Nature Observed, Barbara Westman

May 29 -  August 2
Opening Reception: June 1, 6-8 pm

Grass 3, black industrial fabric by Barbara Westman

Grass 3, black industrial fabric by Barbara Westman

My work in both areas: printmaking and fiber art reflect my interest in natural and man-made world. The richness of textures, structures and forms in our environment inspire me. I look for the beauty in microscopic detail or in a large architectural structure. My methodology is consistent: I look, analyze, deconstruct, build and assemble my vision. Materials and techniques are similar in all my work, but in each piece there is a new view of my experience. My works are mostly monochromatic or achromatic to maintain the simplicity and to focus on composition and textures.

By continuing work in a series, I create a representation of my observations and recollections. I analyze while searching for answers on the co-existing of two worlds: nature and man-made.

Originally from Poland, Barbara Westman moved to the United States in 2002. She obtained a dual  Masters Degree in Fiber Arts and Printmaking from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland (currently: University of Arts). As an Associate Professor in Fiber Art and Printmaking at Slippery Rock University, she divides her time between teaching and working on her own art. She enjoys fiber art and printmaking equally, focusing her interest in textures and  structures, whether natural or man-made into her works.

Westman’s work has been featured in numerous international  exhibitions including Incisioni al Femminile, 2017 Edition, Atelier Controsegno, Napoli, Italy; 10th Baltic Mini Textile 2016, Central Museum of Textiles, Lodź, Poland; 8th International Printmaking Biennial Douro, Portugal; 14th Lessedra World Art Print Annual, Sofia, Bulgaria; From Lausanne to Beijing and the 8th International Fiber Art Biennale, Beijing/Nantong, China. Additionally, her work has been     featured at venues throughout the US including Pittsburgh Center for The Arts; Spinning Plate Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA; Sweetwater Center for The Arts, Sewickley, PA; Kurier Plus Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Alice C. Sabatini Gallery at TSCPL, Topeka, KS; the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY and many others.


Rusted Structures, June Edwards

May 29 - August 2
Reception: June 1, 6-8 pm

Carrie Furnace 2 , mixed media by June Edwards

Carrie Furnace 2, mixed media by June Edwards

My current work is an exploration of abandoned industrial architecture. The hulking, rusted forms of a decaying steel mill near Pittsburgh initially attracted my attention because they were so visually interesting. Their huge volumes coated with rich browns and grays in     pronounced textures defined by the play of light and shadow seemed to me very beautiful. The subject contained all of the elements of the language of art. The original functions of the structures captured in my photographs of the Carrie Furnace Works are overshadowed by my primary concern for manipulating the shapes, textures and color to create dynamic statements. I combine parts of many images into intricate and sometimes dimensional arrangements. The compositions in this series are partly formal in nature, but nostalgia for the past grew as the work progressed.

As an artist, my intention is to create visually compelling layered compositions, but I also want to acknowledge the labor-intensive phase of a once vibrant and powerful industry. The expressive potential became apparent while I cut and  manipulated images of the massive forms into mixed media arrangements. The buildings and structures have long lost their vitality, but I can imagine the energy that was once there – the human effort required to build and operate these abandoned industrial places. This series is like a requiem, an expression of sadness for what we once had. As I  wandered through the Carrie Furnace works I felt the soul of the place – my artwork is a tribute to what is left of old technology and function.

June Edwards holds an MFA in Painting from Brooklyn College and a BS in Art Education from Mansfield University. She has been teaching in the Art Department at Slippery Rock University since 2002, and is currently an Associate Professor. Her teaching assignments include design, digital media, painting, and drawing. She previously taught art at Peabody High School in Pittsburgh and at two schools in New York City: Graphic Communications Arts High School, and LaGuardia High School of Music, Art and the Performing Arts.

Ms. Edwards was hired as a graphic designer for Arthur Andersen in 1984, and was the Operations Manager for the Metro New York Media Center until 1987. She worked as a freelance   graphic artist at various companies in New York City and continues with freelance design work. Among other assignments, she assisted with projects for the Mr. Rogers Company, Del Monte Pet Foods, The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, WQED Multimedia, the Entertainment Technologies Center, and the Sloan Foundation Television Project at Carnegie Mellon University.

Ms. Edwards’ artwork is a combination of painting, drawing and digital media. Her work has been exhibited in   regional, national and international galleries.

Perspections, Suzan Kraus

May 29 - August 2
Opening Reception: June 1, 6-8 pm

"Perspections" is an exhibition about "seeing" art using the vantage points of perspective, introspection & perception. Henry David Thoreau said, it's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." So what do we see? How can we see things better, more open or creatively? Is our perception, reality? As an artist I'm always questioning.

Light Rain, Early Spring;  collage/mixed media by Suzan Kraus

Light Rain, Early Spring; collage/mixed media by Suzan Kraus

In both creating & looking at art we all come from a unique & personal space rich in life experiences. How we see life/art is influenced by these perceptions. I am consciously aware that my own art is very autobiographical with some of it being more revealing than others. To me, each piece of art, mine & others is a short narrative about a perspective or a thought that was driven inward compelling it to be expressed outwardly. Mine happens to be with papers. Being an abstract expressionist these narratives are rich with symbolisms & metaphors not necessarily in linear order like a beautifully written classic but more resembling a utility drawer that has a disparate collection of things one needs at odd times. Carefully looking at this jumble tells a story of the person it belongs to.

The beautiful papers I use come mostly in natural colors or white & made by women in third world countries. I then paint these papers with layers of Earthy colors and then  combine them with other mundane papers re-cycled, re-purposed for another expression. This contrast, amazing & extraordinary handmade papers mixed in with the everyday paper, is a direct parallel to life. Tearing the papers & arranging & re-arranging them many times gives me a chance to say things clearly and with a sense of beauty. Titles are carefully chosen to give the viewer a hint at what I was thinking when I created the piece. Much of my work is influenced by my readings of ancient philosophies & mythologies.

A move to Texas in 1998 started Suzan pursuing her dream of becoming an artist. While in Houston and nearly 50 years of age, she attended the Glassell School of Art, studied privately with various prominent Houston artists & took Chinese brush painting instruction at Rice University. During this time in Houston, her work was accepted into 2 galleries and she won awards at the Watercolor Art Society, Houston. As a member of the Society of Layerists in Multi Media her work was juried into a show at the  Albuquerque Museum of Art.

Upon returning to Ohio her work has been juried into a number of prestigious places such as The Butler Institute of American Art, Erie Art Museum, and Arts & Education at the Hoyt. She has had exhibitions at InTown Club, Case Western Reserve, and BayArts. Most recently she was accepted as an archived artist of the Archived Artist of the Western Reserve, a distinguished organization that preserves the work of notable North East Ohio artists. Currently her work is represented by All Matters Gallery in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Her preferred method of doing art is collage/mixed media where she can incorporate beautiful handmade papers that come from around the world along with other materials into one piece of art to create an interesting eclectic mix.


Hoyt Regional Juried Exhibition

The contemporary flavor of the 45th Annual Hoyt Regional should come as no surprise considering Cleveland’s Reto Thuring served as juror.  Thuring’s primary focus has been working with contemporary art and artists as a curator, editor, and art critic since 2004.  He joined the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2012 as Curator of Contemporary Art, overseeing the museum’s collection of contemporary artwork and the programming of exhibitions at the museum and the Transformer Station.  

While more than 425 works were submitted by artists within a 150 mile radius of the museum, only 73 were selected for the show.  A show that clearly reflects Thuring’s appreciation for contemporary visions in our region.   

First place was awarded to Angela Biederman of Pittsburgh, PA for a ceramic entitled “Your Arm Around Me”.  According to Biederman, her work often recognizes human endeavors such as growth, relationships, and existence. She has exhibited nationally at NCECA’s Providence and Philadelphia conferences, locally where she resides in Pittsburgh, and regionally in Kent, Cleveland, Columbus, Milwaukee, and the John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. 

Many of Thuring’s selections favored photography including the second place award for “Hold Up in the Hood I & II” by Francis Crisafio (Pittsburgh, PA) and the third place award for “Rodeo Hardware” by Charles Mintz (Cleveland, OH).  This is not the first time Crisafio’s black and white portraits have found themselves on Hoyt gallery walls.  He won 1st place for “Hold Up in the Hood” at the 40th Hoyt Regional in 2013, followed by a solo exhibition in 2014.

Honorable mentions were also awarded to Marcia Corner (Pittsburgh, PA) for “Curtain”, ink on canvas; LeeAnn Lewis (Boardman, OH) for “Strokes”, mixed media acrylic and resin; Joseph Ryznar (Lower Burrell, PA) for “Monks Dream”, acrylic; John Schuman (Allison Park, PA) for “Magazine Stand”, digital print; and Martha Skarlinski (Cranberry, PA) for “Crosswalk”, photograph.

A public reception will be held Saturday, April 7, 2-4 pm.  The show will remain on display through May 24.  Concurring exhibitions include the Annual New Castle Camera Club show in the Blair Sculpture Walkway and works from the After School Arts program in the Ballroom Gallery.