Release Date: October 14,2021

“Material Reckoning” Exhibit Opens at Emily Davis Gallery

Thursday, October 14, 2021, Akron, OH — The Emily Davis Gallery at The University of Akron, Myers School of Art is pleased to present Material Reckoning, featuring the work of Sheila Pepe (Brooklyn, NY), Rina AC Dweck (Brooklyn, NY), Jamele Wright, Sr. (Ohio born; Atlanta, GA), and Lauren Yeager (Cleveland, OH).

Visiting artist to Myers School of Art, Sheila Pepe brings her concept of Material Reckoning to the Emily Davis Gallery. Presenting her artwork alongside two former students, Rina AC Dweck and Jamele Wright Sr., with the addition of Cleveland artist Lauren Yeager to investigate the use of found objects and materials that explore how what we make and leave behind defines us.

Celebrating cultural identity while addressing the impact of trauma and stereotypes, the exhibition reflects and reconsiders collective rituals and exchanges. Drawing on the use and meaning of everyday objects, the assemblages and sculptures on view offer clues and evidence of who we are in this moment.

Sheila Pepe is best known for crocheting her large-scale, ephemeral installations and sculpture made from domestic and industrial materials. For more than 30 years, she has accumulated a family resemblance of works in sculpture—installation—drawing, and other singular and hybrid forms.

Rina AC Dweck is a sculpture born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Dweck’s work is informed by her experience as a woman raised in a Middle Eastern, orthodox Jewish enclave. She imbues her work with juxtapositions that highlight the internal and evolutionary tug of war between her upbringing and present-day perspective, emphasizing questions of identity. Her recent work focuses on hair as a foundational material. There is a conceptual summation attached to hair that is almost automatic in its relation to femininity, identity, and Judaism.

Jamele Wright, originally from Dayton, Ohio, moved to Atlanta, Georgia, at age 22. While focusing on collecting found materials including Georgia red clay and Dutch wax cloth, he creates a conversation between family and tradition in addition to the spiritual and material relationship between Africa and the South. Influenced by how Hip-Hop music assembles different cultures through sampling, Wright’s work gathers found textiles and materials to reframe his contextual identity within the Black American vernacular experience.

Lauren Yeager’s practice is a continual process of collecting, curating, and re-imagining commonplace objects as sculptural components. This pursuit challenges and enhances her ability to perceive surroundings as a bank of possibilities. Yeager’s sculptures are comprised entirely of found objects sourced primarily from curbside refuse piles throughout Cleveland. This fall, Yeager was honored with the Emerging Artist award at the 2021 Cleveland Arts Prize.

The gallery is in Folk Hall on the University of Akron campus at 150 E Exchange St., Akron, OH 44325.

This exhibition is organized by the Emily Davis Gallery.

Schedule of Events:

All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

  • Dates for exhibition: October 14, 2021-December 15, 2021
  • Reception: Thursday, October 14th, 2021 5-7 PM

Additional programming to be announced.