AAWR Presents Graphic
This summer the AAWR is proud to present GRAPHIC: The Counter Culture of Cartoons, Comics and Graphic Novels. The exhibition, which will be held concurrently with FRONT International, was created to provide an important regional and thematic counterpoint to the massive, multi-city triennial for contemporary art.
AAWR Executive Director Mindy Tousley explains, “Graphic is intended to juxtapose low/high art and regional/non-regional artists. By holding this show concurrently, we are reinforcing our position as advocates for local artists,” and as supporters of all forms of art, regardless of their position in the hierarchy of the fine art world.
The exhibition will feature a diverse survey of work by regional artists from the 1930s until present day and will illustrate Northeast Ohio’s influential role in the development of this uniquely American art form. On display will be the work of such pivotal artists as Robert Crumb, Derf, Gary Dumm, Laura Dumm, James Giar, Archived Artist Marvin Jones, Jake Kelly, Gerry Shamray and Siegel & Shuster.
Graphic will be co-curated by Gary and Laura Dumm, two Cleveland artists with long histories in comics and commercial art. For over 35 years, Gary collaborated on American Splendor and published his cartoons in Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times, the Village Voice and France’s Le Monde. Laura owned her own graphic arts business for over 20 years and has widely exhibited pop-art style of pattern-based painting.
Laura explains that though comics have faced discrimination from the high-art establishment, the possibilities of the genre are meaningful and infinite.
“Comics fall somewhere in the twilight zone between fine art and the cinema…. They are basically finished storyboards for movies of the mind. The artwork has no rules…. Although there may be a commercial aspect to their creation…there is often the commonality of creative inspiration and dedication that is evident in the work, as long as the viewer does not dismiss it out of hand as low-brow…. Any art that the viewer enjoys is ‘fine’ art.”
Harvey Pekar, the author of American Splendor, often said this about comics: “With the combination of words and pictures you can do anything.”
In July, Graphic will use words and pictures to do two very important things: appreciate local artists and celebrate undervalued art forms.
Continuing in this vein of regional advocacy, the Artists Archives is also pleased to offer our program, “The History of Street Art” with Roger Gastman and Bob Peck on Saturday, August 18.
This two-part presentation will cover both the regional graffiti/street art scene and the broader history of street art on a national and international level.
Cleveland artist Bob Peck began his long career with street art and is considered one of the region’s leading experts in the genre. Peck has exhibited his abstract, graffiti-inspired paintings in galleries for over a decade and has been creating commissioned public art and murals for nearly twenty years.
Peck’s portion of the presentation will focus on the history of Cleveland graffiti from the 1980s to present day. It will showcase photos of regional work, spotlight local artists/crews and even include a few harrowing stories of “close calls and sketchy situations” while painting.
Roger Gastman, one of graffiti’s foremost international authorities, will place the regional street art scene into a larger national and global context. Gastman is a curator, graffiti historian, urban anthropologist and collector who Forbes says “has made a career of being the cultural connector between street artists and the art world.” Gastman founded and co-published Swindle magazine with Shepard Fairey, co-authored The History of American Graffiti and co-produced the Oscar-nominated Banksy documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. His most recent project, Beyond the Streets (BTS) is the premier exhibition of graffiti, street art and beyond which will open to the public in Los Angeles on May 6, 2018.
“The History of Street Art” with Roger Gastman and Bob Peck is free and open to the public, courtesy of a matching grant by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC). Please register on Eventbrite to attend by visiting www.artistsarchives.org or call our offices, 216.721.9020 to reserve your spot.
SZALAY/TAKÁCS SECRETS | MAY 24–JULY 14
RECEPTION 5:30–8PM THURSDAY, MAY 24
GRAPHIC: THE COUNTER CULTURE OF CARTOONS, COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS IN NORTHEAST OHIO | JULY 19–SEPTEMBER 8
RECEPTION 5:30–8PM THURSDAY, JULY 19
ART BITES: PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES | “HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS & INFLUENCE STRANGERS: SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THE ARTIST” WITH JUDY TAKÁCS | 6:30–8PM WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6
SATELLITE SHOW: CITY ARTISTS AT WORK: THE HISTORY OF AN ART COMMUNITY | JUNE 23–JULY 22
Mansfield Art Center | Mansfield
RECEPTION 3–5PM SUNDAY, JUNE 24
SATELLITE SHOW: ART INTERPRETS ALZHEIMER’S | JULY 9–AUGUST 26
Dairy Barn Arts Center | Athens
SATELLITE SHOW: NEWNOW 2018 | SEPTEMBER 6–OCTOBER 11
RECEPTION 6–8:30PM THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
Deadline for entry: July 1. See artistsarchives.org for details!
Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
1834 East 123rd Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44106