Monthly Archives: April 2010

Building Prosperity Project

Two Oberlin students, Maia Brown and Hannah Linder-Finley (both class of 2010), have been working with the Oberlin Underground Railroad Society during this academic year.  Their efforts are a part of the Building Prosperity Project which hopes to raise funds for long-term rental or purchase of the 167 S Pleasant Street house.  This beautiful three story house has sat vacant on a large corner lot for six years, but from now until May it will be filled with life, community, and art.  In addition to preparing for their senior thesis shows as a part of the Senior Studio program, both Hannah and Maia have worked tirelessly to raise funds to rent the house for three months (March through May) and raise awareness about the project.

Not only has the house showcased the work of Maia, Hannah and the curation work of Oberlin student Rachel Cotterman, but it has also housed exhibitions by Oberlin community members and collaborative projects with Oberlin High School and college- age students.  The Oberlin Underground Railroad Society (OURS) hopes to use this short-term rental to build momentum to buy the house for the society and Oberlin community.  OURS plans to use the house as an art gallery, community garden and library, as well as turn the second and third floors into a bed and breakfast in order to make continual funding of the space possible.

Ongoing and Upcoming Events:

April 24, 2010 – May 2, 2010
Gathering Story–A Senior Studio Art Exhibition
Hannah Lindner-Finlay

I am interested in the meanings and memories embedded in physical objects: the stories that gather on furniture, the feeling of holding a familiar stone. Memories are constantly shaping and being shaped by the past, the present, and imaginations of the future. Community, in turn, is shaped by these shifting memories, these gathering stories. I work with connection—creating community through shared reverence for things alive.

Saturday May 1, 11am-1pm
Oberlin African American Genealogy and History Group Meeting
Discussion & Potluck: “Makin’ Do”
Makin’ Do: Taking what you have and making it into what you need.
We may be in a recession now, but it is not the first time “hard times” have challenged us.  In the domestic arena, it was the women who had to figure out how to feed their families with what was on hand or cheaply attained.  Maybe you remember what your family did to “make do” when times were tough or maybe you just remember what your mother or grandmother said they did to “made do.”  Either way, put on your apron, bring your memories and a “make do” dish and join us as we remember “how we got over.”
Contact Person: Phyllis Yarber-Hogan (
May 2, 2010 – May 8, 2010
“Walk With Me” Walking Sticks
Wayne Yarber
Using wood harvested from local trees, Wayne strips and etches images in sticks for walking and protection.  Wayne developed his creative style from his interests in graphic arts, African-American culture, and martial arts.  Each piece takes about 30 hours to create and results in a naturally stained art pieces that is both beautiful and powerful.  His signature image – a mask, is represented on each stick.  Used not only for walking, these sticks also known as a  “bo”  (a weapon for martial artist) are a treasure to display as well.  You may see Wayne’s work anywhere across the country as they are both eye-catching and functional artifacts.

Opening Reception: May 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

May 9, 2010 – May 16, 2010

Community Collective Memories Show: Community members collaborate to produce an exhibition of relics and memories of their past.
Opening Reception:  TBA
May 23, 2010 – May 28, 2010
Silent Auction Fundraiser For OURS
Exhibition of Silent Auction Items
Oberlin residents, college students, and faculty have contributed artwork and services to be auctioned in order to raise funds for OURS and the eventual purchase or long-time rental of the Pleasant Street House. Come look at the items to be auctioned off!

Hours: Regular Open Gallery Hours

Silent Auction and Dessert Potluck

All are welcome! Bring friends and family for an evening of music, art, and dessert and support a grassroots community organization.
Event Time:
Friday May 28, 6pm-8:00pm


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Gathering Story: Hannah’s Senior Exhibition

Hannah Linder-Finley’s solo show opened this Saturday, April 24 at the 167 S Pleasant Street house.  This house is part of the Building Prosperity Project- more information at the bottom of this post.  Throughout this academic year, Hannah has worked to collect stories from children in the Oberlin elementary schools and incorporate these stories into her larger body of work.  Hannah is interested in the memories that are imbedded in objects; thus, every material she uses in her pieces have a significance or prior history.  For example, one of the first pieces Hannah completed this year was a wooden chest.  The lid of this chest is a piece of wood that was carried by her parents throughout their travels.  Now this beautiful chest will carry Hannah’s belongings wherever she goes, adding onto the memories imbedded in the wood.

In addition to creating several beautiful wood pieces for her show, Hannah also illustrated a children’s story that she wrote using recycled jeans and fabric.  The story is about a young girl who finds a stone while on the beach, and begins to use the stone as something to hold onto while she recalls her memories.  Over the course of the year the girl loses the stone, and when she finds it again, she remembers all of the things that have happened to her in the past year.

This show took place off-campus in the 167 S Pleasant St house that is being rented as a part of the Building Prosperity project.  This project is a collaboration between Oberlin residents and college students to create an art and community space for the Oberlin Underground Railroad Society.  O.U.R.S. hopes to eventually buy this house; they will be holding an evening art auction May 28th to raise funding for the project.

All photos courtesy Gary Cohen.  To see more pictures of this show and others, visit his Flickr page.


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Things Turn Strange: Julia and Chrissy’s Senior Exhibition

Julia Gootzeit and Chrissy Boland had their Senior Studio exhibition opening this past Friday, April 23 in Fisher Gallery.  Julia Gootzeit’s small drawings and paintings and large, cocoon-like sculptures dealt with notions of home and place.  Her drawings, which were mostly black and white, used a variety of pens, ink and gouache washes.  They worked in conversation with her three large sculptures, as the drawings often portrayed similarly shaped pods and homes.

Julia’s sculptures were made out of found branches that were tied together and then strips of her own shredded clothing were tied tightly across the frame.

Chrissy’s work attempted to map subjective experiences onto abstract charts and graphs.  Most of her pieces were white silkscreens on vellum which were then stitched across with white thread.  Each piece attempted to chronicle a certain month or day of Chrissy’s life, and sometimes a specific area of her life, such as in “Sleep Series”.  Afraid of forgetting her own memories, Chrissy has become a dedicated diarist, and these pieces hold a much deeper significance for her than the minimal white-on-white that meets the eye.

All images courtesy Gary Cohen.  To see more images of this show and others, please see his Flickr page.


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Show and Bestow: an exhibit of artists’ books

Show and Bestow: The Ruth Hughes Collection of Artists’ Books is currently on display at the Main and Art Libraries through June 4th. The Ruth Hughes Collection, which consists of 100 artists’ books by 79 book artists, has been donated to the Oberlin College Library in honor of Ruth Hughes, Oberlin Class of 1985. Gifts to the collection are primarily from the individual book artists.

Find out more, and browse the virtual collection at the exhibition website.

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Posted by on April 22, 2010 in Uncategorized


Don Harvey exhibition opens in Cleveland

The work of Oberlin professor Don Harvey will be on display at the William Busta Gallery in Cleveland from April 30th to May 29th. Entitled Burdened Boy and Other Stories, the exhibition will open with a reception at the gallery from 5-9pm on April 30th.

For more information, visit the gallery’s website.


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Tonight: Screening of films from Oberlin archive

The weekly Cinema 062 series will be screening a collection of 16mm films retrieved from Oberlin College’s collection. The event is free and open to the public, taking place tonight at 8pm in the room 062 of the art building (basement of the Venturi addition). Snacks and drinks will be provided. Listed below are the films to be shown.

BACK TO OBERLIN (1957, 14 min)
A former student’s thoughts at returning after 30 years on commencement weekend, 1957.

BOUNDARY LINES (1947, 11 min)
By means of animated lines, figures, and scenes, this film illustrates through everyday happenings how a “line may be many things” and “a line is only an idea.” The makes a plea for tolerance and breaking down all types of barriers between people.

MANKINDA (1957, 9 min)
A time painting by Stan Vanderbeek, seen at various stages of its evolution, is combined with a poem and calligraphy.

GLASS (1958, 11 min)
Shown against a musical background, the skilled craftsmen in the Netherlands demonstrate their artistry in blowing and molding glass. Filmed at the Royal Glassworks and Leerdam, the film compares mass production to the techniques of skilled craftsmen through excellent film editing.

Especially appropriate for college age and older. Eleven vignettes begin with simple interpersonal situations – someone cutting into line, dealing with a demanding employer and an unpleasant garage mechanic, being asked to canvass for charity – and concludes with a series of more complex situations involving a passive husband, a flirtatious man, an unreasonably angry friend, and a highly opinionated male.

Approximate Running Time: 65 minutes

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Posted by on April 21, 2010 in Uncategorized


Eliza and Grace’s Senior Studio Exhibition

Eliza Koch and Grace Hollander had their Senior Studio opening this Friday, April 16th in Fisher Gallery.  These two studio arts majors showed individual works as well as one piece they collaborated on.  Grace’s large color photographs were mostly portraits of singular people in large, wild landscapes.  Taken over the course of the entire academic year, these photos portrayed the changing Ohio natural world as well as the beauty of her subjects.

Eliza Koch showed work in a variety of different media, including silkscreen, drawing and digital collage.  Using collaged text, Eliza’s silkscreen prints referenced waves, the moon and cycles.

Eliza also showed some ink drawings with references to her other work in the show; moons, collages and the evanescence of time.

Grace and Eliza’s collaborative piece.  Eliza made the forms, and Grace took the photographs.

All photos courtesy of Gary Cohen.  To see more works from this show and others, visit his Flickr page.


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Perfection is a Trifle Dull: Theora and Lucy’s Senior Exhibition

Senior Studio artists Theora Kvitka and Lucy Engleman had their art opening April 9th, 2010.   Lucy Engleman’s work included assemblage sculpture, collage and video and sound pieces.  Her work was sparked by the realization of how many stories are not passed down from generation to generation, and how the colorful and fantastical nature of these stories are trapped away.  Each piece was an example of opening, breaking and revealing so that each of the abstract stories could be heard.

Shot of moving video: “Unpeel/Reveal”

Theora Kvitka’s pieces included sculpture and paintings.  Her work explores the emotions experienced while in crowded public spaces, and the feeling of amazement at the uniqueness of individuals in large populations.   Clay faces, inspired by Daumier caricature busts, covered one wall in a range of exaggerated expressions.

Her other two sculptures were composed of thousands of tiny drawings and paintings and invited the viewer to enter the population Kvitka created.

All photos courtesy Gary Cohen.  To see more photos of this show and others, visit his Flickr page.


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Pipo Nguyen-duy featured in upcoming exhibition

Work by Oberlin professor Pipo Nguyen-duy will be presented in an upcoming group exhibition of Vietnamese-born or –based artists, and artists of Vietnamese descent living and working in the United States. Ascending Dragon: Contemporary Vietnamese Artists opens at the Armory Center for the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery in Pasadena, California this Saturday, April 10th, and runs though June 13th.

Pipo Nguyen Duy’s large-scale, photographic series East of Eden presents staged narratives that question the historical depiction of the American landscape as a “Garden of Eden,” reframing the ostensible ideal through a post-9/11 lens.

The exhibition is sponsored by the U.S. State Department in conjunction with the Ascending Dragon Music Festival and Cultural Exchange program between the U.S. and Vietnam. For more information, see the press release for the exhibition, or the website of the Armory Center.

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Posted by on April 8, 2010 in Uncategorized


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