November 10, 2020
The talent and creative vision of Northeast Ohio women artists are showcased in “New Masters 2: Women Artists of Northeast Ohio,” in Ursuline College’s Florence O’Donnell Wasmer Gallery through January 29, 2021.
The artwork may be viewed online at https://bit.ly/3npfxsv. Limited opportunities for in-person viewing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between noon and 5:00 p.m., are by appointment only. Email Gallery Director Anna Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The gallery published a call for work by emerging and professional women artists, and 136 Northeast Ohio residents submitted 337 art works for consideration, a record-setting response for the gallery. Juror Mary Urbas, director and curator of The Gallery at Lakeland Community College, selected 47 works from 39 artists for the exhibition and awarded $2,800 in cash prizes.
"Patron Saint of Stone," above, by MANDEM, won Best in Show and the $1,000 Purchase Prize for the Ursuline College art collection. MANDEM identifies as "a conglomerate three-bodied artist identity fronted by Maize Arendsee (MFA, Studio Art) with co-artists and studio assistants Kitsuko and Moco Steinman-Arendsee.”
According to the artists’ statement, the piece is “designed to be in visual dialog with the photo collage and watercolor techniques developed and shared by Victorian women (half a century before male surrealists and Dada artists appropriated collage and cut-up for their own uses, and a hundred years before 20th century photographers such as Uelsmann adapted the method for darkroom printing). Our photographs are created in a digital darkroom, remixing elements of this 19th century women's craft with contemporary visual and cultural concerns. At the same time, these photographs nod to the aesthetics and narratives of Old Master paintings.”
First Prize, the $750 Award of Excellence, went to Jill Yanik for "Mindlessness," a grid of graphite drawings, photo transferred to wood overlaid with hand cut graphite drawings on paper. Each scene depicts a man in an elevator in absurd and whimsical circumstances.
Second Prize, the $500 Award of Distinction, went to Judy Takacs for her oil on canvas, "Maria, Incognito in Kimono."
Third Prize, the $250 Award of Merit, went to Lisa Kenion for "Sea Serpent," a cast bronze sculpture.
Honorable mentions went to Catherine Rozmarynowycz for her etching and aquatint, "Omniscient Mother," Betty Skufca for her painting, "Only A Thought," and Jennifer Whitten for her beadwork assemblage, "Button Trowel."
As students of art history know, the Old Masters were European painters regarded as the best artists before 1800. They were, for the most part, men. Again this fall, Wasmer Gallery challenges this traditional bias by promoting women artists, the new masters. The College hosted its first New Masters exhibition in 2018. This 2020 show begins a biennial tradition of promoting local women artists.
A $5,000 grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture partially funds the juror stipend, award prizes, and other expenses related to mounting this exhibition. Additional funding came from the Ohio Arts Council, Glenmede, and individual friends of the gallery.
Closed in March due to the pandemic, Wasmer Gallery re-opened in November in the College’s Mullen Building, the main academic and administrative building facing Lander Road. In-person visitation is by appointment only, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m.; by contacting Gallery Director Anna Arnold via email.