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Controversial art hopes to spark meaningful conversation at Short North Gallery Hop

Magda Parasidis’s piece titled ‘Talking to Basquiat’ will be on view during the “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back” exhibition. Credit: Courtesy of Magda Parasidis

Art pieces that might not have a spot in commercial galleries are given a platform at (Not) Sheep gallery, a space that caters to conversation-provoking art, just in time for the Short North’s Gallery Hop.

“One Step Forward, Two Steps Back” is a show meant to reflect the state of the world. For this invitational exhibition, owner and director Caren Petersen welcomed artists with distinct and interesting viewpoints to show their work that other local galleries in the area might not have.

“Each gallery kind of represents [its] own specialty,” Petersen said. “This one I really wanted to be able to listen to a lot of different voices and present a lot of different stories and conversations to people. I think that you can best do that by keeping things fresh.”

Magda Parasidis is one of the artists featured, and her work displays a theme of social and systemic issues. She said her work stems both aesthetically and conceptually from issues of urban poverty and urban ghetto.

“What I’ve always felt is that real issues of poverty and racism aren’t always addressed directly,” Parasidis said.

Parasidis, along with other featured artists, will attend the Gallery Hop event on March 2 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. to discuss her work with those interested.

“It’s an opportunity to engage,” she said. “We need to create spaces like this — it’s a form of activism. Staying critically conscious, politically sensitive [and] awake.”

Priscilla Roggenkamp will also be featured; her pieces offer a sense of memory and tactile reminders of what we hold onto. She said a lot of the works in the show demonstrate “what we carry in life” and show “part of who we are.”

Roggenkamp said that this show and ones like it are important to making a work of art and not just having it sit in the studio.

“Caren has given her artists an opportunity to have a dialogue that’s not always about, ‘Is this beautiful? Will it fit over my dining room table?’ And that’s important, too, but the dialogue of something that is political or personal or feminist or whatever, that dialogue is just what art is about at its core,” she said.

Roggenkamp will offer not only her textile artwork to the show, but she will be playing with her bluegrass band Rock Salt and Nails 6–8 p.m. during Gallery Hop.

The exhibition opens Thursday in preparation for Gallery Hop and will be available to view for two months afterwards.

 

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