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Featured Unmuseum Artists
SeeSawSeen: Invisible Ink and 3d Art by Rick Mallette
Did you know that you can trick your eyes? Fooling our eyes into seeing something that isn’t there is called an optical illusion. Optical illusions are part of a branch of science called optics which studies how light works. Many artists are interested in optics because art is often tied to what we see.
Local artist Rick Mallette has created these two site-specific wall drawings to help us explore how we see. This cartoon-like mural might look a little blurry because of the overlapping red and blue lines. When you look at it with the 3D glasses, does the drawing look like it is floating in the air? This is an optical illusion–Mallette uses 3D glasses and a special drawing technique to create the illusion of depth. Recently many movies have featured 3D technology, but 3D is a technique that dates back to the late 19th century.
The other mural is harder to find because it uses a special ink that can not be seen in normal white light – the only light the human eye can detect. You can only see this drawing by using the ultraviolet lights that are hanging next to the mural. Did you know that this kind of ink has a long history of use by spies? Can you think of any serious ways that invisible ink might be used to communicate? Now can you think of some fun ways?
Rick Mallette was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. He studied art at Western Michigan University (BFA) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA). Mallette lived and worked in Chicago from 1990 to 2001 and moved to Cincinnati in 2002 where he continues to create and exhibit art.
ArtWorks and Able Projects
Stay Up! Cincinnati
Local artists Ali Calis and Ryan Little of Able Projects, and a team of five teen Apprentice Artists from ArtWorks, created Stay Up! Cincinnati, an interactive mural for the Contemporary Arts Center's UnMuseum. The exhibition runs through October 31, 2010.
Working in the style of street artist Shepard Fairey - using techniques such as screenprinting, painting, stenciling and wheat pasting – Stay Up! Cincinnati connects with another exhibition, Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand, currently on view in the 4th and 5th floor galleries.
The mixed-media installation honors Cincinnati's history by showcasing recognizable, but not always well-known, Cincinnatians such as Ezzard Charles, Annie Oakley, Aaron Pryor and Doris Day. Just like Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand, in addition to the mural in the museum, the team will create an external mural on ArtWorks' new Over-the-Rhine headquarters.
Founded in 1996, ArtWorks is a non-profit arts organization that connects artists of all ages with opportunities in the arts through inspiring apprenticeships, community partnerships, and public art. ArtWorks pairs teens with professional artists to make innovative art to enrich the Greater Cincinnati community. To date, the ArtWorks has provided job opportunities for more than 2,200 teen Apprentice Artists and 400 professional artists. ArtWorks is funded in part by the Fine Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council and the City of Cincinnati.
UnMuseum programs and artists are sponsored in part by the Charles H. Dater Foundation , Josephine Schell Russell Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee, and The Ladislas and Vilma Segoe Foundation.
Cedric Michael Cox
Soul within Structure
When did you first realize you wanted to become an artist?
Cedric Michael Cox: I first became interested in art as a child. Like most children new to the world around them, I had the passion to put my interpretation of the world on paper. As a youngster, I was inspired by watching my father sketching at the dinner table before and after supper. I would carefully watch how he would start and finish a composition. Our home was filled with poster prints of Van Gogh and Alberto Giacometti. In elementary school I was recognized for my artistic ability, and art served as a way for me to meet new people who I never would have made contact with. I soon wanted to become an artist.
What steps did you take to become an artist?
CMC: Approaching college, the only field of interest that inspired me was the visual arts. When I attended The University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture Art and Planning, 'I was among the students celebrated for their secondary school artistic talent.’ I was unsure where I would fit in but I did. My experience at DAAP was very rewarding. I had the privilege of studying under professors Terrance Corbin, Frank Herrmann and Wayne Enstice. While attending the University, I was awarded a fellowship to study at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. After graduation, I began exhibiting my work around the city in group and solo exhibitions.
What artists have influenced your work?
CMC: As my work evolved, so have my influences. In primary and secondary school, my work rendered the same level of intensity with respect to geometric quality. In college, I began studying artists such as Franz Marc and Fernand Leger, for the depth their work displayed. Initially, I was heavily influenced by Italian futurists like Umberto Boccioni and Gino, I am presently studying artists such as Paul Klee, Wosene Worke Kosrof and John Biggers.
What is your favorite media and technique?
CMC: Painting and drawing are my favorite mediums to work with. I use collage as a way to quickly compose compositions and color.
Your work often has an architectural quality to it, why is that?
CMC: My work is influenced by my immediate surroundings surroundings. The neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine is my muse and also lends inspiration to my use of geometrical fragmented forms.
Tell me a little bit about your teaching experience.
CMC: Throughout my career I have executed art educational projects at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati Art Museum, the Weston Gallery at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Visionaries and Voices, ArtWorks, and the Contemporary Arts Center.
I have also visited public and private schools as a guest artist sharing with students my work and experience as a visual artist. In 2006, I designed and conducted an art educational program called Art Shapes Us. Art Shapes Us is a program that brings together high school and middle school students from various educational institutions and backgrounds for a 6 to 8 week art course. Art Shapes Us will return to the Weston with a theme based on my new paintings that will be exhibited in September for their 2010/2011 season.
I believe if you are passionate about what you do, you will want to share your passion with others. This idea has led me to become involved in art educational projects, encouraging others to follow there dreams and aspirations whether in be art related or not. My continuous mission as an emerging visual artist is to create work that expands my interests, and also to find innovative ways of attracting new and inspired audiences to my work and to the arts in general. In order for the arts to thrive in our society, it is vital for the arts community to provide diverse educational programming that will allow art appreciation to flourish.
What inspired your exhibition "Soul within Structure?"
CMC: The work in this exhibition is inspired by my interest in the urban cityscape. The architecture of Over-The-Rhine always inspired me but it wasn’t until I moved to OTR in 2000 that the city became my still life. The urban environment fueled by my personal aesthetic for the fragmentation of form and the city quickly became my subject. The vivid ruins of OTR are my muse. The quick gesture graffiti tags against the brick patterns on walls is a vision that repeats in my mind when I look up at the tallest buildings and in the cracks in the ground below my feet.
Why did you choose the title “Soul with a Structure?”
CMC: The title “Soul within Structure”, speaks to my fascination with the urban cityscape and the pulsating rhythm that I feel when my eyes travel as a walk down the streets in my neighborhood of Over- The Rhine. The grid like structures that embody my compositions is the playground in which forms shift in and out of the cubic arena. This movement is reflective of music. My work is a spiritual testimony to my experience living in the inner city and the music and cityscape that subconsciously arouse my senses as I walk down the street to my studio, eager to create the visual rhythms that are in my stride.
Cedric Michael Cox is a Cincinnati-based artist known for his paintings and drawings, which fall between surrealism and abstraction. His work is a testimony to his experience living in the inner city with themes ranging from mythical literature to the relationships between body and music, and the urban cityscape. Cox received his bachelor degree in Fine Arts in 1999 at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. While attending the University, he was awarded a fellowship to study at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. After graduation, he began exhibiting his work around the city in group and solo exhibitions. His work has been exhibited locally and regionally.
His paintings are in the permanent corporate collection at the First Valley Office Complex and the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, his work has been published in gallery catalogs and in the third addition of the college text book Drawing: Space, form and expression. Cox has recently been rewarded the City of Cincinnati Individual Artist Grant. He is currently working on new paintings that will be featured at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in January of 2010. Cox will have an exhibition at The Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery for their 2010/2011 season.
Beauty Queen, Super Hero and the Peanut
Beauty Queen, Super Hero and the Peanut is a site-related interactive installation within the Sara M. & Patricia A. Vance Education Center: The UnMuseum . The installation consists of three larger-than-life marionettes wearing narrative quilt costumes. These whimsical figures represent three aspects of Kravetz's childhood. The Beauty Queen marionette symbolizes one of her childhood aspirations. Kravetz's secret desire was to become not just any beauty queen but the Honey Bee Queen at the Lebanon Honey Festival. However, this was not her only childhood dream, she also desired to become a superhero. This wish was tied to one of her dreams. In this dream she took Batman (Adam West) to her school for show and tell. Then all of her classmates suddenly wanted to befriend her, so that they too could spend time with Batman. It should come as no surprise, that she soon began to fantasize about becoming a superhero herself complete with super powers. Kravetz spent her childhood not as a beauty queen or even a super hero, she instead earned the nickname Peanut that referred to her small stature.
This installation will transport the visitors to a time when the future seemed only limited by ones imagination while still embracing reality. So take a moment to consider what you would like to be when you grow up, try on a costume, make the marionettes dance with the interactive pulley system, or read the stories on the marionettes costumes.
Pam Kravetz is an artist and art educator born, raised and living in Cincinnati. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Cincinnati in fine arts and her graduate degree in Art Education is from Miami University. Kravetz teaches visual arts at Harrison High School, is a Master teacher for the Cincinnati Art Museum, a project manager for the ArtWorks program, teaches at Uptown arts, and is an educator for The Art Academy of Cincinnati's Community Education program. Her work is in numerous private collections, including Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Proctor and Gamble's World Headquarters. She has been in several group and solo exhibitions both regional and nationally. Kravetz lives with her husband Craig, her son Max, their dog Lenny Kravetz, and cats Honey and Willabee and are visited often by Craig's daughters Erin and Jill.
Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo said she made art about herself because she knows herself best. I make art about myself because I like myself best. My quilts, dolls and clay pieces are all self-portraits. They tell stories about my life. Once at a gallery opening someone asked me if I was a self-taught artist (which I took as a compliment). I responded by saying I was the most over educated self-taught artist I know. I have been taught by the quilt artists Susie Shie and Jimmy Accord. They gave me the license to create work that reaches from me and my self experiences. I have been inspired by visionary artists Simon Sparrows and Amena Robinson. I also have a strong background in ceramics thanks to Roy Cartwright and Dennis Tobin. So, as you can see I am not self-taught. In my artwork I strive to create a childlike whimsy, honesty and playfulness. I take a simple situation and tell the story through my quilts. My art uses sight, touch and sound to create an overall impression. My work celebrates the beauty in the chaos of the everyday.
— Pam Kravetz