WOOSTER, Ohio — The College of Wooster Art Museum (CWAM) will present work by Ellen Sheffield, Bea Nettles, and Shiva Ahmadi in a trio of exhibitions that open Oct. 23 and continue through Dec. 9 in Ebert Art Center (1220 Beall Ave.).
Sheffield, a visiting instructor of art at Kenyon College and the owner of Unit IV Arts in Gambier, will present “Page by Page” in the Sussel Gallery. Her sculptural books are rooted in wordplay and disrupted narrative. She describes her art as an investigation of “letterform perception, reading comprehension, and how to give tangible form to the poet’s quiet voice.” Her upcoming exhibition features several series where text and appropriated images are structurally rearranged as she creates a kind of recombinant DNA using book structures, coded visual symbols, and poetry. The opening reception will be Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6:30-8 p.m., with a gallery talk by the artist at 7 p.m.
Nettles, Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois, will present “Return Trips” in the Sussel Gallery. Her exhibition combines landscape images and glimpses of daily routines. Based on her travels to Italy, Spain, Morocco, Hawaii, North Carolina, Georgia, New Mexico, and Florida, the 25 black-and-white photographs represent “the layered and cyclical nature of time, sense of place, and memory,” according to Nettles, who has been exhibiting and publishing her autobiographical works since 1970 and has had more than 50 one-person exhibitions. In addition to “Return Trips” — organized in support of a Fall 2012 photography class taught by Bridget Murphy Milligan — this exhibition also includes six of Nettles artists’ books. The opening reception will be on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6:30-8 p.m., with a talk by the artist at 7 p.m.
Ahmadi, a native of Iran and now a Detroit-area based artist represented by the Leila Heller Gallery, New York, will present works from her “Throne” series in the Burton D. Morgan Gallery. This exhibition was organized in support of the 2012 Wooster Forum, titled “Complexities of the Middle East,” and will feature representational watercolors influenced by Persian and Indian miniature painting. Ahmadi says that her loosely spattered and highly layered paintings on aqua-board “create an allegorical realm where faceless tyrants and religious authorities sit on ornate gilded thrones while subservient minions bow to them.” Ahmadi’s lush and seductive “Safe Heaven,” 2012, for example, creates an uneasy tension that appears to be geopolitically specific, but is actually a critique of any form of overt and covert dictatorial authority. The opening reception will be Thursday, Nov. 8, from 6:30-8 p.m. in Burton D. Morgan Gallery, with a talk by the artist at 7 p.m.
The College of Wooster Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. All receptions, lectures, exhibitions, and performances are free and open to the public. Group and class tours are also available. For more information or to arrange a tour, please call 330-263-2388 or visit the CWAM website.
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