Monday, January 18, 2010

Art goes moo...

I returned yesterday from a very eventful and relaxing weekend in Athens, Ohio. I left early Friday morning and hightailed it with my wife and daughter to the Dairy Barn Arts Center, where I spent a couple hours installing my wall piece, Tubors and Corms: Landscape #1. I also dropped off another small scale sculpture and a few pieces for the gallery shop too. The opening was jam packed with people and I was told that this venue will attract a big crowd the whole time there is a good show on exhibit. The work for the "OH+5'10" was all solid and from many different mediums...everything from installation pieces, photography, painting, small sculpture, and of course...ceramics. This exhibition is the Dairy Barn's 7th regional biennial and I was very happy to be a part of it. I met and talked with a couple big name clay dudes while shmoozing at the opening too...Tom Bartel and Brad Schwieger who both teach at OU. Tom has curated the next exhibition coming in to the Dairy Barn... figurative ceramics. I have always liked both guys' work and enjoyed chatting for a while with the both of them. Here are some images of the space and my work on the far wall and on the perimeter, also a couple nice ceramic works that I liked...Tina Gebhart's salt fired vessels and these wild ones by somebody whose name I have pieces though.

First I must remark on the size of the space...its HUGE! It was an actual dairy barn with a long history as a property owned and operated by the local lunatic asylum. That's right sister, in case you did not know, Ohio University bought up the very large asylum properties and surrounding land where the dairy barn is today. The Dairy Barn is not associated with OU, but instead inhabits the very fringe at the bottom of what is today called "The Ridges". The barn was part of a much bigger complex that was originally built to help the"hospital" be self sufficient and also for the patients or residents to come over and help work the farm. Now, the "Ridges" complex houses several different departments for OU including the University's Museum.

The girls and I enjoyed tooling around town and exploring the nature trails that were dotted with several cemeteries. The oldest dated back to the late 1800's. That cemetery along with the second one we found only marked their dead with very modest headstones with only their patient number carved in to the stone. The third grave site however, had actual names and dates carved into low set stones. From the literature, it wasn't until the late 40's or early 50's that this practice became common for the institution. In the 60's and 70's, the asylum was falling into great disrepair and due to the size, it was difficult to continue the upkeep and was later shut down in the 1980's. There are still many unused and unusable buildings in this creepy collection. My wife and daughter wondered the whole time why they had not seen this place on one of their favorite ghost hunter shows.

Like I said, this was a fun weekend and it will be fodder for a few posts...Nelsonville and star bricks...The Kennedy Museum and the OU faculty stay tuned gentle reader...more to come.


A Truckload of Art said...

Hey Kyle
Congrats on the show! The Dairy Barn looks like a great art joint, and it's good to see your work there.

Anonymous said...

congrats kyle... looks like a good time. love the shot of your daughter!

HeidiMCF said...

What a great show to be part of. That barn is amazing. How long is you work there?