CSN Panel Schedule
6:30 p.m. – Public networking with visiting artist, panelists and moderator.
7 p.m. – Panel event followed by audience discussion.
8 to 8:30 p.m. – Public networking continued.
Sculpture for Society, the 7th panel for the Cleveland Sculptors Network, focuses on sculptors whose work is in direct response to societal movements, social upheaval, and historical events. Panelists include The Sculpture Center’s visiting, out-of-our-region artist Allison Smith, Dean of Fine Arts of the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and an artist who considers historical patterns, events, traditionally held beliefs, and recent momentous events in her sculpture, and Pittsburgh artist Adam Milner whose practice focuses upon recollection, collections, and the act of collecting. They are joined by Matthew L. Levy, art historian of modern and contemporary art and assistant professor at Penn State Behrend, and moderator Nicole Ledinek, curator of education + engagement at MOCA Cleveland. Allison and Adam are exhibiting at The Sculpture Center through October in Two of Wands.
Allison Smith was born in Manassas, Virginia, in 1972, and later went on to graduate from The New School for Social Research. She then achieved a BFA in fine arts from Parsons School of Design and an MFA in sculpture from Yale University School of Art. She has produced over twenty-five solo exhibitions, installations, and performances at establishments including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, The Arts Club of Chicago, and S!GNAL Center for Contemporary Art among many more. She has also been involved with many group exhibitions including some at P.S.1./MoMA and The Tang Museum. Smith also lectures at schools and museums at home and abroad. Smith has received funding from many programs, and has held residencies in Sweden, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, and California. She currently has work on display at multiple museums including the Whitney, LACMA, Saatchi Gallery, and many private collections. Learn more about Allison and see her past work here.
Allison was teaching at Carnegie Mellon University when she and Adam met. She has now returned to San Francisco to take the post of Dean of Fine Arts of the California College of the Arts, where she previously was the Head of Sculpture.
Adam Milner is an artist treating personal experiences as a site of anthropological inquiry: observing, interviewing, collecting, and archiving, carefully but somewhat distanced. Studying and drawing upon the various ways we connect with material and social worlds, as well as how we hold on to those moments through objects, Milner combines and confuses spaces like the hoard, the archive, the museum, and the home. The resulting works take the form of performances, sculptures, drawings, texts, and interventions which examine broader politics of relationships and intimacy. Rooted in longing, the archives ultimately point to their own subjectivity, creating blurred categories which embrace queerness. Milner has exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum, the Aspen Art Museum, MCA Denver, Casa Maauad, Flux Factory, Gildar Gallery, and David B. Smith Gallery and created a commission for the current issue of The Third Rail. An Art at the Frontier Grant from the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry led to Nowhere Voyage, a performance and documentary surrounding a grindr-led cruise liner. Milner received an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and has upcoming projects at the Mattress Factory and The Clyfford Still Museum. See Adam’s past work here.
Matthew L. Levy is Assistant Professor of Art History at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. His book, Abstract Painting and the Minimalist Critiques: Robert Mangold, David Novros, and Jo Baer in the 1960s, will be published by Routledge in 2019. His writing has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail and Journal of Contemporary Painting, as well as in exhibition catalogues for the National Gallery of Canada and Museum Wiesbaden. At Penn State Erie, he organized a series of lectures by social practice artists that featured representatives from Critical Art Ensemble, Transformazium, and Conflict Kitchen.
As a facilitator of learning, moderator Nicole Ledinek is interested in the intersections of progressive education and informal learning spaces. As a graduate of the Leadership in Museum Education at BankStreet College in New York City, Nicole aims to design inclusive programs and interpretive opportunities for visitors of to build skills necessary to be active participants in their lives and communities. Here, Our Voices: teens for social change, is a recent example. Nicole holds a Masters of Science in Education from BankStreet College and a Bachelors of Art Education from The Ohio State University.
CONGRATULATIONS to our selected winners for the Master Review: Ella Medicus, Elizabeth D. Taylor, Eric D. Charlton, and Alice Young. Medicus‘ work is wrought with irony, and a dryly humorous use of cultural imagery. Pieces such as Elongated Amazon Box suggest Amazon’s branding to activate a sense of familiarity that is immediately denied by the box’s strange proportions and the glitchy rendering of the symbols. Taylor‘s work focuses on the body and the mystical, combining imagery of the base and universally accessible– that being stripped down elements of the human anatomy, with the vocabulary of the spiritual. Her work shares a visual synergy with folk art and artists. Young projects light and shadow onto the wall to create fictive industrial environments, like the ones she sees from the window of her studio in Southern Ohio. These projections act like shifting dreamlike visions, warped by the contours of the wall itself. The same effect of dreamlike distance is created in her DarkGlass series that combines images of natural disasters with Victorian-style mirrors and furniture. Charlton combines performance, digital media, industrial materia, and even cheap costumes to act as an artist/agent of chaos. Pieces like cheddarcheeseSuperman, where Charlton donned a one-size-fits-all superman outfit and caked it with pound after pound of powdered cheese and drank beer while offering vague “help” to shoppers at a mall, are troubling but in the end, harmless. His work is constantly testing the viewer and himself, his materials consisting of things like “as many concrete hot dogs as I can hold,” and it is ultimately dripping with a singular sensibility that seems to mock the mainstream art world as much as it contributes to it. The four artists will be in attendance at the panel on the 22nd.
About the Cleveland Sculptors Network Panel/Master Reviews
In 2016, The Sculpture Center and the commercial Cleveland gallery 2731 Prospect (closed April 30, 2017) formed the Cleveland Sculptors Network/Getting There from Here as a venture to increase the reach and connectivity of sculptors in Northeast Ohio and our greater region. We are hosting a series of evening panel discussions with a social gathering and Master Reviews & Collective Discussion the following day. The moderated panel discussions focus on selected contemporary issues in sculpture, issues facing artists living and working outside major metropolitan cities, and strategies to have sculptors’ work shown beyond our region. The panelists include a mid-career sculptor from outside our region by invitation and one or two regional sculptors. These panels are open to everyone who is interested — the public, sculptors, artists of all media, academics and students.
On the following day after the panel, the visiting sculptor holds a private Master Review & Collective Discussion with an intimate group of 5 to 6 selected sculptors of Northeast Ohio and our greater region. This is a group critical feedback discussion of the work presented by the selected artists, intended to foster ongoing ties of the sculptors with the visiting artist and among the regional sculptors for future interactions.
Visiting sculptors and curators to date have been artist Nathalie Miebach (November 2016), artist Luca Buvoli (April 2017), artist Steve Locke (June 2017), curator Christina Linden (November 2017), sculptor and installation artist Ward Shelley (April 2018), and curator Taylor Aldridge (July 2018).
The Cleveland Sculptors Network is generously funded in part by the Callahan Foundation.
The Sculpture Center
1834 E. 123rd Street
Cleveland, OH 44106