Ohio University Southern Campus displays a series of exhibitions throughout the fall and spring semesters, between August and April. The galleries feature solo artist works to juried exhibitions.
The current display is a unique artistic installation by Huntington artist Melissa McCloud.
“For me, gardening is the most rewarding form of art making. This current new work is beginning to explore how I might share my living gardens in such a way that gallery goers can enjoy the beauty without the dirt,” “McCloud explained. “I am taking pictures of what I have grown and putting them on the underside of reflective paper.”
McCloud said that her new art form is an interesting way to capture the essence of her garden and her process helps make the pieces charming and attractive.
“When the gallery lights hit the shiny reflective stem tops, they bounce and dance up the side of the wall and cast dynamic overlapping shadows below. Walk closer and you may see lots of ‘you’” in all the mini reflectors/flowers. Come closer even still and see the vibrant colors of the flowers from the underside of taller stems reflected in the tops of the shorter stems.”
McCloud’s exhibit opened October 1, with an artist reception being held that evening from 5-6 p.m. The university is hoping for a successful opening, as guests review the work and have the opportunity to meet with the artist and discuss her work, process, and roots. The show will be on display until the end of October.
McCloud is an accomplished artist, having been featured in dozens of exhibitions, having been added to personal collections, as well as permanent collections, has been awarded with many grants and scholarships for her work, and has a history of teaching art in higher education institutions. She graduated Cum Laude from Marshal University in 2009 while studying photography and sculpting. She recently graduated from Ohio University with her MFA in sculpture.
“She is a mom and has managed to get her MFA while traveling from Huntington to Ohio University in Athens,” Dennis Stewart, gallery coordinator, said. “I’m impressed with that. She first caught my attention as an artist when we had a chance conversation at the art opening of a mutual friend. We had both read a book called ‘Honeybee Democracy’ and were both interested in hive collapse. At that time, I took a peek at her work on her website and was very impressed. I very seldom exhibit the work of an artist still working on their degrees, but rather like to watch the work mature. A little after she received her degree, I took another look at her work and offered her an exhibit possibility.”
Stewart claimed that once he saw the extent of her ability, he couldn’t pass up showcasing her talent.
“I might mention that this work is very different from other artworks. Where we experience a painting from one place and several views as we walk around a sculpture, Melissa’s work is an installation. With an installation the viewer is surrounded by the work of art. The viewer must walk into and through the work. They are surrounded in the work,” Stewart explained. “Melissa’s work is like walking through lily ponds.”
The McCloud exhibition will run until October 29. The next exhibition will take over on November 5, with works by Kaname Takada.
The Ohio University Southern Campus features artwork in the Dingus Technology Center in room D111 at 1804 Liberty Avenue, Ironton, Ohio. The Dingus Technology Center welcomes guests to view the artwork from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03