21st Annual Kaleidoscope
Betty and Howard Taylor Main Gallery
Kaleidoscope is an annual holiday show presented by the Alliance for the Visual Arts (AVA). This show is open to all members of AVA organizations: Akron Society of Artists (ASA), Artists of Rubber City (AoRC), Cuyahoga Valley Art Center (CVAC), and Women’s Art League of Akron (WAL). This year’s exhibition is juried by Anderson Turner, Director of Exhibitions & Collections at Kent State University School of Art. Winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive a hand-made kaleidoscope by a local artist and their artwork will be featured on next year’s exhibition promotions.
I was super excited to be asked to judge this year’s Kaleidoscope Exhibition and I want to thank Summit Artspace for thinking of me.
Judging any exhibition is always a fun, challenging and thoughtful exercise. When making choices for a show like this, I rely a lot on the skill on display in the work I’m looking at – my personal preferences – and the overall sense of the rhythm or beat of the exhibition that my choices will help to create. It’s not easy to do and when I see the final show hung in the gallery, I always find joyful and unexpected surprises.
Perhaps most importantly, this exhibition is open to several groups that help to make Akron a more interesting and vibrant place to live. As a resident of Akron, I value that in the extreme and I feel honored to be trusted to look at this work by artists in my community. It’s a brave thing to go through the process of applying for a juried exhibition. It’s an experience that is unique for all of us who call ourselves visual artists.
Director of Exhibitions & Collections
School of Art, Kent State University
Did you know?
Most of the artwork on display at Summit Artspace is for sale.
Click on the artwork images for pricing and more information about each piece.
If you would like to purchase any art, please visit a staff member or volunteer at the front desk, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1- Sharon Frank Mazgaj | Busload of Characters | $8,000
CVAC | Colored pencil
Artist Statement: Part of my series on vintage lunchboxes. The “illustration” on the lunchbox was so detailed, I chose to keep the surrounding objects simple, but placed everything to move the eye around the composition. The “Fun with Dick and Jane” book underneath the bus was included because I remember reading from it, and this style of metal lunchbox was popular when I was in grade school. This is my 3 year old grandson’s favorite, because he knows all the characters! This piece took over 100 hours, over several weeks to complete.
2- Helen Wilson | Summer Skies | $800
CVAC | Mixed media, acrylic paint
Artist Statement: This summer I had the goal of creating a few pieces that would “shout” summer. I decided to achieve this by using a bright, bold blue sky with contrasting black and white abstract images. In this piece I used a sgraffito method to create a feeling of wild birds. The
landscape is comprised of my various mono-printing styles along with specialized cutting. This piece does indeed “shout” Summer to me and I think it captures the joy and freedom I experience under the summer sky.
3- Andrea Schepis | Why Was It Important That Noah Save Them, Yet Not That We Must? | $250
Artist Statement: Since retirement, I’ve begun to push myself to create works different from previous works. This piece began a couple years ago as I began to paste Biblical pages from the Story of Noah and the Deluge (Genesis 6:11-9:19) onto a box something had come in. From there I added small paintings I did, of creatures at risk of extinction, a 3D printed bee, that I saved from the trash and embellished, as the cherry on top and other various items. The work sat unfinished and I added items that seemed to be appropriate, as I found them, until the piece finally felt finished. I hope that the large scale of the bee will draw people into the work and that the title and artwork itself, will evoke contemplativeness in viewers to consider why many believe that what Noah did was of importance, but don’t seem to think we have any responsibility in saving various species from extinction.
4- Blake Newhem Valenzuela | Don’t Forget the Blood | $275
ASA & AoRC | Papier-mâché made from century-old book; magazine, book, and ephemeral paper; spray paint over antique cardboard substrate
Artist Statement: This piece began when I discovered in the Akron Public Library bookstore a $1 volume of images by disgraced photographer Bruce Weber. I’d grown up enamored by Weber’s aesthetic, especially in its manifold expressions within the world of Abercrombie & Fitch campaigns; I’d argue Weber’s boys and men defined for me gay sexual desire … I did not know at the time that Weber was allegedly preying on his young male models as a “serial sexual predator.” Seeing the pictures now triggers a complicated cascade of thoughts and emotions, especially in the context of my own childhood trauma. I began with a single image from Weber’s pantheon: a boy boxer trying to look tough, as though he could combat all the horrors that await him. Not even knowing he’s an object of sexual desire by the man capturing his image, he doesn’t have a chance … His shorts are a ticket. On the other side of his world, a religious figure stands oblivious, facing away. But an angel hovers over his shoulder: He’ll be all right. Unlike the boy below him, flipped around, laid out, and faceless … The olives represent for me all the other victims we don’t see; their delicacy, their ripeness, their innocence. An olive is a tidbit. You savor it for several seconds then forget about it forever.
5- Gwen Waight | oh my country | $380
AoRC | Found object assemblage
Artist Statement: Politics in our country right now are pretty intense and divided. The things we love, baseball, guns, and the good ole’ stars and stripes all are contentious diverse issues. The simple has become contentious…oh my country.
6- Janet Mikolajczyk | Zoom Meeting: The Ancients | $195
AoRC | Digital collage
Artist Statement: Zoom meeting is a digital collage with ancient civilizations conversing.
7- Andy Tubbesing | Kala Mees: Atavism Of The Seas! | $400
AoRC | Acrylic paint
Artist Statement: Alive! See Kala Mees, half-man, half-fish. Modern Science Baffled! Parents and pregnant women – beware the unnerving nature of this ichthyic spectacle!
8- Susan Mencini | 12 Fruits | $900
CVAC & AoRC | Acrylic paint, mixed media
Artist Statement: I have painted many a tree in my days. They represent life and it’s seasons. 12 Fruits is another in the tree of life series.
Another trunk, more branches, new leaves, fruit and sky holes that represent this season of life.
9- Tricia Kaman | Anita in Black | $1,200
ASA | Oil paint
Artist Statement: The human form has become and remains my passion and inspiration for painting. I have been painting traditional figurative and portrait art works since 1974. One of my fundamental values has been to paint directly from life, rather than from a photograph. I feel that it gives me a truer perspective and feeling about the person that I am portraying. My north light studio affords me the ability to work with the interior architecture, the use of furniture and fabric, and props which help me express my feelings and reactions to the person posing for me. Each painting is developed through formal design elements such as composition, light, form, color, texture, and space.
In a process that takes as many as six successive weeks, I gather information about my model using both spoken and unspoken dialogue, responding with sensitive observation. I am driven to express the beauty of the human form along with its surroundings.
10- Kim Barnes | Harlem Beckons | $2,500
AoRC | Mixed media
This piece represents the glory of the Harlem Renaissance and the opportunity it unfolded for people of color.
My style is a harmonious marriage of fabrics, notions, and colored pencil portraiture. The combination creates layers and depth of color. I yearn to convey a true level of realism in my drawings: particularly wanting the viewer to be drawn in and to share the moment with me. This form of expression allows for such an amazing array of styles, blending of cultures and endless possibilities. I hope the world will begin to see African Americans and people of color as leaders and visionaries and to recognize the instrumental part we have played in building and propelling the evolution of the world.
11- Robert J. Putka | Border Garden/Drunkards Path | $3,900
ASA | Acrylic paint
Artist Statement: I have always believed that a work of art should be an experience and a feast for the eye, a fulfilling pleasure and journey throughout its entirety. I see my paintings much like a patterned fabric, a quilt or tapestry, teeming with delight, bursting with fanciful patterns, colors, shapes and textures filling every inch from top to bottom and side to side directing and redirecting the eye exuberantly through pathways, to boundless nooks and crannies. The experience should be as exhilarating as a walk through a garden, a field, or the forest with surprises and discoveries all along the way.
I have lived my “art life” conflicted, straddling the joys of “patterned flatness” in surface design through my exploration of the craft of batik, between that of the of the depth and forms found in landscape painting to which I have so joyously worked.
12- Kevin Hudak | Untitled Cubism #2 | $1,500
AoRC | Acrylic paint on canvas
13- April Cameron | Still Life with Hair Dryer and Plastic Fruit | $700
WAL & CVAC | Acrylic paint on canvas
Artist Statement: Working with a Still Life allows me to design a canvas using everyday objects that other people have already designed. Some objects are chosen for their shape or size. I don’t worry about color , I make up my own. Some objects become precious and are repeated in some of my compositions or are used in multiple works as Matisse did in his Still Lifes. I love the overlapping and intertwining objects I choose.
14- Linda Hutchinson | Kids | $3,500
ASA & CVAC | Oil paint on canvas
I have been making art for the better part of my life, originally in the greeting card and print markets, and currently through her fine art drawings and paintings. I work in oil, watercolor and all drawing mediums. Awards include: Ohio Watercolor Society Gold Medal in 2001; First Night Akron button artist in 2008; and twice the recipient of The Kaleidoscope Award. Her affiliations include: Akron Society of Artists; Hudson Fine Art and Framing; Ohio Arts Council; Ohio Watercolor Society; and The Sharon Weiss Gallery in Columbus. I hold a B.A. in French from Miami (OH) University. Major Awards include: Juror’s Choice award in the OOVAR (Ohio Arts Council) Exhibition at the Columbus Metropolitan Library (2018, 2019, 2020); The Ohio Watercolor Society Gold Medal in 2001; First Night Akron button artist in 2008; and twice the recipient of The Kaleidoscope Award at Summit Artspace in Akron, Ohio. Collections include: The Ohio Watercolor Society; Parkersburg Art Center (WV); and The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio.
My work has been awarded a finalist three times this year by juror Janine Gallizia in competitions sponsored by The Art of Watercolour magazine (Paris) and was the focus of an article in the March 2017 edition.
I am a signature member of Akron Society of Artists, the Ohio Watercolor Society and the American Watercolor Society.
15- Tina Grondin | From Here to There | $1,800
AoRC | Oil paint, bound graphite on canvas
Artist Statement: This painting has been created in oil and bound graphite on stretched canvas. It is an abstract landscape which is open to interpretation. To elude the space and figures/objects in it, I used layers of line, shape, patterns and textures. My process is more about design and composition rather than rendering realism. This produces a vagueness in identifying what is here or there. I like that. Some will see a cityscape, others a shore. Maybe your eyes are playing tricks on you and one minute it’s one thing and the next another. From Here to There is a journey. Sometimes it’s complicated, sometimes difficult, or it can be simple and easy going. Regardless, there are always interesting things to discover along the way.
16- Deanna Clucas | Two Down! One to Go! | $205
WAL & CVAC | Watercolor paint
Artist Statement: I couldn’t help capturing this image as my daughter was preparing dinner for little Piper, Zaine and big Max. It seemed like she was taking too long getting the food ready as they looked at each other wondering when they would get theirs. After several unsuccessful attempts at earlier compositions, I finally settled with a portrait format and worked in watercolor, my favorite medium.
17- Gwen Waight | folklore | $600
AoRC | Found object assemblage
Artist Statement: As a child I remember a Japanese story of a girl being born from a peach so that an old couple who cannot have a child can have this miracle child. I have changed it just a bit by making her born from a peach in a cornfield as I was born and raised in Iowa.
18- Deborah Chapman | My Turn | $700
AoRC | Watercolor paint, ink, and marker
Artist Statement: This watercolor reflects strong architectural qualities as well as a glimpse into the lives of the occupants.
19- Dee Fairweather | Path Back Home | $1,060
AoRC | Oil paint
Artist Statement: Perfumed grit swirls in the heat of the summer air as the viewer crests a hill on the way back home.
20- Bradley Hart | Isla | $625
AoRC | Photography
Artist Statement: Photography allows an artist a constant exploration of the boundaries & limits of traditional techniques to create new and thought-provoking images. In this series I have sought to extend those boundaries, showing the beauty and complexity of the traditional nude through the lens of abstraction. Photography, by it’s nature, captures a fraction of a second of time. Here, I cheat that, capturing multiple fractions of seconds of time—and melding them into one.
21- Todd Bergert | The King’s Gambit | NFS
CVAC | Oil paint
Artist Statement: I loved painting this piece of this very interesting looking older gentleman who’s contemplating his next chess move. The chess pieces were unconventional and a challenge to paint as they were out of focus but was a good learning experience
22- Laurel Winters | Mother Earth | NFS
AoRC | Colored pencil, acrylic, and oil paints
Artist Statement: Gaia floats in the solar system as the Spirit of all creation, cradling babies of species that have become endangered by our environmental neglect and political indifference. It is a call to cradle and protect all life on this planet we share.
23- Mary Jo Worthington | Skyriver | $900
CVAC | Acrylic paint on canvas
Artist Statement: This artwork has much texture and motion in it. It may be hung in several ways with the sky small and the river large, or the sky large and the river smaller. I feel it is important to try new styles and be unique in the process.
24- Jim Jones | Lucia | $5,108
ASA & CVAC | Acrylic paint on stretched canvas
Artist Statement: Lucia is a portrait of my dear friend and close neighbor, Lucia. The painting is a study in contrasts and painted with enormous affection. Lucia is now nearing 80 years of age and hails from Ferrara, Italy. Lucia’s portrait was painted to tell the tale of her long and diverse life. The head (hovering above) is Lucia at age 40ish (the young Lucia). The main figure-portrait is Lucia at present age (the not-so-young Lucia). Although Lucia was born into a family of wealth and privilege, she later suffered some financial hard times. Her wealth is symbolized by the valuable necklace she wears – her poverty is symbolized with the peasant costume. Her bare shoulders indicate that Lucia is, unquestionably, an attractive-sexual creature, while her rosary indicates that she is also an extremely pious individual. I certainly hope I did her justice.
25- Robert Goldthwaite | Metamorphosis | $700
CVAC| Water-based paints
Artist Statement: Somewhere between a sea shell and a butterfly . It is a work started as non objective and as it progressed I was reminded of a transformation of two images.
26- Judy Takacs | BANS OFF | $8,000
ASA | Oil paint on canvas with collage
Artist Statement: Since well before Roe v Wade was overturned, I saw the handwriting on the wall and began painting Pro Choice paintings…trying to save the world one painting at a time, as my mantra goes. I only ask models who are fully onboard with the cause of Reproductive Rights to pose for these works that feature flags festooned with hangers with messages on them. The hangers are stark and deadly reminders of the pre-Roe v Wade world we hoped would never return. But it has. My model for BANS OFF chose to pose with LGBTQ+ flags in addition to the Ohio state flag…because legislating our bodies and preventing us from living the lives we choose…is not the place of the government. It is also my hope that this painting will be showing in Akron at a pivotal time when the Reproductive Rights Amendment will be on the November Ballot. I hope it will inspire people to vote YES.
27- Carol H. Paquay | Toaster | NFS
ASA | Ceramic
Artist Statement: A toast to the joy of simple things.
28- Tom Jackson | Those Pink Planters | $2,800
ASA & CVAC | Oil paint on canvas
Artist Statement: Charleston continues to be a favorite town in my ongoing Facade Series. Those sun drenched streets, casting shadows on colonial architecture, provide a great deal of drama throughout the day. A casual Sunday stroll, accompanied by a lone shopper on her cellphone and four mannequins (a simple black dress?) offer a quiet reprieve from an otherwise bustling market district. The signature Carolina palm (offset by those pink planters) offer the dagger-like shadows over the scene and provide just enough relief to the otherwise two dimensional subject. Sometimes you just have to paint the bricks…if for no other reason than to keep the glorious palm from stealing the show.
29- Sharon Frank Mazgaj | King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West | $8,000
CVAC | Colored pencil
Artist Statement: This is my take on a typical lunch of a kid in the 1960’s. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are featured on this vintage lunchbox. I love how the “illustration” has a very dated look and feel. I imagined a little boy sneaking a couple of his cowboys and indian figurines into his lunch. The red apple, Dale’s dress and the red figurine standing on the sandwich were planned to tie the composition together. I chose to make the background a simple one, to make the objects stand out and sort of give the drawing a “contemporary” feel. Colored Pencil work such as this requires over 100 hours of work over several weeks time.
30- Carol Klingel | See What Sticks | $375
ASA, AoRC, & CVAC | Acrylic paint, pencil, wallpaper on wallboard
Artist Statement: Lots of ideas? Throw them at the wall and see what sticks!
31- Carol Klingel | Distracted: Breakfast Fail | $375
ASA, AoRC, & CVAC | Paper, acrylic paint, found object
Artist Statement: A burned pan turned into art with the right attitude and outlook.
32- Judy A Bennett | Again Fire | $400
ASA | Acrylic paint
Artist Statement: Mother Earth is once again telling us to be aware. Even in such destruction, one can feel her energy and see her beauty.