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New Master Drawings

February 19 - April 23, 2005


What could be better than an exhibition of Ohio artists at the Akron Art Museum? A series of exhibitions of Ohio artists organized by the Akron Art Museum at three outstanding venues around Northeast Ohio! While the museum's galleries are closed for expansion, the Akron Art Museum is collaborating with area arts organizations to present New Master Drawings, an innovative three-part exhibition. It is the tenth installment in the museum's Ohio Perspectives series, which focuses on contemporary art in the state.

The first exhibition in New Master Drawings will take place at the Butler Institute of American Art/Salem, 343 E. State Street in Salem, from February 19 through April 23, 2005. This venue, located on the town of Salem's charming main street, will showcase the work of three artists from around the state: Laurence Channing from Cleveland Heights; Robert Robbins from Columbus; and Zena Zipporah from Shaker Heights.

Drawing is one of the most dynamic and talked-about areas of art today, as artists in Ohio and around the world seek to reconnect with craft and handwork. Laurence Channing grinds charcoal into a fine powder and applies it to paper using pieces of felt. He exploits charcoal's silky texture to depict lakeshores, urban landscapes and figures that are precisely modeled but also slightly blurred, as though seen through a haze. Channing heightens the serene, meditative quality of his images by centering his compositions on large forms or dividing complex scenes into separate panels.

Columbus-based artist Robert Robbins also uses charcoal to create his large-scale woodland scenes, images that are both picturesque and tinged with melancholy. The banks of trees and heavy, moist atmosphere in these images relate to the tradition of American romantic landscape painting. However, Robbins adds broad areas of deep shadow that obscure parts of the compositions and draw the scenes close to abstraction.

Zena Zipporah engages in a frankly obsessive drawing technique, covering found objects with small drawings and tiny letters. Her texts, images of humans and animals and the materials on which she draws -- eggs, children's clothing and christening gown -- all reflect her interest in mythology and the creation stories that are part of every culture. Zipporah sees a clear connection between drawing and writing: both offer her a way to preserve and sort through feelings and ideas. Two of her remarkable sketchbooks, filled with drawings, letters, postcards, clippings and other found objects, will also be on view.

Next summer, Summit Artspace in Akron will follow with drawings by three other artists, and in the fall the Canton Museum of Art will show works by a final group. Visitors will thus experience a completely new exhibition at each part of New Master Drawings.

Summit Artspace
May 20­July 14
Lisa Jameson, Cincinnati
Matthew Kolodziej, Akron
Kirk Mangus, Kent
Canton Museum of Art
August 20­October 30
Charles Kanwischer, Waterville
Kate Kern, Cincinnati
Lowell Tolstedt, Columbus

New Master Drawings is organized by the Akron Art Museum. The exhibition series is presented in cooperation with the Butler Institute of American Art/Salem, Summit Artspace and the Canton Museum of Art.

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