Local art galleries feature new summer exhibits

Morgan Galloway

Students looking for a way to escape the heat this summer can explore the exhibitions at the Kent State School of Art Galleries and the Akron Art Museum.

The School of Art has four gallery locations that feature local, national and international artworks. The exhibits range from quilts to more contemporary pieces like miniature books and wood and glass sculptures. Admission to these galleries is free and open to the public.

School of Art Gallery

The School of Art gallery, located on the second floor of the art building, is currently the home to two international exhibitions until July 29.

Howard Turner, director of galleries, said the School of Art gallery is often used to showcase a variety of artwork from different regions.

The first exhibition is Art Quilts by Odette Tolksdorf, a South African artist. The quilts are machine- and hand-sewn with brightly colored fabrics and threads that highlight the different cultures in Tolksdorf’s hometown of Durban.

The second exhibition, coordinated by professor Hui-Chu Ying from the Meyers School of Art at the University of Akron, is Monumental Ideas in Miniature Books. This exhibition features miniature books made by artists from seven different countries.

“These books fascinate me,” Kent resident Carly Fidel said. “I can’t read half of them, but I feel like I know what the artist is trying to tell me.”

Ying said in her coordinator statement that the exhibition is a response to the tough economic situation worldwide.

Downtown Gallery

The Downtown Gallery at 141 East Main St. will feature Local Terrain until Saturday, June 25.

Local Terrain features the work of Kent State students. The pieces include paintings, photographs, sculptures and drawings that use and showcase materials from the earth, curator Lesley Sickle said. The exhibit also includes a ring made from a human tooth. While many of the pieces are for sale, the tooth ring is not.

Michener Gallery

The Michener Gallery, located on the second floor of the University Library, showcases artwork from the School of Art’s permanent collection.

Currently, the gallery is featuring an exhibition honoring Ambroise Vollard. Vollard was a Parisian art dealer in the early 20th century and is credited for helping Pablo Picasso get his career moving, Turner said.

The gallery has artworks by Maurice Vlaminck, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Georges Rouault. These pieces are on display until the end of July.

Eells Gallery

Beginning in July, the Eells Gallery in the Blossom Music Center will showcase textile pieces like quilts and other fabrics.

In August, Kent State alumnus Mark Matthews will feature his blown glass.

Turner said the exhibitions at the Eells Gallery go through a careful selection process because it’s an outdoor space and many works of art are too sensitive to the elements.

“Short of dropping it, there’s not much you can do that will ruin glass,” Turner said in justification of his choice of Matthews.

The Eells Gallery is open two hours before The Cleveland Symphony plays and during intermission.

Akron Art Museum

The Akron Art Museum on South High Street currently has three exhibitions.

The first is Kaleidoscope Quilts by Paula Nadelstern, who used textiles to create large and small quilts that resemble looking through a kaleidoscope lens.

The second is All-Star Jazz by photographer Herman Leonard. The photographs are all in black and white and include subjects such as Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.

The third is Fifty Works for Ohio from the collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. It features a collection of drawings, paintings and sculptures that span more than 40 years.

Museum admission costs $7 for adults, $5 for students with valid identification.

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Morgan Galloway at [email protected].