The Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center is thrilled to have opened their doors on a new exhibition of crafts forged by regional artists throughout the next month. The show of talent is called the “Best of 2017,” an annual juried craft exhibition organized by the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus.
The exhibit showcases current craft work made by regional artists. It comes fresh from Columbus, after an opening exhibit that showcased 51 artists and 70 works, which were juried from over 200 statewide submissions.
According to the Ohio Craft Museum, Juror Bill Griffith chose “objects that were well crafted and designed, technically proficient, and that resonated within my personal aesthetics and visual history. The works that I found myself viewing and enjoying several times over became my favorites. The objects that remained most exciting and fascinating were then selected for awards of excellence.”
The museum is fond of this showcase, because of the wide gamut of interest in the community, in regards to the mediums presented. Gordon is convinced that there is something for everyone in this show.
“Within the past several decades, the lines that define American art and craft have blurred, opening the doors for many artists to reach beyond the traditions of their media,” comments Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center Artistic Director Charlotte Gordon. “The results are compelling— quilts that include digitally printed fabrics, jewelry generated from 3-D printers, chairs that can be seen as sculpture, and sculptures that can be worn as jewelry.”
Also included in the exhibit are objects made from ceramics, glass, wrought iron, and leather.
According to Gordon, most guests leave bragging on the craft showcase, calling many pieces favorites. Many of the raved about projects include Susan Szabo’s “Sushi Brooches,” made of silver and enameling, that, according to Gordon, look good enough to taste; Stuart Gair’s “Pitcher” and “Teapot” are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, as well as completely functional; and Dan Molyneax’s “Caldras” is an imposing ceramic sculpture reminiscent of a raging bull.
A staff favorite of the craft showcase is “Flame,” a crucible of ceramic and metal by Tom Marino.
Local art enthusiasts Donna Hartlage and daughter Bailey Hartlage toured the show as soon as it opened and have bragged on it since.
“My daughter and I really enjoyed spending a summer afternoon viewing the exhibit,” Donna Hartlage explained. “I always like this particular exhibit because there is so much variety and I love seeing the talent we have right here in our own state. I’m usually drawn to pottery for some reason, but, this time, my favorites were the stitched pieces by Mary Ann Tipple. Her quilts looked like portraits until you took a closer look. She printed photos on fabric and then quilted over them. The detail was amazing!”
The Southern Ohio Museum will be showcasing the “Best of 2017” throughout August and closing on September 8, which was made possible thanks to generous support of the Ohio Arts Council. Many of the works are also available for sale.
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. To learn more by web, visit www.somacc.com.
Joseph Pratt is a PDT contributor. He may be reached at [email protected]