The Akron Art Museum will host artist Beth Cavener on Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. for a free talk and Q&A. Cavener is known for her dynamic hand-built ceramic sculptures of animals, many of which she describes as self-portraits.
Two of her sculptures, “Unrequited” (Variation in Pink) and “Strange Attraction,” are currently on view at the Akron Art Museum as part of the exhibition “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose.”
Cavener’s sculptures combine human emotions with animal figures, their body language acting as a metaphor for human psychological states. The artist has commented: “On the surface, these figures are simply feral and domestic individuals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface they embody the impacts of aggression, territorial desires, isolation, and pack mentality.”
Cavener’s work addresses many themes, often responding to events in her personal life. “Unrequited (Variation in Pink)” refers to Cavener’s feelings of undesirability after having her first child. While the artworks on view in “Turn the Page” are intimate in scale, Cavener has created many large scale works, such as “In Boca al Lupo,” which employs upwards of 2,000 pounds of clay, and which she builds using metal armatures of her own design.
Cavener has exhibited her work widely. Her ceramic sculptures are held in notable collections throughout the United States, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Wisconsin and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Her work has been featured in art publications such as Hi-Fructose, Sculpture, and Ceramics Monthly. Among other topics, the artist will discuss how she tackles elements of gesture and expression with subtle shifts in line and form.
“Turn the Page: The First Ten Year of Hi-Fructose” is organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and made possible by the City of Virginia Beach. Generous funding is provided by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Major support for the exhibition is provided by Acoustical Sheetmetal, Capital Group Companies, PRA Group, the Fine Family Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, and other generous donors, as well as grants made possible by the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Business Consortium for Arts Support.