DEAR FRIENDS OF THE ARTS AT OHIO STATE,


None of us is untouched by the pandemic that threatens, it sometimes seems, to swallow our world almost whole. But while the measure of personal, social, economic and cultural transformation effected within our lives over these past few weeks and across the coming months can’t be predicted and has yet to be made, we are, nonetheless, still here, even if immeasurably changed.

We, in this instance, are the arts at Ohio State. Our familiar workplaces, materials and colleagues are no longer close at hand. Like everybody else, we’re still figuring this thing out. But we are not gone. We haven’t stopped. We haven’t even paused.

Over the next months, the College of Arts and Sciences will be sharing this virtual gallery of highlights from the wide variety of new and continuing forms of creative experimentation and imaginative expression recently generated by Ohio State students, faculty and alumni in the arts.

You may wonder, “What can artists do in a period of ‘social distancing’?” Here you’ll discover a few of our answers, as well as some of our questions. We hope you enjoy them (applause welcome).

Michael Mercil
Faculty Fellow for Arts and Humanities
Professor, Department of Art

On-campus tents accommodate the arts

On-campus tents accommodate the arts

This fall semester, the arts will be showcased on Ohio State’s Columbus campus in ways they haven’t before. Three outdoor tents will hold spaces for physically distanced classes, rehearsals and exhibitions in the various arts units across the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The tents are a way of making the arts visible on campus in ways they haven’t been before,” said Michael Mercil, Arts and Sciences faculty fellow for arts and humanities, who also is a professor in the Department of Art. “It takes advantage of the current pandemic condition to reimagine and rethink how we present ourselves to the public both within and outside the university.”

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Hybrid Arts Lab: Rapid Fire Text

Hybrid Arts Lab: Rapid Fire Text

Rapid Fire Text is the result of an improvisational ink workshop facilitated by Lori Esposito, PhD candidate in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy with her class “Visual Culture: Investigating Diversity & Social Justice.” Taking inspiration from poetry, jazz and graffiti, this rhythmic drawing approach merges the expressive potentials of ink with the written word. “Rapid” implies speed, quickness of movement and thought. “Fire” calls to attention the potential power and explosiveness of speech and the written word. 

Rapid Fire Text acknowledges forces that can manipulate, elevate, sensor or silence. Harnessing this ancient fluid media (ink), students become familiar with how duration and speed can function as tools for developing their writing, self-representation, and expression within a classroom community.

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Hybrid Arts Lab is a multi-venue teaching lab that experiments with how art is imagined, made, viewed and understood within physical and digital spaces. 

Hybrid Arts Lab: Tappyness

Hybrid Arts Lab: Tappyness

Tappyness, a live performance recorded on September 12 in Hybrid Arts Lab at Stillman Hall Tent by Matt Greenberg and Erin Parsons, graduate students in the Department of Theatre, is a multidisciplinary happening where dance meets theatre, telling the story of one woman's mental health journey as she struggles to "stay in time."

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The arts are where we go for inspiration, emotional connections, love, hope, joy and escape

"As the emergency situation progressed and announcements were made, I had no idea how we would move our deeply embodied work online. But after a few Zoom meetings with faculty and grad students sharing their brilliant ideas about how to be artists, scholars and teachers in this new situation, I was profoundly moved."

Nadine George-Graves
Department of Dance

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Hopkins Hall Gallery Summer Series

Hopkins Hall Gallery Summer Series

Over the summer, Hopkins Hall Gallery exhibited five new exhibitions from a variety of unique, up-and-coming artists. These exhibitions features short-term projects including performances, installations, audience-participatory work and public programs or activities by Ohio State graduate students.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Projects
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Connecting Creatives During Quarantine

Ashley Bice, a recent graduate of the Departments of English and Theatre, is the co-founder and writing director of the brand-new arts organization First Cut Collective (FCC). “Currently, First Cut Collective serves as a virtual platform for art to thrive within self-isolation recommendations,” the mission statement reads. The organization welcomes creators from all artistic backgrounds to submit their works, which are then shared across the organization’s various social media accounts. Not only does First Cut Collective celebrate art in all its forms, but the organization also encourages artists to try their hand at creating art outside of their usual discipline.

Theatre Professor Jeanine Thompson Interviews Jesse Eisenberg

Thompson, director of the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute, interviewed Jesse Eisenberg and Lorin Eric Salm (2020 Theatre Research Institute Award Recipient) in a live-streamed broadcast over Zoom for University Libraries. Eisenberg starred in the IFC Films biographical drama film, Resistance (2020), inspired by the life of Marcel Marceau. Salm coached Eisenberg in mime and provided choreography for the film.

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Ann Hamilton reflects on "shifts in perceptions and creation myths"

Ann Hamilton reflects on "shifts in perceptions and creation myths"

"Like everyone — the daily news of the spreading virus, invisible to the eye but manifesting with heartbreak in bodies across the globe, the conditions of social distancing, the recent storms with nights of thunder and lightning, even the lone, long call of the cardinal signaling for a mate — collectively work to make a different lens on everything — no less so on work in the studio. The view out my window is the same but what I see is different."

- Ann Hamilton, Distinguished University Professor of Art

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Stone sample

Pathways by Karen Tharp

Read Department of Art graduate student Karen Tharp's blog on creating throughout this distance-learning/making time. "‘Pathway’ implies flow, direction – left to right, right to left – but I think of them, often, as more universal (all the way right, then all the way left, or two parties converging in the middle), which distorts and deepens their meaning much like playing a record backwards does."

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SUPPORTING THE ARTS DURING CRISIS

Art is more than just a dispensable luxury during difficult times. Jody Patterson, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Chair of Art History, examines in an essay for Artnews how the arts were supported by Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal measures during the Great Depression.

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Design Spring Online Exhibit
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Sing along with this Virtual Chorus

As a message of hope for the community, Columbus Symphony Orchestra chorus members recorded themselves singing individually. Chorus accompanist and School of Music pianist Casey Cook provided the piano track.

Comfort Support for Medical Staff

Comfort Support for Medical Staff

From Department of Art graduate student Brianna Gluszak: "Returning home to Alberta, Canada, has a lot of ups and downs for me. Honestly, my saving grace is that my mom is still at work as a nurse. Amongst her rants about work and PPE, she mentioned that she was having a hard time with the mask, glasses, and goggles they are required to wear for every patient. I spent a few days sewing all my scrap fabric into scrub caps (their department doesn’t usually wear these) for the doctors and nurses, as well as sewing two buttons on each side for mask relief. Clint, one of the doctors, is showcasing how the cap relieves strain on his ears by resting his goggles in the fabric and attaching the mask to the buttons."

Always, by Melissa Vogley-Woods

Always, by Melissa Vogley-Woods, a 2012 MFA graduate of the Department of Art, is now on view on Neil Avenue in Columbus. The design is a reproduction of textile fabric designed in 1920, the very end of the last pandemic of this nature. The re-vision of this pattern helps remind us to imagine that this, too, shall pass.

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Tune into a "Screen Concert"

The Columbus-based Tower Duo, flutist Erin Helgeson Torres and School of Music saxophonist Michael Rene Torres, give a “screen concert” from their living room.

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