Emerging artists: Parkwood Gallery exhibit features UT, BGSU gradsWritten by Emily Gibb | | email@example.com
A new exhibit at the Parkwood Gallery is featuring emerging artists who are University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University alumni.
Artists Anthony Fontana, Evaleigh Stroud and Meghan Yarnell work with different visions and mediums but their works exude a quirky, “hip and contemporary” theme, said Ryan Bunch, Arts Commission of Greater Toledo’s (ACGT) performing and literary arts coordinator.
“The pieces in this show are some of the strongest to ever come through our jury process,” said Michelle Carlson, ACGT program coordinator. “They show that everyone makes art differently and for different reasons. These artists wouldn’t be making the work that they do without dealing with the larger concepts expressed in the work. They take common things that you wouldn’t expect to see and blend them into fine art, in a way that is very tongue and cheek. They really make you think. We try to offer diversity, as part of our educational component. Because we are in a position to take risks, we’re able to offer space to students and up-and-coming artists without worrying so much about whether the art sells; we can concentrate solely on creativity.”
Fontana takes a humorous and literal approach to popular social media trends. His installations play with the catchword “fail” and the Twitter hash mark (#), Bunch said. “There’s a big pile of broken pencils that spell out ‘#sculpture fail,’ and photocopies that say ‘#copy fail.’ Those are pretty neat,” Bunch said.
The BGSU instructor and former director of online gallery FontanaArts has built a strong reputation for dealing with global cultural issues in the field of technology. He has exhibited his work at local venues such as the Secor Gallery. His 2009 exhibition at the Secor also featured Fred Leighton. Other exhibits include Virtual Exhibition in Second Life, “Fontana 2.0,” presented in 2007.
“My concept for this show came from places like Twitter and was created over a period of something like 18 months. It’s something that I’m still working on and exploring with my students in the classroom,” Fontana said.
Stroud is working on a bachelor’s degree in Studio Fine Arts at the University of Toledo. Her work puts a spin on gender roles and stereotypes. She crocheted different sizes of handguns, but put real bullets inside.
“They’re fun and funny and really cool,” Bunch said.
Yarnell rounds out the trio of artists with her ceramic mugs and containers. Each depicts societal priorities, such as being happier or skinnier. She enjoys imparting imagery on everyday, functional ceramic vessels to encourage the viewers to reflect upon our social norms while eating breakfast or drinking their morning coffee. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3-D studies at Bowling Green State University in 2005.
The exhibit is one of many that ACGT coordinates in the gallery each year that highlights the work of new artists.
“We like to use the gallery as one of the first steps for local artists to get their foot in the door and get their name out there and hopefully sell some work,” Bunch said.
The exhibit continues through April 22. Parkwood Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and is located at 1838 Parkwood Ave., Suite 120.
For more information, visit www.acgt.org.
Toledo Free Press Star Staff Writer John Dorsey contributed to this report.