio Arts Council, featuring artists from all across Ohio in local high schools. Artists apply to the Ohio Arts Council, and typically will participate in an exhibit in Columbus for local program coordinators to see their work and select which artist they would like to in their community. Because of budget cuts, however, this year’s exhibit and selection process was done online.
Past mediums offered in Scioto County have included music, dance, theater, and visual arts.
This year’s artist is Kate Kern, of the Cincinnati-area. Kern has a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts from the University of Dayton and a Master’s Degree of Fine Arts in drawing from the University of Cincinnati. She has exhibited artwork at the Aisle Gallery in Cincinnati, the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., SPACES in Cleveland, Riffe Gallery in Columbus, and others. Kern has participated with the OAC’s Artist in Residency program since 1983.
“She does a lot of installation sculptures, but she does drawing, artists’ books, some painting. I think one of her main interests, appears to be anyway, the idea of installation sculpture,” said Sharee Price, of the South Central Ohio Educational Services Center (SCOESC) Gifted Services Center.
Installation sculpture is a medium of three-dimensional art, designed to transform an area of interior space.
“We’re going to be inspired by the self portrait show that’s up at the museum. Self portraits are not really a focus of my work, but we’re going to be using two forms; one would be an artist book form and the other would be an installation form,” Kern said.
Kern will work with more than 200 local high school art students, including a group of core students from Wheelersburg and peripheral classes from nine other schools.
“Each one of the peripheral groups, which is made up of 20 students per group, they will come in and make their little part of this bigger thing. But the core group is going to orchestrate how this all comes together in this larger thing,” Price said. “The core group will also be assembling a piece of their own, but it will be slightly different from the piece the peripheral group is doing.”
The Artist in Residency program gives high school students a rare opportunity to work alongside a practicing artist, and teaches them about collaboration and working together.
“I think the students have to think beyond just themselves, because this is a collaboration. They have to think about how their part will fit into the whole, and that sometimes does require thinking and editing about what you put out there,” Price said.
In addition to the artwork creations, local creative writing instructor Neil Carpathios, from Shawnee State University, will work with students to write essays to reflect the self-portraits created by students.
“I will be working with area students, over many days, mainly focusing on the concept of self-portrait art and writing. Students will create a self-portrait using words, viewing themselves from various perspectives, culminating in a poem. This will be done in coordination with the visual artist in residence, as planned by Sharee Price,” Carpathios said.
At the conclusion of the program, there will be a public exhibit of the students’ artwork at the Southern Ohio Museum on Gallia Street in Portsmouth. That exhibit opens in the Mehser Gallery on Nov. 8 and will continue until Dec. 28. An artists’ reception will be scheduled at the opening of the exhibit, at 5 p.m. on Nov. 8. The title of the exhibit, “faceBOOK: Another Look,” refers to the self-portrait component and the want that people present themselves to the public.
Kern will also host a public smARTalk session at the Southern Ohio Museum on Oct. 26 at noon, speaking about her artwork and the Artist in Residency program. A luncheon will be available from the museum, and interested visitors should contact the museum for more information.
More information about Kern can be found on her website, at www.katekern.com.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.