Best Served Cold: Shelley Brenner Baird, in the Galleries at CSU
When someone is murdered, it’s natural to ask why. Rarely are we astonished or perplexed when we read news reports where the motive seems to be love, hate, or money and greed. There are also atrocities by madmen and madwomen as rare and inexplicable as the people committing them. Then there are crimes with motives that read like absurd jokes, distracting us from their true horror. These are acts committed by people who have carried bundles of straw on their backs for too long, unaware of what might trigger a release of their limbic rage. It is often a result of unwitting individuals adding that last straw, snatching that last potato chip or piece of cake at the risk of being bitten or worse.
Artist Shelley Brenner Baird was reading the local newspaper and saw an article about a woman who killed her boyfriend because he ate the last piece of cake. It struck her as both sad and bewildering. She started searching for other instances of killings over food and began to explore how to present that visually. Screen-printing the stories on old cloth napkins seemed like a plan. After printing 100 napkins, Shelley felt she needed to buy or make all of the food and photograph it. In the process, she spent a lot of time at thrift stores finding dishes for the food and exploring the amazing local international food markets.
Best Served Cold is an installation of 100 photographs and 100 screen-printed napkins. Photography and screen-printing were done by Columbus, Ohio, artist Shelley Brenner Baird. Her work is created with tools developed during formal studies in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, graphic design and textiles. Shelley was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2021. Prints and mounting for the exhibit were produced by Gregoire Moulin.
Public viewing hours for the Galleries at Cleveland State University are noon to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday. The gallery is closed Sunday, Monday, and CSU holidays.
BEST SERVED COLD: SHELLEY BRENNER BAIRD | THROUGH OCTOBER 30
RECEPTION 5:30-8PM SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
THE CLEVELAND STATE
UNIVERSITY ART GALLERIES
1307 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115