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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Partly Cloudy, 77 °F

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Material Histories

“The Tea Project,” by artists Aaron Hughes and Amber Ginsburg.

Photo courtesy of: Aaron Hughes and Amber Ginsburg

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School of Art + Design exhibition, symposium and performances tackle local and global political, cultural concerns


The Ohio University School of Art + Design presents the exhibition “Material Histories: Cultures of Resistance,” on view Sept. 29-Oct. 22 at The Majestic Galleries in Nelsonville, with an opening reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 29 and an accompanying day-long symposium Oct. 13 in Mitchell Auditorium, Seigfred Hall, in The School of Art + Design.

This unique exhibition, curated by Alex Hibbitt, chair of OHIO’s ceramics program, brings together contemporary artworks that range from the monumental to the performative, highlights concerns ranging from our relationship to natural resources, the weight of family histories, the human toll of the “war on global terrorism,” and includes established and ongoing projects as well as brand new artworks. Exhibiting artists include Amber GinsburgAaron HughesShauna MerrimanMJ BoleShay Church,
and Linda Swanson.

A full installation of “The Tea Project,” a collaborative effort by the artists Aaron Hughes and Amber Ginsburg, will be on display throughout the exhibition. Built around 779 porcelain teacups cast from Styrofoam cups, one for each individual that is currently, or has been, held in extralegal detention in the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp since 2002, “The Tea Project” is coming to Nelsonville from its recent display at The Human Rights Watch Booth at EXPO in Chicago.

Two “Tea Performances,” with Aaron Hughes, in conjunction with the “Material Histories” symposium, are planned Oct. 12 and 14. Both are free and open to the public (registration required).

Three new large-scale artworks by artists Shauna Merriman, Linda Swanson and Shay Church, conceived specifically for this exhibition, will be constructed in the gallery over the space of five days with the help of OHIO students. These works connect to the region’s 200-year industrial history with clay and focuses on our complex relationship with our environment, from the days of Ancient Rome to the present moment in Athens, Ohio.

The works of Church and Swanson are ephemeral, slowly changing material state over the course of the month, using entropy to remind us of the ecosystems that surround us, are contained within us and are always in flux. The exhibition at the Majestic is timed to coincide with a celebration of ceramics this fall that stretches across Southeast Ohio, and is included in the South East Ceramic Trail that includes exhibitions and events throughout the region.

Artist Mary Jo Bole will give a guided all-day “Clay Belt Bus Tour,” introducing participants to the ruins of ceramic factories that didn’t survive, as well as those that persevered into modern success stories. Today, these factories make bulletproof vest components, pizza stones, turbine parts and more! Along the way, the tour will also see examples of ceramic influences in architecture, cemetery monuments and mining history.

A day-long symposium, Friday, Oct. 13, in Mitchell Auditorium, Ohio University School of Art + Design, will bring together artists Danielle Julian-Norton (moderator), Amber Ginsburg, Aaron Hughes, with Loren Lybarger and Ziad Abu-Rish for discussions and artists presentations.

This cross-disciplinary symposium focuses on the role and agency of the artist in a time of international, political, economic and cultural uncertainty. Exhibiting artists are joined by Ziad Abu Rish, assistant professor in the Department of History and director of the Middle East and North Africa Studies certificate program, and Loren D. Lybarger, associate professor in the Department of Classics and World Religions, and is moderated by Danielle Julian-Norton, faculty in sculpture at Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus.

The complete Event Schedule can be found here: https://www.ohio.edu/finearts/material-histories.cfm.

This exhibition and related events are made possible through support from Arts for OHIO, the ceramics department at Ohio University, the School of Art + Design visiting artist fund, Honors Tutorial College, The Middle Eastern and North African Studies Certificate, The Islamic Studies Program of the Department of World Religions and Classics, The Dairy Barn Arts Center and Standard Ceramics.

Full Events List:

Linda Swanson Artist Talk: 5 p.m. Sept. 28 in Room 540, Seigfred Hall, School of Art + Design, Athens.

“Material Histories: Cultures of Resistance”
Exhibition at The Majestic Galleries, Nelsonville
Sept. 29–Oct. 22, 2017
Opening Reception: 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 29
Exhibition Hours: 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

“Material Histories” Symposium: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 13
Mitchell Auditorium, Seigfred Hall, Ohio University School of Art + Design

10 a.m. – noon: Artists' Presentations      
1:30 – 3 p.m.: Panel Discussion
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.: Themed Roundtable Sessions
5 – 8 p.m.: Reception at the Dairy Barn Arts Center, 8000 Dairy Lane, Athens

“Tea Project” performances with Aaron Hughes
Participation is limited to 25 attendees for each performance. Attendance is free, but pre- registration is required. Email ceramics@ohio.edu to register.

Oct. 12: 5 p.m. in Room 540, Seigfred Hall (School of Art + Design)
Oct. 14: 11 a.m. at The Majestic Galleries, Nelsonville

Please arrive a few minutes early, no late comers admitted. Performances range from 60–90 minutes and guests are invited to sit on the floor. Chairs are available if needed.

Mary Jo Bole's "Clay Belt Bus Tour": Hosted by the Dairy Barn Arts Center

Oct. 20: 7:30 a.m. to approximately 6:30 p.m. The cost is $70 for dairy Barn Members, $75 for non-members. Registration is required through the Dairy Barn website: http://dairybarn.org/clay-belt-bus-tour-with-mary-jo-bole/.

All events are free and open to the public and do not require registration, unless otherwise noted above.