Relics play an important role in learning from the past and even defining the future. They are storytellers of history, cultures and world religions, and they link people to customs, beliefs, rituals, superstition and contemplation. A new exhibit at the Canton Museum of Art features talismans, mummies, shrines and totems, through reflections on the ancient and perceptions on the future
Gary Spinosa’s “AVATARS: Relics from the Future” features 50 ceramic creations and conjures up spiritual or philosophical avatars. The show is on display through July 23.
A free public reception will take place at the museum Wednesday, May 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Combining human, animal and architectural forms, Spinosa seeks to materialize spiritual energy through his serene, benevolent figures. In his creative process, he admits, he does not start with a concept of what a work will look like. Instead, he just starts… and lets the clay, wood, pigments, and other materials speak to him. He wants to create works that have a presence and will engulf the viewer — making the viewer a participant in, and receiver of, the energy in each piece.
Spinosa’s work also conjures up the Egyptian age and the ornate surroundings of the pharaohs, ritual bronzes of Asia and even religious treasures, and he says he is guided by this ancient past.
This exhibition covers more than five decades of the artist’s work, including pieces created within the last year. The sculptures range in scope from grand constructions to hand sized figures, imbued with deep sanctity and stillness, a sometimes disquieting mystery and an evocation of enigmatic narratives.
In each piece, Spinosa invites the viewer to engage in a relationship with the art he creates, to conjure their own avatars and storylines of the beings and rituals we discover in these artifacts, and to reflect on those we hold within ourselves.
In celebration of the exhibit, a free family event “Night at the Museum” will take place May 20 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Admission: Regular admission is $8 Adults; $6, Seniors and Students (with valid I.D.); Museum Members are Free; and Children 12 and under, Free. Tickets are available at the Museum Ticket Office during Museum hours. For group visits, discounts, and tours, call (330) 453-7666 at least two weeks prior to your visit for reservations and/or to request a docent-led tour.
More info about the artist:
Gary Spinosa was born in 1947 in Memphis, Tennessee. Spinosa is a distinguished B.FA. graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Art. After graduation in 1972, Spinosa Spinosa won an Agnes Gund Traveling Award and used it to travel all over Europe, exploring museums and cathedrals. He returned to Cleveland to set up a gallery, and in 1981, he won the first place sculpture award at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s May Show, and he earned his M.F.A. in 1988 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Since the early 1970s, he has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions at museums and galleries across the county, including the Speed Art Museum, Tehran Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Kenyon College, Sandusky Cultural Center, Erie Art Museum, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia College of Art, The Sculpture Center at Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), and more.
The Canton Museum of Art (CMA) is one of Ohio’s premier museums for an exceptional visual arts experience. CMA is recognized for powerful national touring exhibits; dynamic CMA-original exhibits; an unrivaled Permanent Collection of American watercolors and contemporary ceramics; and innovative education outreach programs, in-Museum classes, and workshops. CMA is one of only two Stark County museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information, including hours, exhibits, classes, and special events, call 330.453.7666, visit www.cantonart.org, Facebook at “Canton Museum of Art,” or @CantonMuseum on Twitter.
Media Images: High-resolution images can be downloaded via the provided link below. Additional images for publication are available by contacting Rob Lehr, 330.453.7666, ext. 102, or email [email protected] with a request.
1_ Gary Spinosa (American). Life Force of the Fields, 2006. Clay, wood, metal, and horns, 87 x 30 x 19 in. Image courtesy of the artist © Gary Spinosa.
2_Gary Spinosa (American). Self Portrait as the Magician, 1989. Clay, wood, and glass, 24.5 x 16.5 x 12 in. Image courtesy of the artist © Gary Spinosa.
3_Gary Spinosa (American). Tree of Ascent, 1973. Clay and wood, 28 x 18 x 14 in. Image courtesy of the artist © Gary Spinosa.