Hiram College

Continuable Beyond, oil on canvas, 2015, Benjamin Duke

Art exhibition presents artists’ work and lives as impacted by a summer residency in France

Six artists who spent eight weeks working together as residents in the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists in Brittany, France will reunite on Oct. 21 at Hiram’s Gelbke Art Gallery. The exhibition will present paintings and drawings completed in France in the summer of 2015.  However, the “One Year After” exhibition will explore how the immersive experience in a small medieval town influenced the artists’ works, ideas and lives, so will also include many works completed after, or in response to, the Klots residency. 


Finding Equilibrium, ink on paper, 2016, Christopher Ryan

“Leaving behind for two months the normal duties and routines of work and life to focus on art making in a historic French village is no question a luxury. However, I discovered that the absence of life’s daily distractions can also compel one to confront lingering emotions and poignant memories,” says Christopher Ryan, associate professor of art at Hiram College, of the experience “Perhaps mirroring my state of mind, I gravitated to liminal spaces; those incomplete or partial structures that possess a degree of ambiguity through decay or destruction, allowing them to be interpreted in a multitude of ways.”

Using the momentum of the residency, Ryan spent the rest of the summer and fall painting and drawing onsite at an abandoned factory in Cuyahoga county. “These dilapidated structures also had a liminal quality, and I found that I could build on some of the themes that I had explored in France dealing with ruins and ambiguous forms,” Ryan explains.

In addition to Ryan’s work, the exhibition will feature the work of resident artists Jonathan Billet from Brooklyn, N.Y.; Benjamin Duke from East Lansing, Mich.; Kate Langridge from Humble, Texas; Robert Weiss from Dallas, Texas; and Daniel Riesmeyer from Bozman, Md.

Most (if not all) of the exhibiting artists will be present at this special event, which is free and open to the public.  Presented by the Hiram College Art Department, the show opens with a reception Friday, Oct. 21, 6:15-8:15 p.m.  and features an artists’ talk at 7 p.m. The artists will discuss how their summer 2015 residency in Léhon impacted their professional and personal lives.

In partnership with the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (the supervisory institution for the residency), a show catalog is available at http://issuu.com/hiramcollege/docs/visiting_artist_brochure/1. It contains images of the exhibiting artists’ work, details about the artists and residency and reflection statements written by each artist.

“One Year After” runs from Oct. 21 to Nov. 23 at Hiram College’s Gelbke Art Gallery, 12000 Winrock Road, Hiram.