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Ohio State Faculty Club takes art to street level

Local street artist Stephanie Rond installing her piece “Birds Flying High, You Know How I Feel” using wheatpaste (a substance used in making paper mache) on the eastern wall of the OSU Faculty Club. Credit: Emily Dean | Lantern Reporter

With the warmer temperatures, it’s time for art to play outside.

The Ohio State Faculty Club had its first-ever street art display installed Tuesday on the eastern wall of the building by local artist and OSU alumna in fine arts Stephanie Rond.

The piece, titled “Birds Flying High, You Know How I Feel,” combines Rond’s use of hand-cut stencils and spray paint on paper, and depicts the OSU Faculty Club art program’s current featured artist, Lisa M. McLymont.

“I took artistic liberty with her collection ‘Universe Tribe,’ since my work incorporates a lot of the universe as well,” Rond said. “So it’s like an homage to her.”

Rond and McLymont met in 2010 while serving the OSU Fellowship for Emerging Artists, and have since collaborated on many works. Rond operates a dollhouse-sized gallery in her studio called S. Dot Gallery, for which McLymont has submitted works for two separate miniature exhibitions.

Rond’s pieces will be on display inside the Faculty Club in May, once McLymont’s exhibition rotates out on May 12. Rond is celebrating her 20th year since graduating from OSU with a fine arts degree, and her collection will be a retrospective of all her works.

Lisa Craig Morton, manager of the art program for the Faculty Club, said she was inclined to pick these two women for the work they do beside their art.

“They are both so much more engaged in the community than any other artists I know,” Morton said.

Rond said she started delving into the world of street art in 2007, and has had her pieces displayed in the Hilltop area, Clintonville and the Short North. She said one of her selling points to property owners is the wheatpaste she uses to affix her art pieces to buildings is organic and not harmful to the structures.

As a student at OSU, Rond said she was particularly interested in advertising and how it devalued women as objects on giant billboards.

“I started to think about outdoor advertising in terms of who owns the space and what the representation is,” Rond said. “So, it would only make sense that I eventually turned to street art.”

Morton said by allowing Rond to install her piece now, she hopes the materials will last until the end of of the indoor exhibition in July.

“If people looked at my work and could take away the same message as they would from viewing Lisa’s work, it would be a huge compliment to me,” Rond said.

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