The Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center (SOMACC) is currently welcoming the community to tour its halls and take in the minds of local artists, through the paintings that make Museum Educator Emily Uldrich’s first curated exhibition, River Currents, a unique juxtaposition of regional talent.
Artistic Director Charlotte Gordon only recently asked her protegee of two years if she would be interested in curating a local show, and the educator jumped at the opportunity.
“Emily has embraced the curatorial project and did an excellent job. She has demonstrated that she has quite the eye for artwork and for drawing threads through artists’ work that appears to be very different,” Gordon explained.
Uldrich’s exhibition includes three artists, Fatima Azimova, Todd Reynolds, and Don Blevins. She expressed a desire to showcase more artists, but had to be careful in creating a seamless blend of styles, because she sees curating as an art in design itself.
“Charlotte asked me to curate a show and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, so I wanted to give it a try,” Uldrich said. “It was great to look at all of the work and think about how it would all fit together. I had a few other ideas, though. Like, I wanted to get Charlie Haskins in, but I know his work is different from the other artists.”
Uldrich explained that one of her favorite parts of curating a show was a more social aspect.
“I think all three artists are fantastic,” Uldrich said. “It was a real privilege to get to know the artists better, check out their studios, and look through the bulk of their work. It is impressive to see what great talent there is in Portsmouth.”
The three artists are ones that Uldrich explained that she has wanted to work with for some time. She took classes with Reynolds, has been actively watching over Azimova’s career, and has enjoyed looking over Blevins’ public displays over the years.
Azimova’s portraiture is often seen in the museum’s cream of the crop and Shawnee State’s faculty showcases. While she has been on display in many venues, Azimova said that she always appreciates the opportunity to show her work to her community.
“I’m honored to show my work at the Southern Ohio Museum, with such talented artists like Don Blevins and my close friend, and colleague, Todd Reynolds, who’s work I admire,” Azimova said. “I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the local artistic community. My recent work was inspired by the classical art of Renaissance, in Italy, where I traveled this Summer. Portraiture has always interested me and my most recent work focuses on the dialog between generations.”
River Currents will be showcased in the Kricker Gallery until January 15.
“Guests have really appreciated the quality of art in the show. We have work that ranges all the way from abstract to figurative,” Uldrich explained. “We want to show the community that our mission isn’t only about bringing in amazing artwork, and maintaining permanent collections, but also showcasing the artwork created by our very own local artists.”
The Southern Ohio Museum is at 825 Gallia Street, in the heart of Portsmouth’s downtown area, and has two entrances. The entrance on Gallia leads to the lobby and gift shop, while the Sixth Street entrance features a handicapped ramp. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, from 1-5 p.m; closed on Sundays, Mondays and major holidays. A museum official can be reached by phone at 740-354-5629.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.