Walking into Nine Muses on a rainy Saturday afternoon, the gallery was sparsely occupied, with the exception of a couple enjoying their coffee and quiet conversation. However what adorned the walls spoke volumes.
The Expressive Journey Exhibit, coordinated by members of H.O.P.E. (Hope, Opportunity, Peace, Equality), in cooperation with Summit Artspace, invited local artists from “both sides of the aisle” to participate in this exhibit by submitting artwork reflecting their viewpoint of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. The goal of the exhibit is to provide an opportunity for quiet reflection and to support gallery guests in evaluating their own opinions.
As I walked through the gallery, the pieces which first spoke to me were a pair of paintings by Jack Diamond appropriately titled “Lost” and “Broken”. The muted colors used to depict familiar images of the Statue of Liberty and Lady Justice captures the eerie fading feeling of what these two icons once stood for within our democracy. Not to mention the sheer size of the paintings only helps to emphasize the impact of Diamond’s message.
“Fight Like A Girl” by Miriam Daniel was exactly the juxtaposition I needed to shake off the somber feeling I had while walking the gallery. The bright pink colors brought back positive memories of participating in the Women’s March in Cleveland following the inauguration. The simple message of “Resist” was enough to remind me of the feeling of solidarity.
With a clever title like “A Hard Reign – A Gonna Fall” by Tom Baldwin is reminiscent of an Op-Ed cartoon, with Donald Trump representing a dark cloud over the White House. Clear and simple, Baldwin’s art is as black-and-white as his intended opinion.
Roughly a dozen artists participating in the exhibit capture the feelings of distrust, fear, resistance, and bigotry through the mediums of photography, mixed media, painting and sculpture. Some with humor, others with irony, but mostly sincerity.
Leaving the gallery, Becky Woodruff’s piece “Keeping An Eye On Our Future” caught my eye with it’s, well, eye. It left me feeling cold, watched and uncertain. A bit like the elected administration.
Expressive Journey Exhibit: The First 100 Days is on display at Nine Muses Gallery in Barberton through June 10th.