Edgy Art Gallery Opens at Space 273 and ClaySpace

Toledo Local Features  |  10/14/2010 7:00 am

As one of the many quality art galleries in the downtown Toledo area, Space 237 Galleries & ClaySpace has been supporting local art, housing galleries and exhibits, and reaching out to aspiring artists for a decade.

This Friday from 6 to 10 p.m., Space 237 Galleries & ClaySpace will host their 10th anniversary celebration and an Opening reception with artists from their newest gallery, "Allegories."

The gallery features the work of ten artists, selectively chosen to present distinct methods of storytelling within their work. The name of the exhibition suits the body of work precisely—each piece of art depicts a world, story, or universe behind its intricate creation.

Lynda McClanahan gives the viewer a glance at meditative experiences in folk style environments inspired by places where she has traveled. Using mostly oils, McClanahan's 'allegory' seems to revolve around an enchanting "Red Woman" which she describes as "Holy Life, unvarnished and unedited."

Brian Spolans' drawings and watercolor combine commonly known imagery from science fiction and fantasy cinema, video games, literature, and other forms of media and communication. The sketches entail multiple genres and plots to reshape archetypal characterizations, such as Death, and transplants them into a surreal comic-like world. Most of the drawings require significant attention to fully grasp all of the stories that take
place inside a single image.

Clifton Harvey's juxtaposition of digital animation and photography gives us a collision between urban decay and "stilted beasts." His illustrated photography utilizes the aesthetic of the grotesque in a postmodern world where the characters are the center of his allegory. One beast, from Harvey's collection "The Conductor" has an obvious personality, particularly in his obsession with socks.

Laura Barnhard fuses fairytales with surrealism represent a longing for escape from social anxiety. In the midst of simultaneously parodying and harboring imagery from Disney and medieval times, Barnhard's oil paintings take the extra step to go beyond these traditional allegories. Sometimes autobiography, sometimes posthumously, her paintings are filled to each frame with passion and unspoken heartbreak.

Robert Sennhauser's photography selected for "Allegories" spans what could be a road trip across the country in an investigation of comedy through American signage. Each of his pictures remains untitled so that they may speak for themselves. Adoration for graffiti and commercial or political language statements is implemented to tell stories with letterforms.

Mark Dancey offers a window to the divine with his series of mythological nude figures painted with a circular frame. Each painting reveals a female heavenly creatures floating toward the sky, and we are only able to watch them ascend. The human form is put into a forced perspective to tell a story about each female.

Julie Cikra shows a fascination for what happens in the dark in her collection. She focuses on separate rooms of a home and enshrouds her subject in darkness; which then transforms the subject into darkness. The color black and the application of shade is extreme yet intimate as Cikra mystifies the viewer with shadow.

Chris Dean's work has an understanding of pop art and culture, and the timeless nature of holographic images. It requires walking through his exhibit a few times to catch of the images hidden. Interferometry, or the illusion that the object changes when it is actually the viewer that changes, is heavily used yet necessary to convey the  complex meaning in each piece.

Erin Morlock's instillation piece reads like shots from a film ripped from its continuity and bandaged to a wall with medical tape. Tender images and moments form the artist's life were photographed and hung on a wall with pushpins, so that the pictures would flap like leaves when the viewer walks by. Each photograph is mended together from its original pieces to convey simultaneously universal moments of everyday life.

Space 237 and ClaySpace 10th Anniversary Celebration & Opening reception for "Allegories" – Friday, October 15, 6- 10 pm.

The event offers complementary food, beverages, and $5 for unlimited wine. The Mesmeric Belly Dance Fusion Co. will be the entertainment for the evening with a featured performance at 8 pm. Art from "Allegories" will also be on sale and open to
view in the gallery until January 8, 2011.


For more information visit: http://www.space237.com/