Show extended through December 30, 2016
Presented in partnership with the Re:NEW Festival this fall, this exhibit presents artists who use found objects and recycled materials with particular attention to the treatment of the surface. They transform materials by intersecting the structure with the surface at different depths. Curated by Laura Domencic, surface | material includes works by Ron Copeland, Ryder Henry, Bill Miller, and Grace Summanen. In works by Copeland and Miller, found color and patina are in the source materials of old signs and vintage linoleum. For Henry and Summanen, the everyday objects of recycled cardboard, fabric scraps and plastic bags are composed structures and textures that interact with paint. These investigations offer keen perspectives into the tactile materials society mass produces and discards, and find new potentials for them.
Ron Copeland is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh. He grew up in Canton Ohio where he working at a variety of printing companies and signs shops. At this time he independently studied art history, design and photography. He mentored with a large format photographer, who helped sharpened Copeland’s skills behind the lens as well as in the darkroom. His early work primarily focused on a photography project stretching nearly ten years documenting the blighted postindustrial Rust Belt region. His explorations from Gary Indian to Braddock Pa and cities in between, exposed him to a shockingly vast amount of disregarded materials that would drastically impact his view on “waste”. Later these type of materials would become the canvases of his printed, painted, sculptural works. What began as a passion to reclaiming bits of history to incorporate into his work, has now developed into a large network of symbiotic relationships to salvage and repurpose scrap and overstock from a number of stores, galleries, sign shops, and print companies, as well as the Warhol, Akron and Cleveland art museums. Ron Copeland’s mantra of reuse has become a celebration of sustainability with the potential to continuously experiment and expand his craft as ‘new” materials come his way.
Ryder Henry was born in 1974.
From an early age, he was interested in outer space fantasy and drawing and building model vessels of all sorts. He considered being an astronaut, pilot or architect, but instead he made a bunch of drawings, paintings, and models. He attended Rhode Island School of Design , but the conversation was either boring or inaccessibly cerebral, so he left. He went out west, He painted and did some puppet theater projects.
Upon arriving in Western Pennsylvania in 2005, Ryder began building his model city. This city, which he named '4 Lydia' after the street address where he stayed at the time, became the basis for most of the art he has made subsequently. The buildings have been replaced and re-located. Some have been sold to collectors, their vacancies filled by new buildings, all made of cardboard and glue. The city has been the inspiration for over 20 oil paintings.
The buildings in this show are too large to fit into 4 Lydia city.
Bill Miller builds assemblages of recycled linoleum flooring that rely on the flooring’s found surface to render its subjects with no added paint. His images range from bucolic landscapes to surrealistic, fiercely political pieces that draw on iconic news and pop culture images that have informed society’s common memory. His unexpected use of familiar patterns taps into the medium's nostalgic qualities, imparting a sense of personal history and rediscovery within each piece. Miller was commissioned to create two posthumous album covers for Frank Zappa, the 2012 Woodstock Film Festival poster and has been published in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and the coffee table books, Found Object Art 2 and recently ReTrash among others. His work has been widely exhibited in the U.S. as well as in London and Spain.
Grace Summanen was born in Ashtabula, OH, and currently lives and works in Euclid, OH. She received her MFA from Kent State University in 2011 and her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1996. In between her BFA and MFA, Grace lived in New York City. Grace has shown in Ohio, New York, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Most recently she participated in Rooms to Let in Slavic Village and a group show at Harris Stanton Gallery in Cleveland. Grace teaches at Kent State University, Lakeland Community College, The University of Akron, Art House, and also assists at the Cleveland Museum of Art.