After the Pedestal, the 6th Annual of Smaller Sculpture from the Region

June 11 – July 31, 2010

Secrets: A Panel with Artists Courtney Kessel, Michelle Murphy, and Jacquelynn Sullivan and Juror Astria Suparak and Closing Reception in the Sculpture Courtyard

Read Dan Tranberg’s review in The Plain Dealer

Internationally recognized Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery director Astria Suparak juried and curated After the Pedestal, the 6th Annual of Smaller Sculpture from the Region to include 19 sculptures, an installation, and a performance piece by 17 artists of the greater region.  In the exhibition are artworks by Ohio artists Kate Budd and Mark Soppeland of Akron, Robert Cook of Philo, Alexander Draven of Mogadore, Elizabeth A. Emery and Michelle Murphy of Cleveland, Courtney Kessel, Ben Stout, and Natalie Tornatore of Athens, Janet Macpherson and Jane Tuss of Columbus, and Joshua Parker of Stow, Indianan Andrew Perry Davis of Bloomington and Gregory Steel of Carmel, Kentuckians Cynthia Reynolds of Louisville and Willard Tucker of Lexington, and Michiganian Jacquelynn Sullivan of East Lansing.

Juror Astria Suparak noted, "Several traits emerged in this year’s After the Pedestal submissions. Rather than an attempt to create an overarching theme for this exhibition, you’ll see certain characteristics throughout: subversions (a steampunk iPod, comical S&M veggies, creepy Victorian busts, sizzling electronics, ominous statuettes, and voyeuristic trickery), enigmas (baffling abstractions, elegant piles, and a high-wire balance of  sugar), earnestness (tender elegies, delicate and sensuous wax carving, formal wood collage, participatory fortune-telling), and humor(abstracted facial hair, miniaturized machismo, charming cartoonish characters, and an allegorical tableau)."

The sculptures, true to the exhibiton’s title, range in size from 1 ¼ inches to 3 feet in height. They include the eclectic range of often mixed materials in which many contemporary sculptors are working –  wax, found wood, plaster, earthenware and porcelain, fabric  and paper, cinder blocks, foam, repurposed appliances, elastic and crystallized sugar, and miniature cars and HO train figures. The exhibition presents a humorously acerbic and, at moments, gently touching look at American life and its material accumulations, the natural world, the cartoon world, and the art world of aesthetics and museum going obsessions.

Small sculpture can often seem precious or sentimental – not these at The Sculpture Center. Root vegetables hang from the ceiling and walls in sadomasochistic bondage. A glowing toaster leers agressively. Porcelain camels sport red human heads, and an earthenware bust of Napoleon presents him as a pompous Goofy.  Visitors stoop to peer into a peephole in a pedestal to find an entire interior gallery of artwork. In protection price after the fall miniature people in wheel chairs gingerly pass by an apple surrounded by coil wire and soldiers. A precarious stack of stoneware, patterned plaster, and wood blocks balances materials of disparate properties before a beautiful blue print wallpaper of flowers and blue birds. A perfect replica in wax of a wood ear fungus rests delicately on a shelf, while eyebrows, 3 of urethane and 3 of human hair, are pinned to the wall like botanical specimens.

About the juror Astria Suparak
Astria Suparak is the director of Carnegie Mellon University's Miller Gallery, where she curated the touring survey exhibition Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with the Yes Men and Your Town, Inc.: Big Box Reuse with Julia Christensen and co-organized the Contestational Cartographies Symposium. She has curated exhibitions, screenings, and events at The Kitchen in New York, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Eyebeam, Anthology Film Archives, P.S.1, FotoFest Biennial in Houston, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City, Participant Inc., Yale University, and The Liverpool Biennial, in addition to numerous alternative spaces. Over the last ten years she has presented 300 shows in ten countries. Suparak was the director of the media series at Pratt Institute from 1997 to 2000 and of Syracuse University's Warehouse Gallery from 2006-2007. Suparak’s drawings have been published in feminist journal LTTR, photo essay book I NY, British art magazine Black Diamond, and Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents. Her writing has appeared in NY Arts, The Independent, and Heeb, and in the upcoming anthologies Live Cinema: A Contemporary Reader and A Microcinema Primer: A Brief History of Small Cinemas.

About the annual juried exhibition, After the Pedestal
In its sixth year, this annual juried exhibition of smaller sculpture from the region is open to all artists of Ohio, its contiguous states, and Ontario, Canada, and may include three-dimensional artwork for a pedestal, the floor, wall, or ceiling, as well as performance and video art that involve objects. Each year The Sculpture Center chooses a juror of national reputation to increase the exposure of the artists of our region and to put before our audiences some of the finest three-dimensional artwork of our region. Past jurors were Richard Hunt (On a Pedestal, 2005), Viktor Schrenkengost (On a Pedestal, 2006), Don Harvey (On A Pedestal and Off The Wall, 2007), Gregory Amenoff (On A Pedestal and Off The Wall, 2008), and Paola Morsiani (After the Pedestal, 2009). 

2011’s call for artists will be posted in early 2011. Join our Evite list to receive advance notification or check back at our Call 4 Artists.

“The Best Location” Still Searching: A Woven Reflection
The Cleveland Arts Prize Goes Live: A free multidisciplinary performance in the Euclid Avenue Gallery
Listen to the performers discuss their upcoming event with Dee Perry on Around Noon WVIZ

Three celebrated artists share tales of power, longing, heartache, and joys in ancestral travels and searches for “The Best Location.”  Prolific sculptor/installation artist Johnny Coleman, renowned choreographer/dancer Dianne McIntyre, and insightful poet/novelist Bernard Matambo join forces to compose a series of intentional gestures referencing the bold traverses of African descended peoples. With sound design, dance, spoken word, and theatrically sculpted materials, the three will lead visitors on travels through the beautiful Sculpture Center. The journey culminates with interwoven contemplative reflections on Cleveland. This one-time event, part of The Cleveland Arts Prize Goes Live, is in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Cleveland Arts Prize of which Johnny Coleman and Dianne McIntyre are recipients.

This event is in memory of Dr. Wendell Logan, Director of Jazz Studies, Oberlin College.

“The Best Location” Still Searching: A Woven Reflection
Artists and performers
Bernard Matambo, Dianne McIntyre, and Johnny Coleman (l to r)

Image: Janna Powell

about the artists
Johnny Coleman (CAP 2003) is Chair of the Art department and Professor of Art and African American Studies at Oberlin College.  He received a BFA at Otis Art Institute and MFA from UC San Diego. His installation art and sound design have been created at galleries and museums in Cleveland including MOCA Cleveland and in Akron, Buffalo, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Chicago and other venues nationally.  As a performance artist and set designer he appeared at Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY, and his work is included in numerous private collections.  His work springs from the particularities of his personal experience and as homage to family, community, and noted caretakers of the culture.  Raised in California, his foreparents are from Boston, North Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, and West Africa.

Dianne McIntyre (CAP 2006) is an independent choreographer creating works for concert dance and theatre.  A student of dance in Cleveland as a child, she received a BFA from Ohio State University.  A 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, she directed her own dance-music ensemble in New York which toured internationally.  McIntyre creates dances for university and professional ensembles including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  Her theatre work has been on Broadway and numerous regional theaters in Cleveland, Washington, DC, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, St. Louis, Syracuse, and La Jolla.  She returned to Cleveland in 2003 after residing in New York since 1970.  Her foreparents are from Virginia, New York state, South Carolina, Jamaica, and Guinea, West Africa.

Bernard Matambo is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College.  He received his BA from Oberlin and MFA from Brown University.  He was born and raised in Zimbabwe.  His provocative use of language and juxtaposition of realms and voices parallels his diverse cultural experiences. He traces his ancestry from across southern Africa, including Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique.

About the collaboration and other The Cleveland Arts Prize Goes Live performances
This performance is part of a multi-venue celebration, The Cleveland Arts Prize Goes Live, to draw attention to the excellence of the arts in Cleveland as seen through the lens of the Cleveland Arts Prize. The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA), SPACES, and The Sculpture Center are presenting three multi-venue programs featuring newly created, collaborative work by CAP winners working in a variety of media and other outstanding  artists not yet CAP winners.

Other collaborative events include “Motion in Three Parts: Sound, Body, Image,” performed July 14 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and “Seeking Radiance” at  SPACES  on Sept. 24 through Oct. 3, 2010. Also, through March 13, 2011, the Cleveland Museum of Art is exhibiting works by visual Arts Prize winners from the museum’s collection, In Honor of the Cleveland Arts Prize, in the upper East Wing Galleries.

Funding for these performances is provided by The Gund Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, and a partnership with WVIZ/WCPN/Ideastream.  All performances are free and open to the public.

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The Sculpture Center is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to the advancement of the careers of emerging Ohio sculptors and the preservation of Ohio outdoor sculpture as a means to provide support for artists and to effect the enrichment, education, enjoyment, and visual enhancement of the Cleveland community and greater region.

The Sculpture Center receives generous support from Toby Devan Lewis, the Kulas Foundation, the John P. Murphy Foundation, the Bernice and David E. Davis Art Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, studioTECHNE|architects, The Nathan and Fannye Shafran Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, and individual donors to Friends of The Sculpture Center. It receives additional generous public funding from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council. 

Gallery hours: Wednesday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 pm, Saturday 12 noon to 4 pm or by prior appointment (Free Parking, Handicapped accessible)