Local Gallery Exhibits Textile Works
Alex Hall, 07-18-2018

An untitled piece by John Sokol surrounded by collage works by Shirley Ende-Saxe at Studio 2091's “In Over Under Around & Through” textile art show.
Stephen Mulé
Art is subjective. What constitutes art to one person might produce quite a different reaction from someone else, and that's precisely because art is subjective. This is certainly not the only lesson one learns when visiting art galleries, but it bears repeating, including in the context of discussing the pieces on display at Studio 2091 in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, which vary enough that anyone could find a piece they're drawn to and vice-versa—and that’s a good thing.

The awesomely weird work of Vince Packard, for instance, which is currently on display at Studio 2091's “In Over Under Around & Through” textile art show, may not strike the fancy of every gallery visitor, but its anatomical heart motifs, skulls, and other elements contribute to the strange beauty the work possesses. On the other hand, Kathryn Lawson's handmade purses, adorned with paintings by Packard, produce a perhaps more accessible version of Packard's work in a functional art piece.

Other pieces include a pair of abstract textile pieces by Carol Adams entitled Haiti I: Animals and Haiti II: Animals, which encourage the viewer to look for embedded animals within textured fabric color masses with suggestive eyes peering in all directions. The focal point of the gallery's front room, meanwhile, is an untitled piece by Linda Alexander-Radak that features a sculpted humanoid figure wearing a reflective gown that pulls light in all directions, as well as a complementary boa and hair that appears to be textile-based. Another focal point belongs to John Sokol, an untitled piece that features a t-shirt applied to a canvass with Sokol's characteristic rust belt-infused color palette of distressed paint dripped down the front. The piece appears to occupy a clear place within Sokol's artistic conceptual framework.

The collage work of Shirley Ende-Saxe is also quite impressive. The tightly-composed, intricately-arranged pieces consisting of antique photos placed atop pages torn from old books have a depth that is thought-provoking. Most of Ende-Saxe's pieces include elements of nature as well, such as fossil prints, snail shells, and maple samara. The components of each piece are held together by meticulously embroidered designs that decorate the center photo in some meaningful way, such as by creating a shrubbery for the photograph subjects to stand inside, giving a head a new body, or giving a landscape textured clouds. The embroidery allows a lot of negative space to show through as well, which makes the designs more suggestive than bold and produces different effects when viewed up close or from a distance.

Separate from the textile show, Studio 2091’s artist spaces remain open to the public, often giving patrons the opportunity to view works in progress and talk to the artists themselves. At the “In Over Under Around & Through” textile art show's opening, which braved the Irish Festival kickoff on its front doorstep the same night, show and studio artists greeted visitors at the entrance alongside gallery owner Amy Mothersbaugh, who gladly takes the time to speak with art patrons and newcomers alike. Mothersbaugh's passion for the arts is impressive—the gallery boasts a new themed show each month, often featuring local, national, and international artists, and Studio 2091 takes a comparatively small percentage of sales to keep its doors open, likely because Mothersbaugh is an artist herself. Even the façade of Studio 2091 is an art work—Falls residents have no doubt gazed upon its giant octopus painting as they stroll by or eat on the patio of Crave Cantina next door. Mothersbaugh even has a similar octopus tattooed on her left arm.

The “In Over Under Around & Through” textile show goes through July 7th, after which the gallery will feature a new show as part of its monthly rotation. Artist spaces are always open for patrons to peruse, and pieces are for sale both in the spaces and the current show. Sales support the arts in a direct way, and patrons benefit by participating in the arts and satisfying their own artistic subjectivity.

Check out Studio 2091 online at www.studio2091.com.

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