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Trio of shows come to South Campus Gateway

The South Campus Gateway will be overrun by superheroes, giant tapestries and three-dimensional paintings when four local artists display their work for the Arts in the Alley project this month.

Three galleries at the Gateway — the Shoebox, the Arts Initiative Space, and the Ohio Art League — will host the shows.

Adam Brouillette, a featured artist and president of the local artist group Couchfire Collective, said his work attempts to reconnect with his college years, when he wanted to be a comic book illustrator.

“I wanted to go into a storybook mentality and pay homage to the characters that I was in love with back then,” he said.

Though he considers himself a printmaker, Brouillette’s show, entitled “Heroes and Legends”, presents five paintings ranging from 6 to 18 feet wide.

“I’m trying to do something I haven’t done before and work large,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve painted on canvass since sophomore year of college.”

Brouillette said he hopes that he will soon be able to show his work in large institutions and museums. His work will be displayed in the Arts Initiative Space.

Kate Dowell, exhibition director of the Shoebox, said her gallery will show works by Erin Riley, a local tapestry weaver.

Riley’s work treats tapestries like paintings because she superimposes images from photographs she finds or takes in the real world.

“She’s working with the historical craft of weaving combined with contemporary tools like Google image search or Flickr,” Dowell said.

The Ohio Art League will host painters Ian Magargee and Christin Hutchinson, said Eliza Jones, the group’s membership coordinator. Both artists bring a three-dimensional aspect to their work.

“Ian paints on canvas with oil, but that canvas is generally put into abstract shapes,” she said. “Christin focuses mainly on abstract self-portraits on lattice than can be bent or wrapped.”

The Arts in the Alley project was started by the Arts Initiative at OSU in October to create an arts community near campus.

The group hopes that Arts in the Alley will serve as an incubator for new artists while also bringing more people to the area, said Victoria Ellwood, a spokeswoman for the Arts Initiative.

Dowell said her gallery takes applications on a rolling basis for artists who want to sell their work, and she is constantly looking to promote new artists, including students.

“We have had [OSU] grad students and alumni, but we haven’t had undergrads yet,” she said.

The Arts Initiative hopes these gallery openings will represent a jumping-off point for a strong commercial and artistic presence on campus.

“For emerging artists, this is a way that they can have space and learn to establish their businesses and careers as artists,” Ellwood said. “It’s a win-win for everybody — more space for these artists and increased activity for the Gateway.”

The Shoebox, the Arts Initiative Space and the Ohio Art League will host opening receptions at 6 p.m. on Feb. 4. The galleries will display the work for the rest of the month.

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