Summers are filled with adventures and gathering— things that make us feel alive and human. To me, this exhibition cycle is special because it embodies many of the feelings I identify with summer itself, like joy and celebration, freedom and warmth, connection and reunion with loved ones.
Some of the exhibitions commemorate lifetime achievement. That’s joyful in itself, but the themes within the artwork reflect this feeling as well. I DID IT MY WAY, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker’s solo show, surveys her long career as one our region’s significant working artists. Her Neo-Expressionist paintings are full of life and familiar rejoicing: a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a kitchen table, an old friend, all rendered in gestural paint strokes with lively colors. Similarly, Jospeh T. Dick—creator of the original Zippy mascot design at The University of Akron—showcases his photographs and other artworks in The Art of a Lifetime. His images reflect his life’s adventures of traveling, as well as his regard for the natural world. He urges viewers to “feel your connection with life.”
The Art of Rex Mitchell radiates the artist’s love of French Impressionist and post-Impressionist art. Just like the famous painters of those eras, Mitchell’s artworks often feature people enjoying life in a pastoral setting. His lifetime achievement as an artist is considerable; undeterred by developmental disabilities. He has been an active artist producing cohesive bodies of artwork for many years.
Our two other exhibitions revolve around how we connect with others. Human: Nature, a group exhibition of artists from Oberlin, explores how people interact with each other and the environment. Through differing mediums and perspectives in their art, the artists come together to promote compassion. Disorganized Attachment, a solo show by Debra DeGregorio, illustrates how chaotic some intimate relationship styles can be. Through mixed media drawings creating spaces that both come together and disintegrate at once, the works have a push- and-pull effect on the viewer. With a mix of detailed drawing and bright colors, they ultimately feel contemplative and hopeful.
Natalie Grieshammer Patrick
Director of Artist Resources