As Ginnie Baer sat in the dimly lit theater at the Gateway Film Center last week, she was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude.
“I thought, ‘God, this is so amazing,’” she said. The artist was at the theater to see the premiere of a film by her friend Andrew Ina. “I was surrounded by amazing artists and writers and filmmakers, and I thought about how the creative community in Columbus is spectacular. I don’t think I fully appreciated it until now. Now that I’m walking away from it all.”
In the 15 years that she’s been here, Baer has become a mainstay in Columbus’ independent art scene (she’s been affiliated with Couchfire Collective, Junctionview and Ohio Art League) as well as the academic art world (she’s taught at Ohio State, Columbus State and CCAD).
In August, Baer is leaving to teach at a University of Wisconsin branch campus a couple of hours away from Minneapolis. The town she’ll be moving to is small, but that’s something she’s eager about. Creative opportunity aside, she can’t wait to be neighbors with sprawling areas of green space.
Her adoration of natural scenes is evident in her recent abstract paintings, which will be on view this Hop in a farewell exhibit at Sean Christopher Gallery Ohio.
The paintings — often acrylics on non-water absorbent, synthetic materials like Yupo — begin with applying paint and then “splashing, pouring or dripping” water (sometimes rain drops) on them. After they’ve dried, she manipulates the images more directly.
Lately Baer has found herself leaning toward landscapes. She cited several reasons for that: her budding attraction to Buddhism, her love of the serotonin-inducing effects of being in nature, her natural inclination to be outside.
The abstract landscape paintings are visual hints that Baer will likely be happy with all those wide open spaces she’s leaving the concrete jungle for.
“I’m ready for a new experience,” Baer said. “But it’s bittersweet.”
Lisette Lichtenstein likes heavy (and lightweight) metal. Painting on metallic surfaces lets her keep her options open. She can simultaneously reference technology, industry, nature and art. Plus, the way the painting looks is always evolving, depending on how the light hits the material at any given moment. Grid is displaying a number of the Columbus artist’s oil and encaustic on metal works through August.
Roy G Biv
Curated by Columbus Dispatch photographer and DJ Brooke LaValley, the new show at Roy G Biv comprises 30-something photographs by the newspaper’s photojournalists. In an era when anyone with a smartphone and camera app is a “photographer,” this is a refreshing chance to see how the professionals do it — and see why they’re still necessary. Leave your Instagram borders and sepia settings at home.