Craftsmanship combined with a healthy disregard for the usual characterizes the works in the 2016 FRESH Juried Art Exhibit now open at Summit Artspace. The opening reception drew more than 250 visitors to the annual event in the Summit Artspace Gallery, and FRESH will run until April 30. The exhibit is free.
“FRESH continues to bring the brightest talent into the spotlight at Summit Artspace,” said Summit Artspace Gallery Director Rob Lehr. “It was an honor working with Elizabeth Blakemore as she viewed over 150 works of art.”
Lehr and Gallery Manager Joe Karlovec announced the winners at the March 18 opening. First place went to James Leslie of Akron, who holds a Masters of Fine Arts from Kent State University, for the ink on paper, “Torso #2.” The second place winner was Nathan Prebonick of Akron for “Neutral Spaces,” acrylic on canvas. Charisse Harris of Akron, a mixed media artist who teaches drawing at Kent State University, took third place with “Kinship,” acrylic on luan wood.
The Fresh Air Award for an emerging artist went to Rachel Smith of Stow, adjunct art faculty in the Jewelry Metals Enameling program at KSU, for “Dueling Ideals,” wearable art that is water jet cut aluminum with powder coating. Honorable mentions went to sculptural artist and taxidermist Meaghan Herbert of Bedford for “Uniyote,” a mixed media piece; Jeremy Jenkins of Akron whose work often reflects global and mystical perspectives for “Untitled,” created with water-based paint; and Canton resident Michael Weiss for “The Island,” digital photography. Weiss is the Creative Services Director at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.
This year’s FRESH exhibition was juried by Elizabeth Blakemore, curator of the Little Art Gallery, who selected 31 works by a range of area artists, that also included Nichole Bartel, Trey Berry, Katherine Butler, Debra DeGregorio, Hunter Elliott, Kim Eggleston-Kraus, Sarah Gretsinger, Tina Grondin, Cynthia Harris, Care Hanson, Susie Lilley, Ibojka Loven, Melissa Markwald, Jan Noden, Katina Radwanski, Monica Ramser, Nancy Richards-Davis, Kathryn Shinko, Shanna Shu, Marchelle Simms, Shelby Solomon, Carl Subich, Jim Vandenboom and Gwen Waight.
“I’m grateful to Summit Artspace for the opportunity to jury such a tantalizing collection of work. Truly an honor,” said Blakemore. “My challenge as juror was to select a cohesive group of art, which illustrated the essence of ‘FRESH;’ the avant-garde, raw creations, broken rules, risks, works that pushed boundaries. All held a balance of technical skill, craftsmanship and well-executed presentation.”
On Thursday, April 7 at 6 p.m., several FRESH artists will participate in an artist panel. The event is free and open to the public. Participating artists will be announced on summitartspace.org by the end of March. Before and during the artist panel, attendees will be able to purchase food and beverages on-site from the Coffee Pot Café.
Several additional programs, workshops, events and activities will continue through the end of April in conjunction with FRESH. Check summitartspace.org for details, dates and times. The full exhibition schedule can also be found on the website.
The Summit Artspace Gallery and studios are open on Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. During the Akron Artwalk on Saturday, April 2, Summit Artspace will remain open until 9 p.m. and will once again include Crafty Mart vendors on the third floor from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visitors to Summit Artspace can also view the art exhibit in The BOX Gallery, located on the third floor, for free. The BOX show features works from the members of the Artists of Rubber City until April 30. The BOX Gallery is open on Fridays from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. with extended hours for Akron Artwalk.
Summit Artspace is a community art center bringing together in one location some of the best local artists, art education and arts organizations of the Greater Akron area. It is a project of the Akron Area Arts Alliance.