The Sculpture Center's whirl of a fall season is focused on performances and exhibitions that are multi-sensory, tactile, sensual and fiber-based with a strong emphasis upon the melding of the arts and technology. Early career artist Jenny Fine's not-to-be missed September 4 performance is a haunting and out of body experience with live musicians and music composed by FiveOne Experimental Orchestra's John HC Thompson. Japanese miniature fiber sculptures are cerebrally captivating in their infinite variety. Professors Tina Cassara and David Sapp consider the line in fiber and graphite and its connotation of the narrative word. Technology-based artists //benitez_vogl and Przemyslaw Jasielski are experimenting with 3D skin patterning jewelry and "moody" machines.

Thursday, September 18
5:00 - 8:00 PM Opening of Japanese Contemporary Fiber Sculpture in Miniature | Japanese Fiber Art MINI part II and Tina Cassara and David Sapp: Threads, Lines, Traces
6:15 PM The Artists Talk: Tina Cassara and David Sapp in the Euclid Avenue Gallery
7:00 PM The Curator Talks: Dr. Hiroko Watanabe in the Main Gallery

Friday, September 19 at 4:00 PM
at the Cleveland Institute of Art Joseph M. McCullough Building
Mandel Screening Room JMC 321
Hiroko Watanabe speaks on "Textile and Culture"

Saturday, September 20 at 2 PM
at The Sculpture Center
Hiroko Watanabe talk and demonstration, "Japanese Wrapping Culture and FUROSHIKI". Audience members may work with Dr. Watanabe after the talk if they bring a square scarf or Furoshiki cloth (70 ~ 80 × 70 ~ 80 cm or 27 1/2 - 31 1/2 in. square).

September 18 - December 18, 2014
Japanese Contemporary Fiber Sculpture in Miniature
Japanese Fiber Art MINI part II
Main Gallery

READ Steven Litt's review of the exhibition in The Plain Dealer

Works from Made in Japan/50 Japanese Artists, 2013, organized by Hiroko Watanabe, Chair N.P.O. International Textile Network Japan for the 15th International Minitextile exhibition, Bratislava, Republic of Slovakia.
UL: Nobuko Koizumi, Prominence, foamed styrol, paper clay, cotton yarn, 20 x 20 x 20 cm.
UR: Takumi Ushio, Shape of life, silk, 15 x 25 x 15 cm.
LL: Misako Wakamatsu, MEMORY, hand print on linen cloth, 18 x 5 x 14 cm.
LR: Yuka Kawai, Untitled, nylon, cotton thread, 25 x 25 x 18 cm.

The Sculpture Center presents the first United States showing of Japanese Contemporary Fiber Sculpture in Miniature | Japanese Fiber Art MINI part II. These unique pieces are made by every imaginable fiber construction technique - hand and machine loom weaving, felting, knotting, looping, bending, gluing - and in a range of materials from traditional natural fibers as silk, wool, cotton, and linen, as well as synthetics as nylon, polyester, and rayon, to Japanese papers, newspaper, steel wire, window screening, plastic tubing and the like. The results are an astonishing selection, in miniature, of the fiber-based work being made today in Japan. While each sculpture is an utterly captivating object, similar in the its tiny form, control of detail and exquisite material choice to the perfection of a Russian Faberge egg, the artist never loses sight of a dominant aesthetic objective. Each piece is made to please the mind and the senses within abstract styles of high elegance to utter whimsy.

The exhibition was organized by the preeminent textile artist and Curator Hiroko Watanabe. Dr. Watanabe studied in Japan, France, and Finland to obtain a Design degree. She currently teaches at Tama Art University in Japan, and is the chair of both the N.P.O. International Textiles Network Japan and the Textile Design Association of Japan. At her invitation, the individual pieces were juried by three eminent Japanese designers and professors. They are as follows: Mr. Kunio Motoe, B art critic and former Director of Fuchu Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan; Mr. Hiromichi Kobayashi, Chief Curator of Tama Art University Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Mrs. Sumiko Yamamoto, Chief Editor of the magazine DREAM.

The first iteration of this exhibition, Made in Japan/50 Japanese Artists 2013, was part of the 15th International Minitextile Exhibition in Bratislava, Republic of Slovakia. It met with such success that it is now touring throughout Europe. In Japanese Contemporary Fiber Sculpture in Miniature | Japanese Fiber Art MINI part II Dr. Watanabe has created a second version of this exhibition to tour the United States and Canada.

September 18 - October 30, 2014
Tina Cassara and David Sapp: Threads, Lines, Traces
Euclid Avenue Gallery

L: Tina Cassara, Column (three collars), 2011, cotton thread, computer aided embroidery, each 18 x 35 x 3 in., overall dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist;

Threads, Lines, Traces draws upon a subtle interplay between the line of a fiber construction and a graphite line drawn on paper. Tina Cassara's most recent fiber-based work directly influenced David Sapp's 2014 graphite on paper drawings. The two artists consider Threads, Lines, Traces, at The Sculpture Center, as the beginning of an ongoing artistic experimentation in aesthetic influence and different means to develop abstract narratives. Cassara, with computer aided embroidery and subsequent handwork, always in black thread, creates exceedingly delicate, three dimensional, wall hung pieces. Earlier work is made up of complexly interlocked, densely stacked, delineated words from working women's songs, in shapes, sometimes necklace-like, that hang parallel to the wall surface. In her current work, Cassara is moving to abstracted, open, subtly repeating, interlinked forms that drape away from the wall into space, swaying in the slightest current of air. In David Sapp's most recent abstract drawings is a new overlay of independent lines and solid forms that respond to and connote the flow of line, soft edges and three dimensional shapes of the fiber produced lines and structures of Cassara's pieces. Cassara's fiber based artworks provide a beautiful American counterpoint to those of the accompanying exhibition, Japanese Contemporary Fiber Sculpture in Miniature, in the Main Gallery.

Tina Cassara has conducted extensive research into women's labor in the American textile industry in the early 20th century, especially by Italians and Jews, issues of European migration and relocation, and the assigned value of labor in historically women-dominated textile industries in the America South. Cassara's current fiber artwork joins her art making interpretation of these intense women's labors with her second area of interest in the relationship between drawing, writing, and thread as line, text and textiles. She has been considering the semiotic relationships between words and fiber and their revelation in her own work. The word "line" is related to the Latin linea, which originally meant a thread made from flax (linen); the word "text" derives from a Latin word meaning "something woven." Cassara notes, "When we write to record a story or idea we draw lines. In textiles the thread, a physical line, moves and turns, building a surface that is, at one and the same time, surface and substance."

L to R: David Sapp, Untitled, 2014, graphite on paper, 36 x 60 in.; Untitled, 2014, graphite and white conte on paper, 32 x 40 in. Courtesy of the artist.

David Sapp, also a published poet, is deeply interested in Zen Buddhism painting and Far Eastern calligraphy, as well as the American modernists of the first half of the twentieth century. His most recent drawings have been made, at first, in a subconscious reaction and, now, in a conscious response to the quality of line, form, edge and structure he observes in Cassara's recent embroideries, which he first encountered on exhibition in Oberlin, OH, in spring 2014.

Sapp writes of his work:
Each drawing evolves in its own unique manner. There is no delineated, predictable order or destination; there are few preconceptions. The initial inception is expanded, combined with newly discovered associations, and gradually finds a voice of intent. Even though I encourage states of intuition, ambiguity, and randomness, I must acknowledge that defining formal or aesthetic decision-making occurs; my creative process is not purely automatic. Formal devices are used to clarify and strengthen that emotion which first compelled me to draw. However, any analytic construction is subordinate to the original gestural responsiveness.

about the artists

Tina Cassara is professor and co-chair of sculpture at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Tina Cassara received a BA in urban studies, emphasis in sociology from Barnard College, Columbia University. Following graduation, she moved to Viques, in the Juan region of Peru, and studied with Francisca Mayer from Black Mountain College, teaching natural dyes derived from indigenous plants to local weavers. Her travels continued through the Collao Altiplano region of Bolivia. While living in New York City, Cassara was co-editor of Sing Out! Magazine before attending Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she received an MFA from the fiber department. Cassara has since conducted extensive research into women's labor in the American textile industry, issues of European migration and relocation, and more recently, the assigned value of labor in historically women-dominated textile industries in the South. In the late 1990s, Cassara began exploring the history of textile production. A strong advocate for organized labor, she began conducting interviews in LaGrange, GA and nearby mill towns, speaking with retired textile workers, factory owners, surviving union organizers, and members of textile heritage societies. In 2008-09, Cassara was awarded a sabbatical to further her research in the network of textile heritage societies, including travel to Cooleemee, NC, working with organizers of the Textile Heritage Initiative and members of the Troop County Historical Society. Cassara`s research also continues in Scranton, PA, where she is examining documents and photographs related to the growth of the mining and silk textile industries. Degree MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art; BA, Barnard College, Columbia University.

David Sapp is a visual artist and writer living in Berlin Heights, Ohio along the north coast of Lake Erie. As a Professor of Art, he teaches studio art and art history and is director of the Little Gallery at Firelands College, Bowling Green State University. His graphite drawings and mixed media works have been exhibited widely in many solo, group and juried exhibitions across the nation. His drawings were exhibited in an exchange between the Toledo Museum of Art and the Toyohashi City Museum, Toyohashi, Japan. Recently his drawings illustrated a book of poetry entitled Ultrasound by Elizabeth Percer. As a writer, David has published articles on creative behavior, a novel, Flying Over Erie, and poetry in many presses nationally and internationally. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Vernon University in art and psychology, and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University in drawing.

Thursday, November 13
5:00 - 8:00 PM Opening of //benitez_vogl: {skin} D.E.E.P. - Digital Ephemeral Epidermal Patterns & Przemyslaw Jasielski: Minotaur
6:15 PM The Artists Talk: Margarita Benitez, Marcus Vogl & Przemyslaw Jasielski in the Euclid Avenue Gallery


November 13 - December 18, 2014
//benitez_vogl: {skin} D.E.E.P. - Digital Ephemeral Epidermal Patterns
& Przemyslaw Jasielski: Minotaur
Euclid Avenue Gallery

//benitez_vogl: {skin} D.E.E.P. - Digital Ephemeral Epidermal Patterns
Temporary biomimetic skin patterns via wearable 3D printed exoskeletons

//benitez_vogl: {skin} D.E.E.P. - Digital Ephemeral Epidermal Patterns (detail), 2014, 3-D print //benitez_vogl, s.a.r.a. - synesthetic augmented reality application, 2012-13, video projectors and sound driven by iOS application for 4 dancers

The Margarita Benitez and Markus Vogl collaboration, named //benitez_vogl, develops work within a hybrid art praxis. They question contemporary issues concerning technology, such as exploring the mediation of information in our lives. Their works integrate installations, high tech/low tech materials from fiber, sound and art + technology practices. They have been collaborating since 2000 on interactive installations and sound works. For this exhibition they are developing 3-D imaging "jewelry" that ephemerally imprints impressions on the human skin when worn. This new work, still in the experimental stages, can be read as a counterbalance to the permanent imprinting of tattoos, the ostentatious jewelry and the predominant current norm of the acquisition of things.

about the artists

Margarita Benitez is the Fashion Technologist and an Assistant Professor at The Fashion School at Kent State University. She received her MFA in Art + Technology Studies thru a Trustee Scholarship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to working with fashion technology and e-textiles, her current research explores the concept of pret-afaire (ready-to-make) thru generative fashion applications and she is currently developing OSLOOM, an open source thread-controlled loom (funded thru Kickstarter and a Farris Family Fellowship Award). Her work has been exhibited nationally, internationally and is part of museum and private collections. Most recently she presented her work and research at BIFT/ITAA Symposium at Beijing, the New Media Art Caucus Artist showcase at the 100th Annual College Art Association Conference and at the 2012 Smart Fabrics Conference. She received a 2012 NEA Artworks Grant for co-curating the exhibition Shifting Paradigms of Identity: Creative Technology and Fashion and a 2012 NEA Media in Arts Grant for S.A.R.A.: Synesthetic Augmented Reality Application, a wearable synesthetic performance device. She was the Fulbright-Quartier21/MuseumsQuartier Artist-in-Residence for 2012-2013 in summer 2013 in Vienna for the project open thread: wien.

Markus Vogl is an Assistant Professor in Graphic Design at the Myers School of Art at the University of Akron, Collider Co-Curator and a NE Ohio based multimedia artist experimenting in multiple sensory experiences combining sound, environments and interactive installation. He holds a Masters of Fine Art degree in New Media from Donau Universitaet Krems/transart institute. Originally from Salzburg, Austria, he has exhibited internationally in the U.S., Asia and Europe and has been recognized in Leonardo magazine for his collaboration Circadian Capital. He has received the 2012 NEA Media in Arts Grant for S.A.R.A.: Synesthetic Augmented Reality Application, a wearable synesthetic performance device. Most recently his work was featured at COLLIDER6:data, the Academy of Visual Arts in Hongkong and BIFT/ITAA Symposium at Beijing. In 2013 he was a featured speaker at SXSW, the Computer and History of Arts and Digital fashion conference in London, UK, as well as the Cleveland American Advertising Federation.

Przemyslaw Jasielski: Minotaur

L: Przemyslaw Jasielski, Leviathan, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable. (on view at Le Guern Gallery, Warshaw, Poland), R: Przemyslaw Jasielski, Analog Immigration, 2014, mixed media, on view at The Galleries at CSU.

Przemyslaw Jasielski creates installations, objects, drawings, and photographs, combining art with science and technology. The artist works like an engineer, planning precisely and conducting scientific research, putting the main emphasis on the conceptual side of his works. Minotaur is a new project, developed especially for The Sculpture Center, continuing Jasielski's exploration of human's attitudes towards technology. After consultations with engineers and computer programmers, Jasielski is creating a new work that he will bring from Poland to The Sculpture Center for this joint exhibition at the intersection of art and technology. Minotaur is a machine creating its own emotions as it observes visitors through specifically designed sensors in order to develop a "neurobehaviourial model of emotion." Semi-analog in appearance, Minotaur indicates emotions with meters and scales. It will have mood swings - the machine will be "moody."

The earlier Leviathan project combines the artist's previous research in the realm of technology and sound with his fascination with the utopian visions of the world dominated by machines. It is an attempt to create an artificial electronic organism showing the features of a living creature. The object is covered with a coating reacting to touch and emits various sounds and vibrations as a result of interaction with the audience. Leviathan contradicts the privileged position of a human being as regards to technology and the utilitarian use of the machine. It grants the machine its own subjective identity. This unique object takes up a game with the economics of desire, too. Unlike devices and gadgets purchased on a mass scale, which are to improve our lives or provide entertainment, Leviathan remains non-assimilated and in its own way - passive. It is an "alien/other," a thing coming from a different order of reality, unpredictable and self-controllable.

about the artist

Przemyslaw Jasielski, a graduate of Poznan Academy of Fine Arts, Poland (MA Sculpture 1994), creates installations, objects, drawings and photographs combining art with science and technology. He was a Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion artist-in-residence with The Sculpture Center in fall 2013, working in the studio and with the students of Cleveland State University to make the work Analog Immigration for The Galleries of CSU. His most recent piece in Poland, Leviathan, a huge object covered with a coating reactive to touch that emits various sounds and vibrations as a result of interaction with the audience, was commissioned by the Polish Minister of Culture for the Malta Festival Poznan (summer 2013) and was shown again at the Le Guern Gallery, Warshaw, Poland (2014). Other works have been presented at numerous domestic and international exhibitions, including Tokyo Wonder Site (a 2012 residency), Skolska 28 Gallery in Prague, the Czech Republic, Gyeonggi Creation Center in South Korea (a 2010 residency), Lucas Artists Residency in Montalvo, California, USA, Optica Gallery in Montreal, Canada, and Le Guern Gallery in Warsaw, Poland. Jasielski is a graduate of the Poznan Academy of Fine Arts, Poland (MA Sculpture 1994).

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Back to 2014-2015 Exhibition Calendar

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The Sculpture Center is an arts institution dedicated to the advancement of the careers of emerging sculptors of Ohio and its greater region and the preservation of Ohio outdoor public sculpture as a means to provide support for artists and to effect the enrichment, education, enjoyment, and visual enhancement of the Cleveland community and beyond.

The Sculpture Center receives generous support from The Callahan Foundation, the Kulas Foundation, The John P. Murphy Foundation, the Bernice and David E. Davis Art Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, studioTECHNE|architects, Sculpture Center board members, and many individual donors to Friends of The Sculpture Center. The 2014 W2S series is directly supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. The Sculpture Center is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. It is also supported by grants from the Ohio Arts Council.

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