‘Edge’ exhibition on display at the Fitton Center

HAMILTON – Four artists will showcase painting, photography, sculpture and dimensional silk during the exhibition “Edge” at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts Saturday, June 13 through Friday July 31.

“This is a show that will feature four solo artists in four different gallery spaces on the first and second floors,” said Cathy Mayhugh, director of exhibitions for Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

Participating artists include Paula Baumann (Hamilton, Ohio), Nathaniel Foley (Findlay, Ohio), Robin Dru Germany (Slaton, Texas) and Michelle Podgorski (Lowell, North Carolina).

“It’s called ‘Edge,’ because I was interested in the ways these artists are dealing with issues that are about change,” Mayhugh said. “In particular, spaces that are on the edge of something. That can mean literally, like the photographer Robin Germany, who takes underwater photographs and actually photographs the surface line between the water and the air, or the painter Michelle Podgorski, who makes paintings of plant life. She is particularly interested in the edge of the forest, or the place where human space meets natural space.”

Baumann’s intricate hand-dyed dimensional silk forms translate an appreciation for the subtlety and fragility of nature. She has about 15 pieces featured in the show.

“The idea that I can take silk organza and move it from a flat two-dimensional plane into three-dimensions is really the focus of this exhibition, so it becomes dimensional textiles” said Baumann.

The inspiration for the pieces in this exhibit come from the beauty of some of the creatures in the sea, she said.

“Some of the less beautiful pieces come from the things that we’ve done to the sea to make it less habitable,” Baumann said.

The sculptures by Foley hint at both majestic and destructive qualities of the machinery of flight.

“My sculpture is inspired by aviation, so I don’t directly take the aircraft form and replicate it within my work. I’ve really abstracted it, and taken the aerodynamic quality of aviation and turned these aircraft into cones and spires, which are harnessed together by tensioned wires,” said Foley, who received a MFA in sculpture

Growing up in a family of pilots, Foley said he was exposed to flight and aviation at a young age, which soon developed into a respect and love for the field.

“I spent a lot of time building models of planes and talking about aircraft with my father, a certified aviation mechanic and instructor,” Foley said. “I am really in tune to the details, so I am driven by manipulating the materials and getting my craftsmanship as tight as possible for the viewer to see and appreciate.”

The show will feature a variety of diverse artwork. All of the artists are working in different mediums.

“I am intrigued by the fact that all four of them through the concepts in their artwork are talking about the natural world in some way, and how humans interact with that – whether that be land, air or water,” Mayhugh said.

The opening reception for “Edge” is set for Saturday, June 13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Several of the artists, including Baumann and Foley will be attendance at the reception to greet guests. Prior to the start of the reception, the Fitton Center will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the center’s new LED outdoor message board at 4:30 p.m.

“We want people to see us, and know that we are here. We are an arts center, and we want people to see some of that illustrated on the LED board. It will grab their attention and bring them in. As soon as guests walk through our doors, they are excited about everything that we have to offer. And that’s what we want. We want our new LED outdoor message board to be a welcoming piece,” said Kim Neal, Coordinator of Public Relations, Marketing and Performances, Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

The new LED outdoor message board was made possible through the financial support of George and Rhonda Schmidt. The Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce will conduct the ribbon cutting ceremony.

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