Nancy Crow Quilts: Color, Mark-Making & Engineering 

June 22-July 21 

This dynamic solo exhibition of works by native Ohio artist Nancy Crow will include a group of machine-pieced & engineered geometric quilts in bold colors along with a group of small mono-prints and larger hand-screened and hand-painted works. All of these works have been created using 100% cotton, either in natural color or hand-dyed. Known both as a colorist and for her intricate machine-piecing, Ms Crow sees her work as drawings to be hung on the wall. She states that ideas flood her—more than she can ever manage—and that they are all rooted in her life experience as an intense observer, traveler and daydreamer.

Trained as a tapestry weaver and ceramist, with both a BFA and a MFA from Ohio State University, she has been creating contemporary quilts for over 40 years and works in a very large 3-story studio on her 100 acre farm east of Columbus, Ohio. She maintains both dry and wet studios (for screen-printing/ mono-printing/ dyeing/painting on fabric) and has hand-dyed nearly all of her 600 plus color palette. She works alone with no assistant.

As regards the machine-pieced quilts in this exhibition, Ms Crow states that: “they representmy intense fascination and observation of our moving 4 distinct 1800’s timber frame barns to our farm and their subsequent renovation into working studios. As the barns were taken down, I became mesmerized by the “boards” which in my mind reduced to visual slats of colors. As boards fell, they criss-crossed into piles where they waited to be stacked coherently. To me, the piles of criss-crossed boards formed fabulous compositions and I mimicked them in my series titled CONSTRUCTIONS”.

As regards her mono-prints, Ms Crow states that: “In my life as an artist and contemporary quilt maker, I have had many goals. As I grew older, one goal became the most persistent which was to learn how to mono-print—not on paper—but on 100% cotton fabric with thickened Procion dyes. I had taken various surface design workshops in the past where mono-printing had been touched on fleetingly. My goal was to become reacquainted with the processes and then explore them in depth myself. For this I had 4 distinct printing sessions, three of these on my farm in my own wet studios and one in England.” Over two years she produced more than 200 mono-prints, most never shown before. The mono-print drawings on exhibit include very small pieces. Currently she is working once again on machine-piecing for a major solo show at TheUniversity of Nebraska’s Interna’onal Quilt Study Center & Museum, August 2, 2019 – through January 9, 2020.

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Paintings by Wadsworth Aikens Jarell

June 22-July 21 

Wadsworth Aikens Jarrell is an African-American painter, sculptor and printmaker. He was born in Albany, Georgia, and moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago. After graduation, he became heavily involved in the local art scene and through his early work he explored the working life of blacks in Chicago and found influence in the sights and sounds of jazz music. In the late 1960s he opened WJ Studio and Gallery, where he, along with his wife, Jae, hosted regional artists and musicians.

Mid-1960s Chicago saw a rise in racial violence leading to the examination of race relations and black empowerment by local artists. Jarrell became involved in the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC), a group that would serve as a launching pad for the era’s black art movement. In 1967, OBAC artists created the Wall of Respect, a mural in Chicago that depicted African American heroes and is credited with triggering the political mural movement in Chicago and beyond. In 1969, Jarrell co-founded AFRICOBRA: African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. AFRICOBRA would become internationally acclaimed for their politically themed art and use of “coolade colors” in their paintings.

Jarrell’s career took him to Africa in 1977, where he found inspiration in the Senufo people of Ivory Coast, Mali and Burkina Faso. Upon return to the United States he moved to Georgia and taught at the University of Georgia. In Georgia, he began to use a bricklayer’s trowel on his canvases, creating a textured appearance within his already visually active paintings. The figures often seen in his paintings are abstract and inspired by the masks and sculptures of Nigeria. These Nigerian arts have also inspired Jarrell’s totem sculptures. Living and working in Cleveland, Jarrell continues to explore the contemporary African American experience through his paintings, sculptures, and prints. His work is found in the collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, High Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem and the University of Delaware.

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