The BOX Gallery in downtown Akron is hosting two solo shows from April 21 through May 20: “CUBA: An Education” by Aimee Lambes, curated by Craig Joseph, and “Vibrant Deterioration” by Shannon Star. A meet-the-artist opening reception will take place Friday, April 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the BOX Gallery.
“Vibrant Deterioration” is the B.F.A. Photography Exhibition by Star, a Bachelor of Fine Arts student double majoring in Photography and Printmaking at the University of Akron. In her work she takes on topics that are often controversial or difficult to discuss, such as the ideas of mental illness and abuse, using bright colors to contrast and lighten the abrasiveness of such topics.
“I take photos of things that decay or wear down over time. I compose them as diptychs, triptychs or polyptychs; showing the stages of this deterioration. As the items deteriorate more I place a more opaque and brighter filter on top of the decaying object,” said Star of her work.
“CUBA: An Education” features over 60 photographs by Aimee Lambes, curated by Craig Joseph. Lambes had the opportunity to visit Cuba on an education visa and take countless photographs of the history, struggle, textures and colors of the country.
She describes herself as a road tripper, photographer, wife and mom. Driving around the states to the tune of about 30,000 miles a year, for a total of seven to eight weeks, capturing about 9,000 images every chance she gets, Lambes is continually on the road to adventure.
“I am often asked if there is an element of social commentary to my work. I would love to say that what I shoot is that well thought out, but that is not the case. I am really rather superficial. I am not drawn to an image because it says something, I am drawn because It says something to ME. I love visual contrast: color, texture, shape, size. That is what gets my attention. Mix those contrasts together, and I am lost in it for the afternoon,” said Lambes.
The BOX Gallery, located on the third floor of the Summit Artspace building (140 E. Market St.), will also be open on Saturday, May 6 for the Akron Artwalk from 5 to 9 p.m. in addition to its regular hours. Admission is free and open to the public.