Dark Love IV' at the Vanderelli Room one of the highlights of February's Franklinton Friday
You know the drill. Every second Friday, Franklinton Friday takes over the west side arts district. Stuff is happening. You should probably be there for it.
Here's a primer on some of what's in store this weekend, which also includes a sneak peek at Chromedge Studios on Rich Street. Chromedge is a soon-to-open space from the folks at 400 West Rich, whose project manager, Chris Sherman, said the building should be ready for its first tenants to move in early next month.
“It's all studio space, but in the 400 [West Rich] fashion, we'll use the hallways and corridors as exhibition space,” he said.
Sherman said the open house (5-9 p.m. Friday at 446 W. Rich St.) is geared primarily towards prospective tenants, but I don't suppose that precludes anyone else from checking it out.
‘Dark Love,' Vanderelli Room
The notion of mixing magic and love obviously predates Screamin' Jay Hawkins' “I Put a Spell on You,” and “because you're mine” is hardly the sole reason to employ magic when it comes to love. The fourth annual “Dark Love” exhibition is a chance to explore these various applications, with “Spells and Hexes” as this year's theme.
“The exhibition is something a little darker than a traditional Valentine's Day show,” artist/curator Tona Pearson said. “I asked for some artist input on the theme, and I liked [‘Spells and Hexes'] because it has a little richer of a vibe, something to spice it up and make it a little more spooky. It's going to be a pretty heavy show, with some pretty magical stuff.”
Indeed, Pearson said there will be more than a handful of pieces that present the theme with a more-than-metaphorical approach.
“Several of the artists have created things based on their actual practice, or their practices with former lovers,” Pearson said.
Pearson will have two new works in the show, although neither will be magical in the literal sense.
“I'm not religious in any way, so I'm not doing anything ritualistic or crossing into territory I'm not familiar with,” she said.
One of her pieces is woven from human and horse hair, a process that took about 20 hours.
“It is magic to me because I created pieces of it as meditation. When I see and especially touch the pieces, I reconnect with the calm I felt creating it. That's the spell for me,” Pearson said.
Since its inception in 2014, “Dark Love” has taken on a “more poignant and realistic tone,” Pearson said.
“The first time, all we wanted was to have a party that wasn't a Valentine's Day party, something without pink hearts and chocolate-covered cherries,” she said. “Adding a theme each year seems to give artists [freedom] to express what it means to them. People put a lot of their own personal tragedy into the work. … It can be overwhelming. You get to see a lot more of the artist's actual soul. It creates an ambience fitting of the theme.”
7-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10
218 McDowell St.
Aina Turiaga and Steve Jebbett solo shows, Strongwater Event Space
With some work being done at 400 West Rich, the warehouse/studio space is moving its monthly market to the adjacent event space at Strongwater Food & Spirits. The Strongwater bar will be open, and the market's vendors, as usual, will have a variety of locally made art, crafts and products available.
Additionally, solo art exhibitions from 400 West Rich artists Aina Turiaga and Steve Jebbett will be on view. For Turiaga, it's the day before her birthday, affording a chance to celebrate with a show of (almost all) new work.
“They're all critters representing love in different ways. Some are very obvious, some are just humorous in a way,” she said of the pieces that might not be easy, light-hearted looks at love, but which she still hopes will elicit a smile.
The pieces, she said, while often derived from the personal, express universal feelings about love, from heartbreak to the pure and innocent love of children.
7-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10
401 W. Town St.
‘Drawing on Inner Strength,' Second Sight Studio
This is kind of a bonus because this show at Mona Gazala's Second Sight in Franklinton takes place on Saturday. It's an extra special bonus because it's also being held during Gazala's annual Hearts United for One Billion Rising public art event.
First things first. Hearts United, now in its fourth year, allows local folks to come and make heart-shaped or -themed art to be displayed on the Bellows Avenue Elementary School fence. It is part of the global One Billion Rising movement to end violence against women.
The exhibition of works by L'Andrae' Bradley will be held inside the Second Sight Studio. This pop-up show will feature his work in both pen and ink and markers and watercolor, all inspired, in part, by the Lima-born artist's work with the Shambhala Meditation Center.
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11
730 Bellows Ave.