The Oberlin Review

If You Have a Space, Curate: The story of the Exhibition Initiative

Georgia Horn Weinberg, Staff Writer

September 30, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

After meeting with and attending lectures by a number of prominent New York curators as part of their Winter Term project in January 2010, Anna Poe-Kest, OC ’11, and Martha Moldovan, OC ’11, founded the College’s only student curatorial group, Exhibition Initiative. “If you have a space, curate,” they told me when I met with them during the spring of 2010 to discuss the group’s nascent identity. Since then, they have done just that. Beginning in May 2010, the group curated their first annual show,In|Flux, in Hales Gymnasium, and collaborated with the Plum Creek Review on an exhibition of the Art Library’s collection of Mail Art the following November. During the spring of 2011 the group hosted Roni...

3 Door Studios Invigorates Town’s Art Scene

Peter Meckel, Staff Writer

September 23, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

You can find the 3 Door Studios art collective located in the old, Victorian-style house on 121 South Main Street. In the year since renovation began, 3 Door's five resident artists have transformed the house from a dilapidated party center into an attractive workshop, boasting four individual art studios and a community gallery. The interior walls are painted bright, inviting colors, and found-art sculptures decorate the first floor; the atmosphere is inviting and the creativity in the air is almost palpable. The residents of 3 Door hail from diverse backgrounds, each with their own story to tell. Haley Heidemann, who comes from a lumber farm in Elyria, is someone whose contribution to the art scene you already know:...

Art Lovers Warm Cold Courtyard

Art Lovers Warm Cold Courtyard

September 23, 2011

Not many college students can have a Miró hanging in their dorm room for $5 per semester. At Oberlin, we get the opportunity every semester. The Allen Memorial Art Museum held its biannual art rental program last Saturday, Sept. 17. In exchange for a $5 fee and, for some, a chilly night’s wait, students are allowed to rent a maximum of two works from the museum for the semester. The night before the rental, the Allen’s courtyard was cluttered with mattresses, food and students, scores...

Yellin and Lachow’s Not-so-Fatal Attraction

Yellin and Lachow’s Not-so-Fatal Attraction

May 6, 2011

Artists and College seniors Claire Lachow and Isabel Yellin closed out this year’s Senior Studio series with their playful twists on classical tradition and abstract expressionism. Their show, Attraction is a Basic Instinct, created what was simultaneously a dramatic and understated finale to the year’s exhibitions. Lachow’s work is a clever reimagining of the ancient Greek ritual of arkteia, a ceremony in which, according to Lachow’s artist’s statement, pubescent girls were allowed ...

Vera Obscura Upsets Senior Studio Dominance

Jimmy Hagan, Arts Editor

May 6, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

Vera Obscura, an independent senior art show that opened last Saturday night at the Richard Baron Gallery behind Slow Train, dispelled the myth that Senior Studio is the only premier venue for the top talent in the Oberlin art community. The show consisted of impressive and exciting work by College seniors Eli Steltenpohl and Sophie Miles and College fifth-year Jake DeVito. In general, Vera Obscura presented a complex investigation of various media and artistic disciplines. While Miles’s work addressed the idea of portraiture and the myths the genre reinforces about identity, Steltenpohl’s focused on the artificial distinction between sculpture, toolmaking and organic forms found in nature; additionally, ...

Solarity’s Neon Garden Presents Eye-Popping, Seizure-Inducing Blacklight Spectacle

Sarp Yavuz, Staff Writer

May 6, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Theater & Film, Visual Art

For many, Neon Garden began at 8 p.m. Saturday night in a very long line in front of the Science Center. Scheduled to begin at 10 p.m., the event’s pre-sale tickets had been sold out a week before, and countless Obies wanted to get the remaining 150 tickets at the door. The exact nature of the ticket numbering system remains unclear due to the amount of confusion in the long, disorganized queue, which ended with many students leaving frustrated and disappointed. This review is for those left behind. It is also for the chosen few who got in, covered in paint and wearing everything from tutus and bikinis to short shorts and Speedos. Neon Garden was Solarity’s big debut. Co-founded by College sophomores Eli Clark-Davis,...

“Imprinted Legacies” Takes on Family History

“Imprinted Legacies” Takes on Family History

April 29, 2011

“They used to call me chop-suey in Hawaii whenever I went there with my family,” said College senior Claire Stepherson, explaining the first part of her artist statement. “My skin would get really dark, and my hair would be really light.” Hidden in the back room of the FAVA Gallery, students and faculty alike acclaimed Stepherson’s exploration of her identity with praise and awe. Her media of choice — molasses, hair pomades and shoe polish— were particularly impressive and related...

Once Removed Plays With Identity, Memory, Jars of Condoms

Alex La Ferla, Staff Writer

April 22, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

Last Friday, Fischer Gallery played host to Once Removed, a show by College seniors Emma Louise Rodriguez and Rose Hermalin that turned out to be yet another solid Senior Studio partnership. On its surface, the show appeared to display the artists’ radically divergent approaches; however, the works actually shared significant underpinnings of history and preservation, providing visitors with two distinct perspectives on the common theme of memory. Focusing on self-exploration and collective memory, Rodriguez’s work traced her family lineage through a wide array of technically challenging methods. Using photos, letters and history provided by her grandfather as stand-alone pieces as well as source material, Rod...

Photography Professor, Pipo Nguyen-duy, Awarded Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

Linus Ignatius, Staff Writer

April 22, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

This month, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation officially named Oberlin professor of studio art and photography Pipo Nguyen-duy a fellow in the creative arts. Selected from thousands of applicants, Nguyen-duy is one of 180 recipients of the 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship. The Foundation awards a select number of scholars, artists and scientists in the U.S. and Canada grants each year to support their developing research. The grant is “intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional creative ability in the arts,” and provides winners the chance to further develop their research. Nguyen-duy didn’t start photographing until his late 20s, when a friend tossed him a camera. “It’s not ...

Senior Studio/TIMARA Recital: Takahashi Bangs Things Against Things, Among Other Things

Senior Studio/TIMARA Recital: Takahashi Bangs Things Against Things, Among Other Things

April 22, 2011

On NPR a few years back, Thom Yorke of Radiohead explained the value of electronic music. Unlike strumming a guitar, he argued, sound played electronically doesn’t have to be decoded, re-understood and retransmitted electronically. It plays in its original form directly out of the speakers. What Yorke overlooks in his assessment is the constructed difference between real and artificial: We live in an age where sound and image can be so convincingly rendered by binary codes that they appear equal...

Trying to Keep Things Perfect Plays with Mythical Boyhood

Jimmy Hagan, Arts Editor

April 6, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

Mothers and fathers use the phrase “boys will be boys” to excuse their male children’s troublemaking. In the 1940s and ’50s, the phrase could be heard on television and in books like The Little Rascals, Leave it to Beaverand The Lone Ranger. This fictional adolescence was a suburban American cultural product designed to nostalgically reimagine an extinct frontier lifestyle. These stories prepared young boys for a bland adulthood where nosy neighbors and adventurous mortgage decisions would replace fighting Indians and building cabins. Cooper Rogers’ senior studio show, Trying to Keep Things Perfect, updated and personalized these postwar Cub Scout tropes to create a mythologized boyhood. While the h...

“Translucidity” Envisions a Clean, Sharp and Concise Photo-Universe

Alex La Ferla, Staff Writer

March 18, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

According to the Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries, “Translucidity,” the title of College seniors Caroline Casey and Skylar Sweetman’s Senior Studio collaboration, is not a real word. In the absence of a dictionary-sanctioned definition for the word, a more accurate — but significantly less catchy — title for the show might have been “translucence,” a characteristic evident on a number of levels in the work on display. Light and ethereal, yet surprisingly potent, Casey and Sweetman’s work was revealing, but still shrouded in a disquieting air of surreality. Casey perhaps embodies this trait more literally in her work, which consists predominantly of small rectangular Polaroid-style film photographs...

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