Emily Davis Gallery’s “Continuity” has Cross-Generational Appeal
Everyone can remember an art teacher from their past. Whether you were sticking Elmer’s glue on dry macaroni or applying opaque streaks of watercolor to cardstock, creative expression for most people is associated with early development. For those who took art classes in college, the artistic process became gradually more serious and intense. Often exhibitions focus on the talent of university students but the teachers harbor a unique perspective, acting both as mentors and creators. Art professors are in constant examination of quality, skill, and context of contemporary art in and outside of the classroom.
Continuity: Recent Works by Myers School of Art Emeritus Faculty takes a close look at what art professors create after retirement. Housed inside Folk Hall, The Emily Davis Gallery is an educational art gallery that services both the public and students. The artists in the current exhibition, represents a combined 337 years of service to the University of Akron. Many of these faculty were instrumental in expanding their respective departments within the school of art. Works on view span everything from ethereal landscapes and politically changed works to found objects, collage and abstract installation pieces. For all of these artists, they were creating works long before and long after their teaching careers.
Two of the most startling works in the show are When Reason Sleeps #1 and #2 by George Danhires. Taking into account the current political conversations, the viewer is confronted with a ghastly image of Donald Trump and a figure in a Klu Klux Klan costume. Much of George’s engaging works of art symbolize and pay tribute to the vitality of people and highlight facets of community life. His contribution to Continuity stresses the importance of social political messages and freedom of expression in contemporary art. One can only assume that in the next four years, artists will continue to investigate themes around the controversies of the Trump administration. George taught Drawing at the University of Akron from 1982 – 1998.
Andrew Borowiec’s photography often investigates industry in America by documenting the interiors and exteriors of factories, acting as “portraits” of both the past and present. His artwork has a focus on the industrial heartbeat that once dominated the lives of many Americans. Today in the rust belt, images of factories resonate a lot of emotion and represents both loss and rebirth in contemporary life. In Finishing Machine, Homer Laughlin China, Newell, West Virginia, Borowiec provides an evenhanded vision of chaos with his muted color palette and a disquieting composition that illustrates subtle social commentary on American life. Andrew taught photography at Myers School of Art from 1984 – 2014. His M.F.A. in photography is from Yale University.
Continuity is on view through January 27, 2017 with many other strong works in the exhibition by celebrated artists Don Harvey, Robert Huff, Dennis Kleidon, James Lenavitt, Dennis Meyer, Penny Rakoff, Mark Soppeland, Ron Taylor, Vlada Vukadinovic, Donna Webb, and Tom Webb. There is an artist’s reception that is free and open to the public on January 19th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. with artist’s remarks at 6:00 p.m. The University is closed from December 26, 2016 – January 2, 2017 for the holidays. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. The gallery is located at 150 East Exchange Street inside of Folk Hall on the University of Akron campus.
More information about exhibitions or events: 330-972-6030 or visit http://www.uakron.edu/art/galleries