Thanks for joining for my second installment from my recent trip around WV arts!
I stopped by Clay Center and was excited to see a packed parking lot, like oh wow, more people are visiting art on a random Tuesday morning!…Upon entry I was reminded it’s also a Children’s Museum…which was packed. The art museum part, upstairs was completely empty. Ah well – more intimate visit for me!
What was up:
Material Pulses: Seven Pulses and Stitching Our Story, and Drawings by Ric Ambrose. I wanted to love the former, had wrote-off the latter (another white man) but ended up loving it.
[Women and minorities have been written off since…since. So I feel ok writing off white men…I love men! Just it’s other people’s turn….]
Material Pulses: Seven Pulses and Stitching Our Stories were fabulous exhibitions of huge intricate and diverse quilts by some amazing contemporary artists from across the state and nation. I appreciate the craft and ingenuity of these artist and I’m so grateful they are making work and love that they’re successful in doing it. But for me, I miss bodies and loose expression. My faves: the double sided Veiled Connections by Jane Willoughby (left, Side A, always love doubled sided works!); and the playful ceiling hanging touchable work by Christine Mauersberger (below).
But Ric Ambrose’s drawings just made me swoon. Took me back to drawing class in undergrad; the love of just pencil to paper (remember having arguments with other art majors about the “best media” – drawing. Hands down!). You can see the passion in his lines. I love drawing’s ability to portray emotion just through lines.
Above: The Art of Artifice, 2019, from his website.
This is graphite on paper! Art within art! People! Action! Jenny Saville! Oh how I love it!
Left: Sketch for a Quarantine Portrait, 2020, from his website.
Those faces, the sketch of the sketch! The pencil, that portrait in the background, the food…the action of those lines…just love!
Another random thing is that he was a Museum administrator for decades and recently came back to creating. I am in arts administration and would LOVE to “just” make art someday…so this gives me hope!
Last shout-out to the Museum of American Glass in West, WV. Holy cow SO MUCH GLASS! Not just dishware but sculpture and random knick knacks and keepsakes…I loved the collection of collectible Smurf glasses from McDonald’s from the 1980s, and this incredible glass dollhouse, with miniature glass furniture, art and even an outdoor fountain! That’s the house below and that’s the interior – see the bar with wine and glasses, and the kitchen through there. Incredible!
[This reminds me of a contemporary glass exhibit I co-curated a few years ago…that was an interesting one to develop and hang!]
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