New exhibitions in the Beeler Gallery explore modern challenges


Lea Barker, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” 2020. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Greater Columbus Arts Council

Three new exhibitions at the Columbus College of Art & Design’s Beeler Gallery aim to stimulate conversation about how to move forward in uncertain times.

The Beeler Gallery is now showing “Bianca Beck, Tamara Gonzales, Christina Forrer” by the three artists of the same name, “A Bridge to Uncertainty” by Johnathan Payne and “BLM”, a collection of murals that all opened on August 23, according to a press release dated Open to the public on August 5th. The exhibitions are supported by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, which loaned the mural collection, and the Ohio Arts Council, said Tim Rietenbach, faculty director of the galleries at the college.

The exhibition “Bianca Beck, Tamara Gonzalez, Christina Forrer”, which runs until November 6, comprises 24 works of art, including sculptures by Bianca Beck, who was born in Columbus, paintings by Tamara Gonzalez and tapestries by Christina Forrer. The exhibition raises the question of how people interact with one another and deal with the space between their bodies, Greer Pagano, curator of the exhibition and Ohio State Alumnus with Ph.D. in art history said.

“I thought, you know: ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to do a show that is about our longing and fear of closeness and intimacy?’ “Said Pagano. “That is really the core of the exhibition. I think artists give us space to question and to look at, and I wanted to create an exhibition that would help us look at these spaces and these bodies and make us think about how we can get along with each other in this really turbulent time bypass time. “

Pagano said the exhibition should resonate with the community and inspire Columbus residents and students.

“We all have a responsibility to understand each other both physically and culturally,” said Pagano. “An exhibition won’t fix anything, but hopefully it would pause us for a moment, among other things, to reflect on our place in our really turbulent and frightening world at the moment.”

Johnathan Payne, featured artist from “A bridge to uncertainty“Is also the first recipient of the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Residency – named after a Columbus-based artist and CCAD alumna who has since passed away, said Rietenbach. The exhibition runs through October 2 and features artwork Payne created while staying at Robinson’s house and includes geometric compositions and paintings, according to the press release.

“His work is in a separate room and is really tricky,” says Rietenbach. “They cut paperwork and constructed, so to speak, geometric patterns that are really complicated and very interesting and that incorporate the gallery walls in an interesting way and play with light and shadow.”

The third exhibition, “BLM”, shows a collection of murals painted on plywood by various Columbus artists during the George Floyd protests in downtown Columbus in the summer of 2020, Rietenbach said. With more than a dozen of the 200+ ArtUnitesCbus murals, the exhibition will run through December 11th and seek to continue the conversation about racial inequality and injustice with a hopeful message for the future.

“In the end, we stacked them up and made two really huge murals from a collection of a handful of murals on each panel, and so we really made one huge, big painting out of them,” said Rietenbach. “They also act as a kind of marker for this period.”

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