Exhibition: Believe

Women In Recovery BELIEVE 2012 postcard


April 18- June 1, 2012

Opening Reception Wednesday, April 18 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Chanika Svetvilas  Jackie Rovner  Elizabeth Beittel  “AM-DDB”

Fresh A.I.R. Gallery

131 N. High St.

When I thought of the original working title for this group exhibition, “Women

in Recovery,” I considered what recovery meant to me. In some ways “recovery”

weighs with just as much stigma as the label of mental illness. In order for there

to be recovery, there has to be a trauma, illness or breakdown to recover from.

We are left with the binary between illness and wellness. However, I see recovery

as an ongoing process that we all undergo as human beings in this world as

transformative experiences.

I had my third bipolar manic episode in Columbus, OH that manifested as

auditory hallucinations, delusion, and paranoia that led me to hospitalization

from September 29 to October 8, 2010. Then severe debilitating side effects that

encumbered my ability to walk and talk, slowed my recovery. When I finally was

able to fully participate as a candidate in my MFA art program at The Ohio State

University – the reason why I arrived to Columbus, OH in the first place, I was told

that I would not be allowed to continue to my enrollment as a result of my

behavior. My ability to have distance from my work to actually create was in doubt.

This final indignity of my mental competence called into question was the ultimate

psychological trauma. However, all of these traumas allowed me to build up,

become stronger, self reflect and adhere to my values. In my performance captured

on video, I confront my trauma and way of being that is uniquely me.

I hope that by sharing my recovery, others will feel compelled to share theirs.

Silence can be deafening. I once said that I felt like a silent screaming siren. By

letting go of the pain, there is no longer only the struggle, but the strength of

survival. That is what I hope you hear.

~ Chanika Svetvilas



CS Gallery & Grove City Arts Council Present a Special Exhibition

Now Showing!
March 31st – April 10th
Artist Reception:
March 31st, 8 – 11pm
CS Gallery & Grove City Arts Council present a special exhibition featuring:

S. Betz Gallagher
Betty Dingledine
Rebecca Sommer
Edith D. Wadkins
Lenny Gerstein
Rebecca Cummings
Mark Marshall
Mary Ann Riggle
Rose Motsch
Hans Mueller
Kathy Pearce-Mueller
Randy Vermillion
Linda Lee Greene

CS Gallery & Events
66 Parsons Ave
Columbus OH
For more info visit:  http://www.cobenickstudios.com
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Daniel Colvin
Cobenick Studios

Interview: Joan Tallan (interviewed by Devin Broadnax)

Q. Is there a separation between your “normal” life and your work? If so, how do you keep it in place?

A: There is a separation in activities  and relationships. Often I don’t have the time I want to make art because other duties demand my time. Luckily for me I have a very supportive husband who understands that I’m not happy if I don’t have work in process.

Q: Should an artist mold their life around art, or art around life?
A. My work is about my life, people and places, my environment, the media I am surrounded with. Without those stimuli I would have nothing to make art about.

Q. While making a piece are you thinking more about your techniques in carving and printing, more than the ideas you are trying to convey?

A: Before I make any piece I do a lot of drawing. It is through the drawing that I formulate the ideas for the work. When I reach the carving stage I think a lot about the formal qualities . Where do I want to put darks, or lights, or pattern. Is there movement through out the piece. So I work for a while and then I put the piece up on my easel and look at it. Is what I am doing, or have done, true to what I want?
Even though I have started the carving I am open too, and look for, opportunities to make the statement of the image stronger. Change is always a possibility, thats what makes it frustrating and fun. Printing is another opportunity to try out ideas for color, mood, and incorporation of chine colle or stencils.

Q: Are there any historical artists that you admire? Have they affected your work?

A. I love Jim Dine, The German Expressionists, Picasso, Anslem Kiefer, Kathe Kollwitz, Anne Coe. I try to follow their examples of invention and political message.

Q. What do you intend for your art to do to/for the viewer?

A. Often my work is political and I want to make the viewer think. I hope that I am not too obvious in my own politics as I would rather make people think than agree. When my work is about places and the people in those places I hope that my portrayal of my visual experiences bring back memories of the viewers own experiences in similar situations.

Interview: Allison Pierce (interviewed by Devin Broadnax)

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Q:When did you become interested in art?  What do you think your art says about you? What do you want it to say? 

A: I have been interested in art for as long as I can remember. I was probably inspired most by my mother who always engaged me and my younger sister in some art project or another. Before we were born she worked as a medical illustrator and then when we were little she taught Saturday classes at Columbus College of Art & Design. We would go with her and help set up the classes. This gave us access to a wide variety of art supplies. I remember collecting all sorts of recyclable materials to use in her class. We painted, used paper maché, made wire sculptures, and worked with clay and charcoal. To this day our house is filled with art projects and we’re still adding to the collection.

I make art to express emotion. The process allows me to focus and engage fully in the present moment. My work reflects how I see and interpret the world around me. With my series, “Unsustainable,” I expose what is often consciously hidden from public view. I am deeply saddened by the ease with which our society consumes and discards waste while ignoring the consequences. This series illustrates my concern for the protection of the environment. Hopefully these photographs will rekindle a motivation in others to take protective action.

Q:You seem to have a strong stance about the environment, is that your greatest inspiration for all your art?

A: Perhaps the natural world is my greatest inspiration and a fundamental inspiration for us all. I strive to document the human condition. I am inspired by the changes I want to see in the world both through social justice and on an environmental level. I suppose this series is my tribute to the environment.

Q:What emotions do you want to convey with your work?

A: Through many of these images I feel a sense of sadness is prevalent. Many of my models display a serious or worried expression as if something has been lost and will never be found again. There is something forlorn in my images. The high contrast in my black and white images adds to this somber quality by dramatically increasing what is ultimately at stake—the well-being of our planet and therefore our future.

Q: Do you feel your work offers something to society? What does it offer?

A: My work offers a moment for reflection. In pausing to view the images, we gain time to reflect individually on the amount of waste we each produce. Hopefully my work will grant society a sense of awareness and accountability, which is the necessary groundwork for any change to be made.

Q: How has your internship helped you to build skills and develop a network in the arts? 

A: The internship I had in Turkey helped me acquire new skills in both digital editing and in the traditional darkroom. I fine tuned my photographic style and developed networking skills as I was introduced to a large photographic community. I received invaluable feedback and support on my work and developed many new friendships.