I’m happy to announce that the exhibit Blake in the Heartland has opened, and that Tiffin University is hosting a number of events this week related to this exhibit that are open to the public. Organized by Lee Fearnside and James Rovira of Tiffin University, Blake in the Heartland is a celebration of the work of British poet and printmaker William Blake, who continues to inspire responses to his work in art, television, film, and music.
This exhibit features reproductions of Blake’s works by Blake scholar and curator Dr. Michael Phillips, who has curated major Blake exhibits at the Ashmolean at Oxford, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Tate in London, the University of Toronto, and the Petite Palais in Paris. Dr. Phillips will be lecturing on his curating experiences as well as on Blake’s printmaking methods.
It also includes creative responses to the work of Blake by regional artists Robert McFate (Ohio) and Emily Brandehoff (KY), who originally developed these works for the exhibit INNCE/EXPCE. Curated by Keith Banner, this exhibit ran from June 28th to August 10th, 2013 at Thunder-Sky Gallery, Inc., in Cincinnati, OH.
Schedule of Events
9:30 a.m. – Lecture by Dr. Michael Phillips on his curating experiences. Lecture presented in the Diane Kidd Gallery (coffee and light refreshments served).
1:00 p.m. – Printmaking demonstration for Tiffin University students in Hayes Center Room 111. Space is limited and registration is required; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6:30 p.m. – Lecture by Dr. Michael Phillips, “Printing in the Infernal Method: William Blake’s Method of Illuminated Printmaking” in Chisholm Auditorium (Frank’s Hall).
9:30 a.m. – Demonstration of Blake’s printmaking techniques in Hayes Center Room 111 for area high school students. Space is limited and registration is required; email email@example.com.
5:30 p.m. – Closing reception with artists’ talks in the Diane Kidd Gallery.
About William Blake
William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet, printmaker, and painter whose work engages such topics as the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, slavery, psychology, mythology, politics, and religion. Blake continues to inspire artists in a variety of media. Lines of Blake’s poems or his visual works unexpectedly appear in films such as Mean Streets, Bladerunner, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Dead Man, and Red Dragon. He has been particularly influential in music since the 1960s, inspiring the name for the band The Doors as well as several musical adaptations of his poems. More recently, Martha Redbone’s 2012 album The Garden of Love sets twelve of Blake’s songs to blues and folk music.
The exhibition is available for public viewing from March 19 through April 9, 2015.
Dr. James Rovira and Prof. Lee Fearnside would like to thank the Ohio Arts Council for the grant that helped make this exhibit and related events possible, and Columbian High School of Tiffin, OH for their letter of support, which helped us acquire the grant. We would also like to thank Tiffin University’s Alumni Association, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Graduate and Distance Education for their support.
For more information, contact Lee Fearnside, Director of the Diane Kidd Gallery, at 419-448-3427 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in having Michael Phillips visit your institution, or would like more information about a possible visit, please email James Rovira at email@example.com.
- Michael Phillips’s biography for the Special Collections library at Emmanuel College.
- Dr. Michael Phillips demonstrating Blake’s printmaking methods for the British Library.
- Publications by Michael Phillips:
- Michael Phillips’s exhibit at the Ashmolean Library at Oxford University.
- A review of Michael Phillips’s presentations at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, MA by Dr. Virginia Ragunin for New York Arts magazine. This exhibit was similar to that hosted by Tiffin University in March-April 2015.
- An article about Michael Phillips’s major exhibit at the Tate Museum in London in History Today.
The 15th Annual Easton Art Affair is an art festival taking place at Easton Town Center, a major mall on the east side of Columbus. My family and I browsed around there today, so I thought I’d drop some notes about my favorite artists (so far).
I have to list John R. Jay Canterbury first because I purchased one of his prints. The artwork that is the basis of this print was made by pressing a canvas against a door and painting on the canvas through the door in different positions, with different paints, etc. But what first caught my eye were his photographs, which typically looked like Jackson Pollack or Arthur Dove, or maybe Mondrian before his Paris phase, and more than anyone Rothko, but were in fact extreme close-ups of curbs, parts of buildings, roads, etc., the specific detail being selected for its composition and color.
Next I’ll have to mention David Scherer’s “Very Cool Clocks” which live up to their names very well, many of them reminding me of figures and objects in Dali paintings. Please visit his website — he has a quite a few photos of his artwork (which reminds me of Picasso a bit) as well as his clocks. The one I almost purchased today, but didn’t (as my wife slapped her forehead at me just for buying the print), looks something like this one:
The rest of the artists I’m going to list in alphabetical order. Some worked in glass, some in paint, some in photography: one made knives. Take a minute and check out their work. They will be there again tomorrow, Sunday, June 28th, until 5 p.m. I’m listing these artists in short order, sometimes with little to no detail, only because I often didn’t get a chance to speak with the artist. Rain clouds started coming in and people had to start closing up their tents.
Jake Asuit Custom Knives (Beautiful and interesting knives, some of them made out of hand tools, railroad spikes, etc.)
John Parker’s Lamps of Note (This artist converts unusable musical instruments — guitars, saxophones, etc. — into floor lamps, work he began as an offshoot of his instrument repair service. His wife assured me none of the instruments used were capable of being repaired. One of his table lamps is made from a banjo. She said the banjo repair guy said to him, “Do the world a favor and turn this one into a lamp.” She volunteered this information without asking me, probably seeing the look of shock on my face at the idea of a perfectly playable instrument being turned into a lamp.)
Veena’s Art and Design (Just a “mailto” link — she doesn’t seem to have a website.)
Bill Watkins’s Unique Metal Art (An auto body repairman who creates some amazing metallic art. At first I thought they were glass.)
Interesting, brief talk by Brian Eno on creativity. Anything he has to say about this topic is worth listening to. At one point Eno compares a “cowboy” (explorer) to a “father” (stay there and tend the land), expressing preference for the cowboy. It’s an interesting comparison that Kierkegaard makes in Either/Or II with slightly different terms: I think he compares a conqueror to a farmer, but Kierkegaard prefers the farmer. Behind this comparison is his controlling trope of the seducer vs. the husband, the man who takes a woman and then moves on vs. the man who loves and marries her.
I think the best creative works combine the two impulses: cowboys and conquerors are always just fathers and farmers still looking for their homes. We see this kind of figure in films like Braveheart and Gladiator: the hero fights to avenge or to recover his lost home.
I think the real question, also, is about what is being created. Being a constant cowboy in music is a good thing. But suppose you really are building a nation, a community, or a home? Being a constant cowboy makes you very destructive in those cases. And what might happen if a musician were more the father/farmer type than the cowboy type? Instead of constantly seeking new sounds, musics, etc., these musicians would be developing their genre — expanding what it can do. So does this mean the cowboy in music never makes it past a superficial exploration of his or her new sound? Or maybe, in the end, developing your sound always means transforming it into something new?
The latest issue of the online journal Mixitini Matrix features Cynthia Morefield’s essay “Reservoir–An Experiment in Viewer Collaboration,” which describes how her modular work requires viewer collaboration. Each individual artwork is comprised of several modules that can be rearranged to create different patterns based upon viewer preference. The modules themselves are very interesting. They’re multilayer works that are etched, scraped, and drilled to different depths to reveal different layers and colors on the surface.