March 2005 Issue
|Wexner Center Galleries at The Belmont Building
330 W. Spring St., Columbus
Gallery hours: Tues-Fri. 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Thur. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 12- 6 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
While Neal Rock uses his cake-decorating tools to put the icing on some pretty sweet pieces, you won't find any of his creations at a bakery or the grocery store. However, you can see Rock's work on display through May 1 in the Wexner Center Galleries at The Belmont Building in Columbus.
Rock is one of 13 artists whose work is featured in "Landscape Confection," an exhibition of 50 "imagined" landscapes created using a range of unconventional methods and materials. In Rock's case, paint is substituted for icing and squeezed from those cake-decorating tools, resulting in highly imaginative and vividly colorful images.
Helen Molesworth, the show's curator, says all of the pieces selected for the exhibition have a "sweet, confectionery quality." But just make sure you bring a healthy appetite for art, not dessert.
"I think all of the works are incredibly intricate and beautiful," says Molesworth. "It's a show filled with color, texture and vibrancy. It's designed, in part, to fend off the doldrums of a gray Ohio winter."
Molesworth, who has been the Wexner Center's chief curator of exhibitions since November 2002, says she developed the idea for the show based on a trend she spotted in her worldwide travels to various exhibitions â€” artists creating traditional and abstract landscapes using a seemingly unlimited palette of materials.
"The artists in this show use things like silk flowers and pony beads that you see young girls wearing in their hair," she explains. "There's even a spider web made out of necklace chains."
Then, there's Ranjani Shettar's installation, a collection of hundreds of beeswax buds suspended from the ceiling at varying lengths by pieces of dyed thread.
Some of the works are derived from topography, others from fantasy and dreamscape. "All of the work is extremely visually enticing," Molesworth adds. "When you get close up, you find out it's made of something you didn't expect."
At first glance, artist Rowena Dring's "Untitled (Water)" appears to be an impressionistic painting of a waterfall. However, upon closer inspection, you discover that it is actually comprised of hundreds of pieces of fabric intricately stitched together. "It's almost like it's paint-by-numbers with fabric," Molesworth says.
She adds that the needlework employed by Dring, which was once viewed as women's work, is becoming a more prevalent form of expression used by both male and female artists.
One-hour guided tours of the exhibition will be offered to guests every Sunday (except March 27). No registration is required for the free tours.
"Landscape Confection" also is kid-friendly. On March 13 from 1 to 3 p.m., artists Mary Forker and Russell Smith will lead families through the exhibition and help children transform dried branches, leaves, husks and pods into colorful artistic creations. While that free program is recommended for children 4 and older, family tours for kids of all ages are scheduled for 2 p.m. on March 20, April 3, April 17 and May 1.
On April 8 at 1 p.m., Molesworth will be on hand to discuss "Landscape Confection" and the ideas behind its creation.