Pay Attention: Slowhand at Worthington Yards
The process wonks bloom all over the walls in Slowhand, a new exhibit at the YARDS Project, a venue tucked down a side alley between West 6th and West 9th, around the corner from St. Clair Avenue.
Weavers who unweave first, seedpods encased in copper, the fevered discipline of cut paper fantasies, and empathy revealed by charcoal around the white of an eye—these works gladly embrace a variety of techniques that share one attribute: rigorous, demanding processes that force both artist and viewer to slow down.
“Slowhand,” the show’s theme, comes from Eric Clapton’s practice of personally restringing his guitar while performing, adding long pauses in the middle of a set and inspiring audience members to break into a slow hand clap. It’s also a nod to the late Joe Sroka, founding partner of Zygote Press, exacting technician, and lodestar for Liz Maugans, director of the YARDS Project and curator of the Dalad Collection.
“I admire processes of work that are measured, thoughtful, and often rigorous,” says Maugans. “Slowhand is a way for all of us to slow down; it’s a relief from the bombardment of images on the nightly news and the endless churn of Twitter.”
Maugans curated the show like a diverse dinner party: emerging, midcareer, and legacy artists sit down together and the conversation never falters. Those invited are Laurie Addis, Kate Budd, Ryn Clarke, Jill Yanik, Eisert, Bob Herbst, Myra Johnson, Nancy Schwartz-Katz, Jacquie Wynn Kennedy, Frank Oriti, Theadis Reagins, Noel Reifel, Katy Richards, Adrienne Slane, and Judy Takacs.
Take your own place at the table and enjoy the intricate dialog; we only have room for a few appetizers:
Theadis Reagins’ luminous portraits reveal wisdom and technique far beyond his age: he’s 17, and has been practicing art for a whopping two years. Reagins brings a devotion to his subjects that reveals intimate moments with empathy, both in his large acrylic canvases and finely detailed charcoal drawings.
Over the past two years, Laurie Addis paid close attention while hunkered down in quarantine. Her textiles are first woven, next painted with dyes, then unwoven, and finally woven back again. Unpack, unpick, replenish, redo, build again—all so carefully, balancing color and pattern.
Photographer Bob Herbst immersed himself in photogravure, a picky chemical process that produces images that are simultaneously soft and sharp. His intensive process captures temporal moments small and grand: from a head of wheat to solar flares.
Much more awaits, all with the inward focus to detail: lost wax casts of objects of unknown use (Budd), joyous dolls embellished with infinite stiches and beads (Johnson), ephemeral flowers that melt and freeze simultaneously (Clarke), embossed wormhole casts from discarded manuscripts (Reifel).
Deep work, slowly made and slowly viewed, results in revelation.
See for yourself: The YARDS Project has its next Art Ventures event on Saturday, 4/9, 10 am–12 noon (see the gallery and hear from artist Frank Oriti, followed by a tour of his Lakewood studio). Or stop by for open gallery hours on Thursday, 4/14, 5–7 pm. The gallery is also open by appointment (firstname.lastname@example.org); you may also buzz the management company of the building between 10 am–3 pm, Monday-Friday for gallery access.
March 10 – April 26, 2022
725 Johnson Court
Cleveland, Ohio 44113