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The Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery at Lorain County Community College is welcoming a collection of CIA student sketchbooks by hosting a public reception on Friday, Nov. 15, from 4:30 to 7:30pm.
The 65 CIA sketchbooks comprise a traveling exhibition, the CIA Traveling Sketchbook Project, which opened in the CIA Library on Oct. 1 and is now touring the region. At the Stocker Art Gallery, this CIA collection is folded into a larger exhibition, Radius: An Artist Sketchbook Project, curated by 2012 CIA graduate Karen Sandstrom.
In addition to the CIA student works, Radius will feature the sketchbooks of a dozen Northeast Ohio artists. A collection of small books by illustrator Ron Hill offer, by turns, quick portraits and caricatures, imagined creatures and ideas for his editorial cartoons. Designer Karen Blados chronicles domestic life in carefully designed pages that blend drawings and text. Painter George Kocar’s work includes sketches he makes with his iPad.
“There’s something magical about spontaneous artwork and notes when they’re captured in a bound book,” Sandstrom said. “Maybe not every drawing is great. But because the work tends to be so intimate, every page turn brings suspense and delight. There’s almost nothing I love more than being a voyeur inside someone else’s sketchbook world. ”
Sandstrom’s vision for the Stocker Art Gallery show was a perfect fit for the CIA project. Loosely patterned after The Sketchbook Project at the Brooklyn Art Library in New York, CIA Traveling Sketchbook Project started when the college’s incoming first-year students were provided with identical sketchbooks over the summer, and instructed to complete them during their first month at college.
The CIA Traveling Sketchbook Project was designed to support this year’s summer reading at CIA, in which the entire college community was invited to join the new students in reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a novel by Sherman Alexie, with illustrations by graphic novelist, Ellen Forney. Closely paralleling the author’s own childhood, it tells the story of 14-year-old Arnold Spirit, Jr. “Arnold uses journaling, drawing and laconic wit as his means to create his own understanding of his life,” said Barbara Chira, an instructor in CIA’s freshmen Foundation program and coordinator of the project.
Just as the semi-autobiographical novel is formatted as Arnold Spirit, Jr.'s “absolutely true diary” of his thoughts and drawings about his experiences, these CIA students have been given an opportunity to complete their own “absolutely true diaries” in response to the social and cultural themes presented in the novel, and as a first-semester art student. Their sketchbooks are filled with images and ideas in response to the novel and documenting their first month away from home in art school.
After the exhibition’s run at Lorain County Community College, exhibition venues will include Rocky River Public Library from Dec. 16 through Jan. 31; the Fine Arts & Special Collections Department at Cleveland Public Library from Feb. 10 through March 8; and a grand finale, including student-led visitor activities, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland from March 15 through April 30.back to events list
The Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery
1005 N Abbe Rd
Elyria, OH 44035
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