Art ConnectionGAMBIER, Ohio (September 22, 2009)
An art exhibition in downtown Los Angeles opens Friday with a Kenyon flair.
"NOHIO" features the work of six artists with an Ohio connection, including five linked to Kenyon through the mentorship of Karen Snouffer, associate professor of art. The exhibition at the Poor Dog Performance Warehouse continues through October 15.
The show is the first at the Warehouse not in conjunction with a performance and includes the work of five painters and Snouffer, who is an installation artist. Four Kenyon alumni are part of the group, including the curator, Alec Egan '07 of Portland, Oregon.
"This is a very important time for us," Egan said. "Especially in our country's time of crisis, you have young, fresh voices who are not going to be sitting behind big desks, who are willing to put themselves out there."
The "NOHIO" title for the event suggests, to Egan, the dichotomy of a "hyper-intellectual" collegiate climate in the heart of a Midwestern culture that is comfortable with fast-food chains and big-box stores. Egan sees his own work as a vehicle for change, prodding people to recognize complacency in their lives.
In addition to Snouffer and Egan, the exhibition includes the work of alumni Rob Blum '07 of Portland; Stefan Gunn '07 of Providence, Rhode Island; and Ashley Lamb '07 of New York City. Jennie Booth of New York City, who has worked and exhibited in Ohio, is also part of the show.
Egan was an English major and a rugby player at Kenyon who evolved into an artist as a student with Snouffer's help. "Karen has always seemed to breathe this positive air about what art should mean, and how you approach it, and how you should persevere and find your own voice," Egan said. "And she's a wonderful artist. "
Snouffer will create an installation piece that incorporates wall drawing, collage, painting, and photography as a way to place the cultures of Los Angeles and Knox County, Ohio, in personal context. "I decided I wanted to do something that was very immediate," Snouffer said. "It's about a person's sense of place and identity and how you feel when you enter a new environment."
Snouffer has exhibited in galleries around the United States and in France.
Taking part in the exhibition allows the professor to erase lines of distinction between her and former students. "I feel like I'm one of them," she said. "I'm a more seasoned artist, but I don't feel I'm any better. I like being around them. They keep me honest."
"They're very authentic. They're very warm and loving to each other and very supportive of each other. And they're very talented."
Visit www.poordoggroup.com for more information about the exhibition.