Exchange Exhibition with the Boston Sculptors Gallery

June 8 - July 14, 2012, at The Sculpture Center
Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies
Boston Sculptors Gallery in Cleveland
Caroline Bagenal | Laura Evans | Peter Haines | Michelle Lougee | Julia Shepley | Jessica Straus | Margaret Swan | Marilu Swett | Hannah Verlin | Andy Zimmermann

June 8 | 5:30 - 8:00 PM Opening Reception
| 6:30 - 7:15 PM Artists Talks in the Euclid Avenue and Main Galleries with Marilu Swett, Peter Haines, Julie Shepley, Jessica Straus, and Andy Zimmerman
July 14 | 2:00 PM Boston Sculptors Gallery Artists Closing Panel: Creating and Sustaining an Artists Collaborative

5 Boston Sculptors Gallery sculptors - Caroline Bagenal, Peter Haines, Michelle Lougee, Marilu Swett, and Andy Zimmerman - have extremely varied approaches to sculpture as an art discipline. They discuss their artwork in the larger context of the Boston Sculptors Gallery and how they and the 27 other member artists created and have sustained this unique and highly successful commercial collaborative.

[more about Boston Sculptors in Cleveland]

July 5 - August 12, 2012, at the Boston Sculptors Gallery
Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies
Cleveland Sculptors in Boston
Jake Beckman | Elizabeth Emery | Sarah Kabot | Lauren Kalman | Irina Koukhanova | Paul O'Keeffe | Nancy Prudic | Kristin Rogers | Mark Soppeland | Robert Thurmer | Charles Tucker | Christian Wullfen

July 6 | 5:00 - 8:00 PM Opening reception with artists' talks

[more about Cleveland Sculptors in Boston]
[more about the Boston Sculptors Gallery]

Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies is the first joint venture and exhibition exchange between The Sculpture Center of Cleveland and the Boston Sculptors Gallery in downtown Boston. This exhibition will bring the works of 10 Boston sculptors to Cleveland and those of 12 Northeast Ohio artists to Boston in order to introduce visitors to the quality and variety of sculptural production in the two regions. The exhibitions successfully speak to the artists' own regional and cultural backgrounds and, more broadly, to the range of the aesthetic and conceptual concerns of contemporary sculpture in the post-modern age.

Paramount to the concerns of much contemporary sculpture is a deliberate breaking down of any hierarchy regarding the mechanisms and organization of artistic creations. Many of the works shown in Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies exhibit these creative tendencies, and there is a notable presence of works produced using nontraditional materials. Curator Ann Albano and advisor Robert Thurmer noted the high quality of the production techniques of the Boston Sculptors Gallery's artists, a bias towards repurposing of "found" domestic objects, and a proclivity for sophisticated whimsy or double entendre that extends to irony, as well as a concern for personal and environmental issues. For the Cleveland artists there is a notable use of common construction materials, such as plywood, plaster, roofing tar, and sand, combined with other media and markedly non-high art materials to convey abstract concepts.

Initiated by Boston Sculptors Gallery artist Jessica Straus, cultivated by Boston Sculptors Gallery artist Julia Shepley, and curated by The Sculpture Center's Executive Director and Chief Curator Ann Albano, with the advice of board member Robert Thurmer, also Director of Cleveland State University's Art Gallery, Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies brings to each city striking examples of the 3-D aesthetic and artistic concerns of our time. Both the Boston Sculptors Gallery and The Sculpture Center support the development and exhibition of new pieces which exemplify the multi-faceted nature of modern sculpture.

Boston Sculptors Exhibiting at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland

Peter DeCamp Haines, Migration, 2001, 300 bronze elements, 14 in. longest. Image Courtesy of Clements_Howcroft.

Peter DeCamp Haines
Haines' contribution to Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies is his piece Migration, a subset of his Archaeology series, which explores formal aspects of sculpture, including form, line, space, scale. He works with wax or clay, searching for shapes that feel right to his aesthetic, a style based in geometry, negative space, and clean silhouettes. The geometric shapes of his traditional style are simple and graceful, both contemporary and antiquated. Haines suggests that this sculpture is reflective of a larger human psychological condition which he calls the "archaeology" of the subconscious.

about the artist

Peter De Camp Haines was born in 1942 and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1965 with a BA in psychology/anthropology—areas that have informed his art making. He served in the Marine Corps from 1965-1969. Haines earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1971. He received a diploma (sculpture concentration) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1974.

Haines has exhibited internationally and has created sculptures for parks in Fuzhou, China and Seoul, South Korea. In 2008, he was a speaker at the International Sculpture Conference in Changchun, China. Haines has also displayed his sculptures at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Massachusetts and has installed a piece at the Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey.

Haines is a cofounder of the Vermont Gentlemen's Foundry - a low-tech facility built in the woods by four friends to cast their own work. He is a founding member of Boston Sculptors Gallery.

Michelle Lougee
Michelle Lougee's work is a collection of vibrant and tactile woven sea creatures created from plastic bags. Lougee's artistic process wherein bags are transformed into malleable and sculptural materials has yielded a variety of dynamic, imaginative, and lifelike interpretations of sea life including jellyfish, anemone, coral, and sea cucumber. The largest work in this exhibit is Octoplas, an octopus-like creature woven from over 500 post-consumer grocery bags. Dinoflagellate is a similar composition, an enlargement of a related sculpture titled dinoflagellata, so called after an essential food source for larger ocean animals. Dinoflagellate is a complex form created from a variety of honeycomb-like structures.
Michelle Lougee, Octoplas, 2009, plastic shopping bags, 100 in x100 in. x 20 in. Image Courtesy of the Artist.

about the artist

Michelle Lougee is an environmental artist, sculptor, and ceramist. She has been a member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery since 2004, and her artwork has been shown in many New England museum exhibitions, including Chesterwood, the Worcester Art Museum, the Danforth Museum, and Bristol Art Museum. Lougee also teaches sculpture, ceramics, pottery, and drawing at various local museums. She holds an M.F.A and a B.F.A. from Boston University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Michelle balances her sculptural work by acting as a freelance illustrator whose credits include business and financial publications such as Software, Strategy and Business, and Bloomberg Wealth Manager.

Julia Shepley
Julia Shepley is a sculptor whose body of work is largely inspired by the study of natural structures and processes molded by the passage of time. Her works often suggest the progression of history and narrative, structure and space. Shepley's installation for this exhibition, Sky Habitation, suspended in the gallery, is designed to create a dynamic interaction between material forms and shadow. In this work, the disparate elements of the composition dissolve. The parts interact, overlap, and cast shadows on the floor and walls to suggest a fusion of sky, trees, and human presence. The artist has indicated that the work is reflective of her ongoing interest in puppets, shadow puppetry,and suspension.

about the artist

Julia Shepley is a founding member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery and the Brickbottomm Artist Building where she has served on several executive boards and committees. Her studio is located in the latter institution in Somerville, MA. Shepley studied at Hampshire College and Boston University. Shepley is represented by the Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston, MA, and is an alumni member of A.I.R. Gallery, a member of The Textile Study Group in NYC, and is represented in museum and library collections in the Boston area.

Jessica Straus
In her latest series of sculptural work, Widgets, Jessica Straus addresses questions of manufacturing and commercial production. The artist suggests that her artistic process for her series was similar to that of a "cottage industry" which produced widgets which are simultaneously familiar and perplexing. She states that "by marrying a gadget from a couple of generations ago with my own hand-carved, friction fit interventions I'm stretching definitions of function, celebrating invention, putting in a plug for the quirkiness of the individual and thumbing my nose at mass production."

about the artist

Jessica Straus was raised on the coast of New Hampshire but now resides in the Boston region. Straus is a founding member of the Brickbottom Artist Building in Somerville, where her studio is also situated. She has been a member of Boston Sculptors Gallery since 2009. Straus attended Brown University, received her BFA from Kansas City Art Institute, and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. The sculptor's works have been shown at numerous galleries and museums, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Fuller Craft Museum, the Danforth Art Museum, the Duxbury Art Complex Museum, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Berkshire Art Museum, the Boise Art Museum of Idaho, the Nicolaysen Museum of Wyoming, the Brattleboro Museum of Vermont, the Boston Sculptors Gallery and the Clark Gallery.

Andy Zimmermann

Andy Zimmermann, Hephaestus, 2012, metal, plexiglass, projector, sound and video electronics, 96 x 168 x 84 in. Image courtesy of Emily R Smith.
Sculptor Andy Zimmermann's current preoccupation is to create works which reflect contemporary beliefs and anxieties about the present. His Hephaestus, a work which will be exhibited in Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies, is concerned with the way in which modern culture regards the passage of time. As the artist has remarked, when "seen in a single moment, mid-day is unmistakably mid-day, but when the sun is on the horizon, it could be either dawn or dusk." Hephaestus uses refractions of light and the sounds of metal manufacturing to allude to the processes of destruction and collapse or as in this case, the signs that a new building is being created. The artist has paralleled the welder with the mythological Greek god Hephaestus, the patron of fire and metal-working. His ambiguous silhouette is such that he appears somewhat menacing, even as he is making things humans both want and need.

about the artist

Andy Zimmermann grew up in West Virginia and graduated from Harvard College in 1975, where he studied both psychology and art. Since the time of his graduation, Zimmermann has exhibited paintings and welded steel sculptures in a variety of galleries and artistic institutions, including the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, the DeCordova Museum Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA, and the Cedarhurst Sculpture Park in Mt. Vernon, IL. He has also had solo gallery exhibits in Boston and New York City, and has participated in group shows around the U.S. and in Europe. He earned an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in 2003. In recent years, his works have been concerned with digital media, beginning with digital photography on sculpture and later sculpture installations using video, animation, and digital sound. His studio is in Waltham, MA, and he lives in Lexington, with his wife, poet Rosamond Zimmermann.



Caroline Bagenal
Bagenal's work draws from a multiplicity of artistic traditions, ranging from land art, assemblage, installation and painting. Her sculptures incorporate everyday objects along with traditional art making materials. Inspired by her noted love of paper, books, and the printed word, many of Bagenal's sculptures reflect the artist's preoccupation with these subjects. Bagenal has made numerous outdoor sculptures, including those for Forest Hills Cemetery. Among the works by Caroline Bagenal which will be featured in Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies are Tate, Summer Palace, and Klee, which allude to modernist architecture and address issues of balance, personal sentiment, history, and hue. A main concern of Bagenal's recent work is how "books establish their own conversation [...] about color and shape as well as about time and how information is accessed and communicated."

about the artist

Caroline Bagenal is a Scotland-born sculptor, installation artist, and writer, now living in Newburyport, MA. She received a MFA in Painting and a Masters in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently an Associate Professor at Montserrat College of Art where she teaches the Senior Fine Arts Seminar and is Director of the African Study Abroad Program. Bagenal has received numerous awards from the artistic community, including from the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Artist's Resource Trust. She has been a member of Boston Sculptor's Gallery since 2008.

Laura Evans
Laura Evans' sculptures encourage the viewer to look beneath the surface and examine the pieces' construction. Although many of her pieces readily acknowledge the processes through which they were manufactured, Evans' works are also somewhat self-enclosed and cryptic; moreover, many of these sculptures' openings and forms suggest organic appendages and orifices which blur the line between private interior and public, communal exterior. As sculptures, Evans' works are often process-oriented and encourage active looking. One's eye is directed towards the intricacies of Evans' pieces with their unique textures and details.

about the artist

Laura Evans is a Boston-based artist who graduated from Boston University in 1981 with a MFA in Studio Teaching. Her previous education included a BA in Painting awarded from Hampshire College in 1974 and a degree from The British Institute & The American Center for the Arts, Paris, France. Evans has received awards from the AICA Cambridge Arts Council for art in Greene-Rose Park, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Boston Cultural Council & U.S. Auto Exchange.

Margaret Swan
Inspiration for the form of Margaret Swan's piece Song of the Phoenix I, II, III came from the artist's observation of traditional Japanese mouth organs, whose bamboo pipes are thought to resemble the wings of the mythical phoenix. Swan is an artist with a proclivity for reconstructing natural, organic processes. The works selected for this exhibition incorporate a sense of progression, movement, and sensory stimulation.
Margaret Swan, Song of the Phoenix I, II, III, 2005, copper, 72 x 24 x 6 in. each. Image courtesy of Emily R Smith.

about the artist

Originally from Baltimore, MD, Margaret Swan is a graduate of Syracuse University and a Graduate Fellow in Painting and Sculpture at Bennington College. Swan's sculptural oeuvre is noted for the artist's skill in working with sheet metal, particularly since she exhibited several riveted aluminum pieces in Boston Now: Sculpture at the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1984. Swan was awarded a Massachusetts Artists Fellowship in Sculpture in 1985 for this work, was a Massachusetts Artists Finalist Award in 1988, and was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council/New England Foundation for the Arts Regional Fellowship in Sculpture in 1995. Swan is a founding member of Boston Sculptors. Her sculpture has been included in exhibitions throughout New England, including the Aldrich Museum, the DeCordova Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Marilu Swett
Swett's work reflects her interest in biological forms, their structural complexity and the variety of ways in which we interact with them. She addresses these concerns by abstracting their spatial relations and dynamism. Swett's pieces reference natural ecological systems, microscopic and oceanic forms, and segments of the human form. In her latest series, titled The Heartbeats Project, Swett attempts to represent the science behind studies of the mammalian cardiovascular system- in particular, the fact that all mammals share the same average number of heartbeats over a lifetime, about 1.5 billion. In an attempt to make that number physical, Swett collects "stand-ins" for each heartbeat on 3x3 inch pieces of paper on which she asks people to draw. The ongoing accumulation of these individual "heartbeats" underscores our commonality across species and prompts reflection on our own miraculous nature.

about the artist

Marilu Swett a greater Boston native, lives and works in Jamaica Plain, MA. She holds a BFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art. She has exhibited widely in the U.S. and has worked in corporate collections in Massachusetts as Bank of America Corporation; Fidelity Investments, Boston; Siena Construction Company, Cambridge; New England Biolabs, Beverly, Meditech Corporation, Canton, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Swett is a recipient of a grant from First Light for a sculptural installation, Brookline, MA (2008); a residency for iron casting at the Maryhill Art Museum in Washington (2002); a New England foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture (1997); a Somerville Arts Council general support grant (1990); and a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Studio Exchange grant (1996). She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montserrat College in Beverly, MA, where she chairs the Sculpture Department.

Hannah Verlin
Cloister is an installation piece which uses text as both medium and message. The cascading vellum sheets of Cloister feature the correspondence sent between Abelard the Heloise, the famous monk and nun who were lovers in 12th century France. Using these texts, Cloister considers problems of human intimacy and understanding, as the translucent vellum divides the space with words. Here, form is adjusted so that phrases become far more than text - they express particular experiences and sentiments.

about the artist

Hannah Verlin is a Philadelphia native who received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, in 2005. At the SMFA she studied ceramics and installation art, often referencing the two disciplines in tandem. As a culmination of her studies she produced a four-day performance and installation with clay titled Infestation in 2005. She has since exhibited many artworks in temporary and public settings, such as A Telling Tail and Cyclic Light for Boston's First Night festivities (in 2006 and 2008, respectively). Her recent work includes an installation incorporated into dance with the group MonkeyHouse (Between Wave & Sky, 2011), her exhibition Knowing Not Knowing (2011) at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, and the participatory installation Mystical River for Medford's Mystic River Festival (2011).

Caroline Bagenal, Summer Palace- small version, 2012, newspaper, cardboard, wood, 6 x 5 x 5 ft. Image courtesy of Emily R Smith.

About the Boston Sculptors Gallery
Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, Boston Sculptors Gallery was begun in response to a perceived lack of gallery space for local artists to exhibit their work. In 1992, a small group of 18 artists and associates founded the Boston Sculptors Gallery. It was only three years later, in 1995, that the Boston Sculptors Gallery was named "Boston's best gallery" by Boston Magazine. The following year, the Boston Globe also regaled the Boston Sculptors Gallery as "the most innovative gallery around". Currently, 36 members are able to show their work every two and a half years.

The gallery has also served as the hosting venue for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Sculpture Fellowship Recipients, has organized exchanges with Arelis, an association of contemporary tapestry artists of Paris France and with The Sculpture Center of Cleveland Ohio, and is currently in conversation with a German curator to orchestrate a Berlin exchange. Boston Sculptors Gallery has mounted exhibitions at the Brattleboro Museum in Vermont, the University of New Hampshire Museum, The Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, Massachusetts, The University of Massachusetts Harbor Gallery, The Fitchburg Art Museum, The Attleboro Art Museum, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Gallery.

For more information call 216.229.6527 or go to  

The Sculpture Center is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to the advancement of the careers of emerging Ohio sculptors and the preservation of Ohio outdoor sculpture as a means to provide support for artists and to effect the enrichment, education, enjoyment, and visual enhancement of the Cleveland community and greater region.

The Sculpture Center receives generous support from The Callahan Foundation, the Kulas Foundation, The John P. Murphy Foundation, the Bernice and David E. Davis Art Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, studioTECHNE|architects, the Leonard Krieger Fund of The Cleveland Foundation, Sculpture Center board members, and many individual donors to Friends of The Sculpture Center. Additional generous public funding comes from the citizens of Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio through:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture  

Gallery hours: Wednesday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 pm, Saturday 12 noon to 4 pm or by prior appointment (Free Parking, Handicapped accessible)