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Release Date: July 13,2023
Akron Soul Train Features Triple Exhibition in Downtown Akron
Akron Soul Train Welcomes Two Artists-in-Residence: Printmaker Ewuresi Archer and Sculptor Kristen Cliffel; Guest Artist Althea Jones presents Skin Color in the CapSOUL Gallery
Ewuresi Archer’s You Are Invited; Your Hands and Mouth Are Not
Burton D. Morgan Gallery: Exhibition runs Aug. 2 - Sept. 9, 2023.
Sponsored by Brennan, Manna, Diamond
Ewuresi Archer utilizes fluorescent colors and patterns in her work to celebrate Ghanaian culture. Painting with a highly saturated, glowing color palette and scrappy, energetic marks and patterns, Archer depicts everyday activities such as pounding fufu or getting a haircut and portraying images of food items that are important to Ghanaian culture. As someone living far from the culture she grew up in, Archer always finds herself thinking about and missing parts of Ghanaian culture. Her distortions recreate the feeling of wanting something just out of reach. Archer uses this technique not only to invite a viewer into her culture, but also to allow herself a way to appreciate a culture she was very removed from growing up.
You Are Invited; Your Hands and Mouth Are Not embraces the journey of Ewuresi Archer’s personal decolonization by celebrating the rich and vibrant culinary heritage of Ghana.
“By making art appreciating Ghanaian food, I am not only nourishing my mind, but also honoring the diverse and authentic flavors, traditions, and their cultural significance… Through a visual feast of paintings, sculptures, and prints each artwork will immerse a viewer in a sensory experience that allows one to appreciate these foods in all their glory. I invite everyone to join me in this celebration, to savor the beauty of Ghanaian cuisine.” - Ewuresi Archer
About the artist Ewuresi Archer:
Ewuresi Archer is a painter and printmaker based in Cleveland, Ohio She is a Ghanaian American artist who graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2022 with a BFA in Painting and an emphasis in Printmaking. Most recently, she won the first place prize for realism at The First Annual Paul and Norma Tikkanen Painting Prize show.
Kristen Cliffel’s Domestic Endeavors; Feats and Service
Burton D. Morgan Gallery: Exhibition runs Aug. 2 - Sep 9. 2023.
Sponsored by Thomas and Anita Gedelian of Sikich
Kristen Cliffel’s art explores the social constructs and myths of domesticity. With expected “happily ever afters” and defined ideas of “success,” Cliffel pulls the wig off the mannequin to investigate the home, connection, safety, hope, and fear through her sculptures and creations. As a spouse and parent, Cliffel finds herself wedged into roles that both trouble and delight. Cliffel’s work explores domestic mythologies and their conundrums by developing visual narratives that may reveal the complex layers that are behind simple yet integral relationships. By using humor and beauty, Cliffel can delve deeper into the heart of the intimate bonds that surround the domestic stage.
Domestic Endeavors; Feats and Service showcases Kristen Cliffel’s Domestic Operations Merit Badges. Made from mixed media including plywood, ceramic, paint, and gold leaf, the intricate merit badges toy with both the myth and reality of domesticity, and the humor and sacrifice that comes with parenting, partnering, and adulting.
“These pieces are a sort of bragging hall of fame/shame to the trials and tribulations throughout my history of being a wife and mother...things I have had quite a bit of experience with, good and bad. Traditional scout badges require at least six completed tasks to earn a badge. I was never allowed to be a scout but always very jealous of the juicy badges that were worn by my peers. They seemed to be outward physical acknowledgments of success in certain specific areas of cultural prowess... If only we were given these controlled rubrics to fulfill in parenting, partnering, and adulting.”
- Kristen Cliffel
About the artist Kristen Cliffel:
Kristen Cliffel is a ceramic sculptor living and working in Cleveland, Ohio. Her studio practice is centered around themes of domesticity and relationships that connect people over time. Cliffel graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1990 with a BFA in Ceramics. Kristen Cliffel has completed Residencies at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, and the Kohler Company in Wisconsin. In 2016, Cliffel was awarded the prestigious Cleveland Arts Prize for mid-career artist in visual arts. www.kristencliffel.com
Althea Jones’ exhibit; Skin Color
CapSOUL Gallery: Exhibition runs Aug. 2 - Sep 9. 2023
Sponsored by Blick Art Materials
Skin Color is a conversation about the beautiful spectrum of skin tones beyond the concepts of race and therefore class. Through lighthearted conversations and interactions with the artist, Althea Jones, participants are encouraged to see more in their skin color.
During the Skin Color sessions, Althea invites individuals or small groups to engage in lively and enriching conversations about life, connection, identity, and race while color-matching the participants’ specific skin color with acrylic paint. The goal of the project is to encourage self-love and actualization while simultaneously building community. Althea plans to color-match at least 1000 people in and around the Akron, Ohio area over the life of this project.
Skin Color was conceptualized in early 2023 after Althea encountered a container of peachy ink labeled “skin color.” As a BIPOC artist, this label caused Althea to pause. She began to question her personal relationship with her own identity and skin color alongside mainstream marketing and societal implicit bias. Skin Color seeks to explore the ability to celebrate skin tone differences while healing an instance of implicit bias in a unique and positive way.
Akron Soul Train’s CapSOUL gallery will host Jones’ interactive exhibition Skin Color from August 1 through September 9, 2023. The installation will include a wall of “skin pantones” and jars of individualized color that will more accurately live up to the ink titled “skin color.”
About the artist Althea Jones:
Althea Jones is an interdisciplinary artist based in Northeast, Ohio. Inspired by the human condition, she uses her work to explore human nature and emotions. Jones believes in the concept of perfect imperfection and enjoys creating work from discarded items and lively strokes, scrapes, and splashes of paint. She rekindled her love affair with the creative world after leaving her corporate career and creates in many mediums including poetry, street photography, textiles, and painting. Jones takes a grassroots approach to art, showing, selling, and creating both traditional-sized canvases and large-format murals in restaurants, coffee shops, abandoned buildings, and street corners in the US Northeast.
In 2022, Althea enrolled in the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art at the University of Akron where she is currently seeking a BFA. www.darkandbeautifulart.com
For more information about these three shows, visit our website and events page at www.akronsoultrain.org or contact Pita Brooks, Executive Director at email@example.com.