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Short North gallery show brings guest and member works together

Two scagliola pieces currently on display by Melissa Woods. Credit: Courtesy of Hammond Harkins Galleries.

While art galleries in the Short North area showcase many artists at once or feature a few at a time, Hammond Harkins’ “6 Plus 1” series does a little bit of both.

Hammond Harkins began the series four years ago and continues it annually. In each iteration of the series, six member artists of the studio feature their work alongside a visiting artist. This year, Los Angeles-based artist Tariku Shiferaw is the centerpiece for the members’ work until April 28.

Shiferaw has shown his work in Columbus in the past and has a connection with one of the member artists at Hammond Harkins. The positive reaction to his art led to his return to the city, this time in the Hammond Harkins space.

“I think ‘6 Plus 1’ was just an excuse to have an exhibition,” Chet Domitz, art consultant at Hammond Harkins, said. “The way the space is laid out, the space in the back is perfect for featuring one artist, even though it’s in the back … The wall of glass really highlights the back area.”

Domitz has worked at Hammond Harkins for many years and has seen talented artists come through Columbus. The series has been able to host those artists alongside their members.

Member artist Melissa Woods has been represented by the gallery for nearly two years and brings a rare artform to the collection. Woods’ recent work uses an old Italian tradition known as scagliola, a technique that uses plaster as the main ingredient.

“It’s a trade that’s handed down within a school,” Woods said. “It’s almost impossible to teach.”

Woods’ sculptures aim to combine the ideas of functionality and art with these versatile materials. Because the recipe and technique are difficult and almost always kept secret, Woods’ works have been a refreshing evolution of tradition.

“I showed [scagliola teachers] my images of what I was making, and their eyes just looked lit up; they were really excited,” Woods said.

Hammond Harkins Galleries is located on High Street in the Short North, and the current “6 Plus 1” show featuring Shiferaw and Woods is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday until April 28.

 

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