Artist Highlights: Artists to Watch

Our upcoming show, Artists to Watch opens tomorrow! We hope to see you tomorrow evening, November 30th, from 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm as we celebrate nine spectacular artists. Come see new works by Tim Callaghan, Matthew Kolodziej, Erik Neff, Amber Kempthorn, Andrea Joki, Deb Lawrence, Dana Oldfather, Frank Oriti, and Marc Ross! Light hors d’oeuvres and wine will be available as will self-pay valet services out front to save you the hassle of walking in the cold. The show will be available from November 30, 2018 – January 5, 2019. Three new artists on display are:


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Timothy Callaghan was born in Toledo, Ohio and now lives in Cleveland. He earned his BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art in 1999 and his MFA from Kent State University in 2005. He teaches art in the area while also pursuing his own artistic interests. He finds that teaching is also a part of his process as it develops his own artistic interests as well as inspiring others. Callaghan paints the world around him. The view from his back porch to the different buildings on the street. He focuses on what one might see every day and make it extraordinary. Callaghan’s goal is to slow the viewer down and give them a moment to really look at something that might otherwise be overlooked.


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Kolodziej earned a BA in economics from the University of Chicago in 1988 and an MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 1993. He has received a Fulbright and Pollock-Krasner award. Kolodziej took a position at the University of Akron in 2001. As a tenured Professor of Art at the University of Akron, Myers School of Art, he teaches painting and drawing. In 2007, he started Synapse, a series of lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and conversations about the intersection of science in art. In 2012, he joined forces with colleagues in polymer science, engineering and biology on a new initiative at the University of Akron to develop a Center for Biomimicry research.

The transitory quality of space and perception is a central theme in Kolodziej’s paintings. He uses images of architecture and landscape to explore the presence of change. Kolodziej’s process, akin to the way an archaeologist works, begins with documenting construction and demolition sites with photographs and drawings. These sources are in a state of transition. This documentation gives him a sense of the texture, physical structure, color, and light in the landscape.  Like an archaeological site, the paintings present fragments and residues on the surface as evidence of intersections and structures. Kolodziej has been exhibiting his work since the mid 1980s. His work has been in exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Rockford Art Museum, the Akron Art Museum, the Rose Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. The Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland represents his work.


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Physicality of materials plays a very important role in Erik Neff’s work.  He utilizes a variety of media: most often oil on wood or panel, or canvas over panel.  Drawing is also an essential process, where again the physicality of substrate plays an essential role in the outcome of an image.  Neff also experiments with plaster over plywood constructions that he paints with a combination of gouache, watercolor and tempera, with the added variable of carving and scraping into the plaster surface.  These pieces seem to be a hybrid of painting, drawing and construction.  Whether Neff works on paper, slate, plaster, wood or canvas, the tactile feedback of whatever substrate defines the character and progress of an image.  His particular touch requires a resilience of surface that allows for the back and forth process of scraping, gouging and applying of pigment.

Erik Neff never begins with a preconceived image.  Quite often he starts with a series of marks or colored shapes that ultimately yield to an entirely different set of marks and shapes.  This process is as mysterious as it is inefficient.  Decisions about color, shape and thickness of paint or pressure of mark are in continuous flux until a kind of resonance of cumulative decisions and chance conveys some form of tension or evokes a kind of abstract narrative.

We hope to see you tomorrow or over the holiday season to enjoy this great collection of fine art. Come support the Cleveland art community and have a lovely experience in the Playhouse Square District. Our address is 1710 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. If you have any questions, please contact us at (216) 621-0178 or visit our website for more information.

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