Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

“Owlboy” Glides with Beautiful World, Emotional Narrative

“Owlboy” Glides with Beautiful World, Emotional Narrative

November 18, 2016

Learning from failure is what makes a hero. This idea is ingrained in Owlboy, an independent platformer game released Nov. 1 by D-Pad Studio. Using a hi-bit pixel-art style, Owlboy follows Otus — a young owl in training — on his adventures through the world. It begins innocuously, with Otus chasing a villain called Troublemaker through the town of Vellie, but quickly picks up from there. Owlboy is visually stunning. The pixelated character sprites are wonderfully articulated, giving both cen...

Craters

Craters

November 18, 2016

Oxenfree’s Nostalgic Ghost Story Avoids Cliché

Oxenfree’s Nostalgic Ghost Story Avoids Cliché

November 4, 2016

Oxenfree is a difficult game to classify. Night School Studio’s most recent title, consisting mostly of wandering around and interacting with both people and the environment as the story slowly unravels, doesn’t fall squarely into any one genre. You play as Alex, a high schooler who is bringing her new stepbrother Jonas to an island party. When only five people show up and Alex’s antique radio starts finding strange signals, things quickly take a turn for the supernatural. This ostensibly trope-fille...

AMAM’s “Conversations” Explores Asian Artistic Influence

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

October 28, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Visual Art

The Allen’s newest exhibit, Conversations: Past and Present in Asia and America challenges the popular assumption that art embodies a strict chronological progression from past to present and influence to influenced. To Curator of Asian Art Kevin Greenwood, it is a much more active process of cultural exchange. The exhibit, comprised of Asian and Asian-style pieces, presents art as a global dialogue punctuated by temporal and geographical disjuncture. It is currently on display in the John N. Stern Gallery. “I really wanted to emphasize that these artists were not passive receptors of … cultural traditions, but they were very actively engaged in picking and choosing things,” Greenwood said. “They have their own...

Gateway Center Installation Completes “Ohio Trilogy”

Gateway Center Installation Completes “Ohio Trilogy”

October 28, 2016

After a busy couple years of change, the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center will finally be home to artist Maya Lin’s exhibit An Ecological Primer: A landscape in 3 parts. Lin is best known for entering the stage of massive art installations at age 21, when she won the 1981 contest to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Since then, she has designed other memorials, along with many other pieces which have focused on the environment. An Ecological Primer uses landscape as a device to di...

Variable State’s Debut Provokes Thought, Confusion

Variable State’s Debut Provokes Thought, Confusion

October 7, 2016

Virginia, the first project released by independent developer Variable State, follows the journey of Anne Tarver, a young FBI agent fresh out of school, and a more experienced agent named Maria Halperin in their investigation of the disappearance of a young boy in the small town of Kingdom, VA. The vagueness of this premise is an intentional part of the game’s design. The best way to approach Virginia is with as few expectations as possible. The narrative is complex and nearly wordless other than the...

Lorain’s FireFish Spectacle Signals Restoration

Lorain’s FireFish Spectacle Signals Restoration

September 23, 2016

A giant fish paraded through the center of town, floated down the river and set on fire barely scratches the surface of the display at the second annual FireFish festival, which took place last Saturday. The city of Lorain’s downtown and boardwalk areas were transformed into thoroughfares of public art, with almost every storefront, alley and doorway becoming a display or performance space. The festival lasted from early afternoon until well after dark, ending despite the rain with the much-anti...

Framing the Allen: Abstraction Shows Artist Evolution

Framing the Allen: Abstraction Shows Artist Evolution

September 23, 2016

The Allen Memorial Art Museum holds nearly 14,000 objects in its own collections. With the physical limits of its galleries, there is no way to exhibit all of this art. This is the first installation in a bimonthly column in which the Review will be bringing unseen favorites of the AMAM staff to the Arts section. Lending and borrowing artwork, according to Andria Derstine, John G. W. Cowles Director of the Allen Memorial Art Museum, is a way for museums to bring greater richness and variety to ...

More than Matisse: Art Rental Continues to Broaden Arts Exposure

Rachel Mead

September 9, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

The Art Rental Program at the Allen Memorial Art Museum has been active for over 75 years, allowing students to rent pieces of art from the museum’s collection every semester for only $5 each. Professor of Modern Art Ellen Johnson, OC ’33, founded the program based on her dedication to bringing people closer to art, according to AMAM Registrar Lucille Stiger. Johnson believed that “if people lived with art, they would develop a greater appreciation for it,” Stiger said. This rings true for Kevin Lin, OC ’17, who has participated in Art Rental every semester he’s been at Oberlin. “It’s a daily, constant reminder. You can pay as much attention to it as you want, but by having it in your day-to-day life,...

Fred Wilson Intervenes at AMAM Sculpture Court

Fred Wilson Intervenes at AMAM Sculpture Court

September 9, 2016

This year, everyone who walks through the front doors of the Allen Memorial Art Museum will be confronted by an unexpected sight. The King Sculpture Court is full of imposing, broken statues. They may look like something from another time and place, but they have really come from nowhere farther than our own town and campus. This collection of sculptures is Wildfire Test Pit, one of the two exhibitions currently on display at the Allen by contemporary artist Fred Wilson set to remain until June 20...

“Inside” Takes Players on Minimalist Journey

“Inside” Takes Players on Minimalist Journey

September 9, 2016

In the middle of a dark forest, guided forward only by sparse patches of light, a little boy makes his way toward an uncertain goal. In this beautiful minimalist world, his way is sometimes barred by puzzles — none difficult enough to ever pose a significant barrier. In that sense, Inside is simple in its depiction of its protagonist’s journey through a bleak world; it consists of moving forward and overcoming obstacles. But to fault the game for being so straightforward would be to ignore i...

New AMAM Exhibit Promises Time Well Spent

New AMAM Exhibit Promises Time Well Spent

September 2, 2016

While Oberlin students spent this week finding time in their schedules for classes, the Allen Memorial Art Museum was also tackling the idea of time. The museum has organized an exhibit called Time Well Spent, which opened in the Ripin Print Gallery in late July. The exhibit showcases pieces, mostly drawn from the Allen’s own collection, that represent aspects of time ranging from the cycles of the seasons and times of day to memory, mortality and the role of time in creating art. Andaleeb Banta, w...

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