What’s on the minds and in the imaginations of artists creating in Summit, Portage, Cuyahoga, Medina and Stark counties determined the essence of the 14th Annual FRESH Juried Art Exhibit, which opened last week at Summit Artspace.
At the March 2 opening reception, winners were announced for the juried show. First place went to Mark Keffer of Bedford, with an acrylic painting on cut paper. The second place winner was an encaustic collage by Kelly Porter-Santamaria of Akron, who teaches art in the Buckeye Local School District in Medina County. Robert Carpenter of Akron took third place with a three dimensional collage, and the annual FRESH Air Award went to Sarah McMahon, University Heights, Ohio, who also created a three dimensional piece with handwoven linen and found objects.
The exhibit runs through March 31 in the main gallery of Summit Artspace on East Market, 140 E. Market St., in downtown Akron. Exhibit and events are free and open to the public.
With a reputation of celebrating new perspectives, FRESH challenges regional artists to take their art in new directions. Last year’s exhibit was charged with an intense reaction by the artists to the political environment in the United States.
Summit Artspace Executive Director Kamelia Fisher invited last year’s juror, Charles Beneke, professor of Art at The University of Akron Mary Schiller Myers School of Art, to return and see how the social climate shapes the 2018 entries.
Starting with 150 submissions, Beneke saw a more introspective theme with the 35 pieces that comprise the exhibit. Artists were focused on the interaction of the elements.
“The idea of piecing things together started to become an evident thread,” said Beneke. “In many of the works there was a gathering of information, a making sense of observations, and a defining of new understandings. All the selected works somehow deal with pulling things together, in my mind, whether it is content, color, marks, materials, etc.,” he added. “If FRESH 2017 was a reeling in the face of a shocking new narrative, FRESH 2018 is about artists constructing a better narrative.”
Beneke will lead a free panel discussion with artists to discuss their exhibit pieces n the main gallery on March 22 at 7 p.m. Seats may be reserved at http://bit.ly/2BBUzlq.
Summit Artspace’s main gallery is open Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Additional hours are March 15 for 3rd THURSDAY, which has a new time at Summit Artspace, 4 to 7 p.m.
Parking is available behind the Summit Artspace building when visiting the gallery. Summit Artspace is handicap accessible and has an elevator.
Summit Artspace is a nonprofit community art center organization that provides studio, exhibit and programming spaces in Summit County and the surrounding area for local artists and arts organizations; and is a center for art education open to all residents. For info, call (330) 376-8480 or visit www.summitartspace.org or through social media.