Sneak a Peek at Weston Art Gallery's Two New Exhibits

As the year comes to an end, the downtown gallery brings in two new exhibits with work that veers toward experimental

click to enlarge "Rhizome Tennessee." Sclupture by Alex Hibbitt, 2016.  Made with porcelain, felt, steel cables, magnets, 7x10x18 feet. - Courtesy of Weston Art Gallery
Courtesy of Weston Art Gallery
"Rhizome Tennessee." Sclupture by Alex Hibbitt, 2016. Made with porcelain, felt, steel cables, magnets, 7x10x18 feet.

Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery welcomes two new exhibits at the tail-end of November: Rhizome and Synthetica. Located within the Aronoff Center for the Arts, become witness as the newly-christened art pieces claim the space. As a whole, they range in style and meaning — many are made through untraditional means and veer toward the experimental.

An opening reception for both sponsored by Whole Foods and Covent Garden takes place Friday, Nov. 30 at 6-8p.m.

Here's a peek at the exhibits before they open (each runs from Friday through Jan. 27, 2019):

Alex Hibbitt: Rhizome

Look up: Suspended from the ceiling, Rhizome consists of interconnected branch-like porcelain tubes. Felt shapes interject the twists with pops of bold coloring. According to a release, the design is meant to “suggest an intricate symbiotic relationship that is continuing to evolve and expand.”

That relationship exists between the 2-D (aka the felt), 3-D (the tubes) and virtual environment — a place of intersection and overlap.

Rhizome is sponsored by Barbara and Gates Moss. If you want to hear artist Alex Hibbitt — who is also an associate professor at Ohio University — talk about her sculpture, she’ll be at the Weston Gallery Dec. 5, 7 p.m. for a presentation; admission is free.

Synthetica

This group exhibition features artists working with chemically engineered materials often used commercially that range from polyurethane rubber, plexiglass, felt, acrylic resin, polystyrene (a type of solid foam), polypropylene (a widely-used variant of plastic) and cast concrete.

click to enlarge Art by Tyler Bohm. "Cipher," 2014. Mixed media on Plexiglas, 17 x 14 x 3 inches. - Courtesy of Weston Art Gallery
Courtesy of Weston Art Gallery
Art by Tyler Bohm. "Cipher," 2014. Mixed media on Plexiglas, 17 x 14 x 3 inches.

The artwork explores possible new meaning in everyday products.

Involved artists include Columbus native Tyler Bohm, Chicago-based Bruce Riley and Cincy natives Susan Byrnes, Matt Coors, Jeffery Cortland Jones, Marc Leone, Tim McMichael and Paige Williams.

Bohm’s work is made with laser-cut plexiglass; red button-like symbols stand in stark contrast to a white background. On the edges, black forms a handle-like shape. The press release relates the work to how society is approaching artificial intelligence. It begs the question: As the pace of technology quickens, how do we cope?

In another piece, Leone — an associate professor at Northern Kentucky University — explores topographical layers. Using power tools, he cuts into his surface of paint to yield art that ultimately mirrors the archaeological process — both natural and man-made.

Williams, who serves as the Art Academy of Cincinnati academic dean, is also featured. Her work explores contradictions like “perfect/flawed, vulnerable/resilient and constant/irregular.” Multiple mediums are used, from ink to duct tape and concrete, and they are used in a plethora of ways to “celebrate a deviation from systems and precision.”

Co-sponsored by Mu Sinclaire and the Sinclaire Family Foundation, two events coincide with Synthetica. Guests can join the artists at the Weston for a conversation on Dec. 1, 2 p.m.; admission is free. On Dec. 8, the gallery is hosting a family-friendly workshop dubbed “Synthesize it” with Paige Williams. Register at westongallery.com/learn.

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