By Joseph Pratt
The Shawnee State University (SSU) Appleton Gallery in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts (VRCFA) recently opened the first gallery of the academic year with “Expansion,” which is work by the Nelsonville, Ohio, Majestic Gallery.
Todd Reynolds is the Appleton Gallery director and adjunct professor who has been with the university for 30 years. Reynolds said he discovered the gallery when exploring the Athens art scene and knew he had to bring them to the area.
“I try to bring in the most interesting groups and shows that are within the region, but we are also trying to expand out to more states. I like to mix it up and showcase different mediums,” Reynolds explained. “If I have printmaking one semester then I like to do painting or sculpting the next, then something different.”
Majestic Gallery is a co-op gallery of 16 artists who feature their various trades, including sculpting, photography, painting, sketching and more. The 16 artists work together to organize shows, maintain their space and all of the work involved in running a gallery, similarly to what is done locally with the Boneyfiddle Arts Center.
“The group is a mix of about everything and I found them to be up to par and a good fit for our gallery,” Reynolds said. “I think the final product looks good and I’m pleased. There are no weak links and this is a real solid show. I think this might actually be one of the best we’ve had in recent years.
Kathy Guest is one of the artists featured, where her dimensional paper art form, which includes molds of faces and other paper abstract designs, is on display.
Guest helped bring many of the pieces down and made the gallery possible. Her art form is something she has designed over the years. Her undergraduate work was completed in printmaking, where she learned many of her essential skills.
“As my work developed over my lifetime, which includes decades, it became something that I created one of kind designs with,” Guest said. “The moldings are actually portraits I created using a detailed lifecast.”
Many of Guest’s pieces capture nostalgia through her eyes, like most artists do, but does so in a creative, unique and detailed manor.
“I think visual artists are drawn to something that is going to engage them for the rest of their lives. Sometimes, I think if there is an afterlife, I could do it for an eternity. That is what it takes,” Guest said.
More information on Majestic Gallery can be found online at www.majesticgalleries.com. More information on Guest can be found online at www.kathyguestpaperworks.com.
The Appleton Gallery is on the second floor of the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts and is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show will close Sept. 25.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at 740-353-3101, EXT 1932, or @JosephPratt03.