February’s Walk All Over Waterloo features a number of fun events hosted by the district’s various galleries, studios, shops and restaurants. Hours vary by business, but beginning at 5 p.m., the district’s numerous galleries, studios, restaurants, bars and retail shops host a variety of free events. The evening’s highlights include opening receptions for Unfolding Narrative at Waterloo Arts, Dan Miller’s Imaginative Isolation at Gallery One Sixty and Enough Dumb Courage: Some Things by Jamey Hart.
Unfolding Narrative is a group exhibition of fiber arts from the African-American Quilt & Doll Guild. Waterloo Arts’ executive director, Amy Callahan, conceived of the show as an opportunity to engage the local community’s residents and school children during February’s Black History Month.
"A love of art, fabric and storytelling motivated two retired teachers, Sarah Noble and Gloria Kellon, to come together and found the African American Quilt and Doll Guild nine years ago,” explains Waterloo Arts’ executive director Amy Callahan. “The two now share fellowship with 80 other members who are eager to hone their skills and express their creative visions through fiber arts. The quilters depict the African American experience using contemporary and traditional designs, telling both personal stories and those of African American heritage. I wanted to exhibit the quilts in February to honor Black History Month and share this important narrative with residents and students from local schools.”
“The quilters are at all levels of experience and the quilts reflect their unique styles,” continues Callahan. “Gloria Kellon, a storyteller and former teacher, says that her years with students doing cut paper collage artwork influences her approach to quilting today. The historical narrative of Kellon’s quilts are built with carefully chosen layers of fabric, using the added texture of frayed edges, beads and shells and are then finished with quilting stitches as integral to the final picture as all the other elements. These soulful quilts seem to sing their story to you as great folk art does. In a very different style, artist Helen Murrell executes beautifully balanced designs, with hand dyed fabrics, meticulous free-form quilting and hand-stitched accents, into exquisite works of fiber art."
Waterloo Arts’ opening reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 6. Stop back on Wednesday Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. for an evening of conversation and storytelling as the artists discuss their work.
From 5 p.m. to midnight, Gallery One Sixty will be hosting a reception for new work by Dan Miller.
“I tried to focus on the power of imagination in childhood, and how it can set up the foundations for our personalities while acknowledging the inherent solitude of imagination,” explains Miller. “But not with a negative connotation of solitude. But there is something menacing in the distance whether that be the specter of adulthood or something more sinister is up to the viewer.”
“Dan has always been a favorite painter of mine,” explains Gallery One Sixty owner Bryon Miller. “His work puts the viewer in an almost childlike trance where anything is possible. His landscapes delve into the subconscious mind and seem to focus on the unobtainable things we want the most.”
You can also view two of Miller’s robots next door to the gallery in the Waterloo Sculpture Garden.
Waterloo’s own pop-up gallery, Popeye Gallery, will present their latest exhibition in the Native Cleveland Annex (located between Native Cleveland and Star Pop Vintage + Modern on Waterloo). Enough Dumb Courage: Some Things by Jamey Hart is a collection of assemblages and poetry. Hart is a recent graduate of Cleveland Institute of Art’s Creative Writing program.
"Next to one another, they are a string of thoughts and mumbles at different degrees of accumulation or disintegration,” explains Hart. “Some have a strict clarity in their image, coming off as a sort of dream letter or symbol. Others just clump. One can lay flat and splay out what it is made of while the next few arrive as abstract paintings of things that can be traced back to the world.”
If you missed Andrew Reach’s Bits in Pieces last month, be sure to stop by on Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. for another opportunity to see the work, and learn about his compelling path to a career in visual art.
There’s plenty more to see around the neighborhood, so be sure to “Walk All Over Waterloo” and check it all out.
(Waterloo Arts) 15605 Waterloo Rd., 216-692-9500, waterlooarts.org
(Gallery One Sixty) 16008 Waterloo Rd., 440-715-0603, galleryonesixty.org
(Popeye Gallery/Native Cleveland Annex), 15813 Waterloo Rd., popeyegallery.com
(Maria Neil Art Project) 15813 Waterloo Rd., 216-481-7722, marianeilartproject.com