Posts Tagged 'Cleveland art'

Forma and Flora exhibition at The Gathering Place

This show takes place at the newly built Sandy Borrelli Center at 25425 Center Ridge Road in Westlake, Ohio.

Opening reception: Friday, October 27th from 5pm to 7pm and on view through December 30th.

I’m so happy and honored to be showing at an amazing resource for those dealing with cancer, as well as the facility being named after Sandy! She’s an amazing woman. Please do check out The Gathering Place and both their locations. Not only do they provide group services, but there’s a wig shop, and programming for children (including kitten camp!)

Anyway, more about the showy-poo….

​Arabella Proffer’s biomorphic paintings revolve around a fascination with the history of medicine, microbiology, and surreal organisms. Her work is many times of landscapes combined with abstract representations of organic processes, alien botany, and the cellular basis of the unnatural. Each painting is started from a place of abstraction; becoming filled with strange hybrids of flowers, cells, and symbols; a nature that is a genetically modified in oil paint.

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“My work changed drastically one day in 2010 when I found myself creating surreal organic environments. Although I started from a place of abstraction, they became filled with strange hybrids of flowers, cells, and symbols that appeared like organisms from another planet. It was only later that I found out I had cancer crawling through my leg at an alarming rate. When my doctor showed me the scans of the tumor it looked almost identical to what I had been painting – tentacles and all. In succession over the last seven years I had painted other images that closely resembled what was going on in my own body; cysts, growths, and other organ entanglements all later revealed well after the paintings were done. A fascination with the macro universe and micro universe had come about, and made me wonder if I was at times painting in-tune with what my own biology was doing. This was a major departure for me after 12 years of exhibiting as portrait artist.”

Arabella attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA before receiving her BFA from California Institute of the Arts where she studied under artists such as Derek Boshier, Jim Shaw, and Raymond Pettibon. Arabella participates in solo and group exhibitions throughout North America as well as parts of Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. She was awarded an Ohio Arts Council grant in 2016 and has been a teaching artist at The Cleveland Museum of Art. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Plain Dealer, GOOD Magazine, Hi-Fructose, Juxtapoz, The Harvard Gazette, SF Weekly, Cincinnati Magazine, Snob, Scene, Modain, Hektoen International Medical Journal, and more. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and bred in Southern California, lives on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

 

 

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Sometimes I Work in a Viking Helmet

The show at Hedge Gallery opened and has been amazing with all of the feedback I have gotten! Thank you all so much and thank you to the Hedge Gallery staff and Ohio Arts Council for making it happen. More pictures from the show opening to follow.

There’s also been some press from The Plain Dealer, Fresh Water, and Scene Magazine. The show is on view through December 23rd and I will be having a bit of a shindig on Sunday, December 11th during Cleveland Bazaar from 2pm to 6pm if you missed the opening.

In the meantime here is a little video of me working a little bit on the show…in a viking helmet.

An Empty Calendar Is Death, After All

Since the beginning of this past fall, I’ve had a great pleasure of becoming a teaching artist at The Cleveland Museum of Art, and more specifically, am a part of their Art & Insight program which partners with organizations to bring in medical professionals and medical students to take part in exercises using the art collection. European portraiture is my thing of course, but it’s been a great way to do a crash art history lesson on all the pieces in the museum. And trust me — that’s a lot! It will be years before I am fluent in all of them, but I’ll get there when I get there.

I’ve been busy starting my new body of work that was made possible by The Ohio Arts Council. The show will have an opening reception in November at 78th Street Studios as part of the Hedge Gallery new satellite space, which is also next to one of my favorite record shops, Bent Crayon!

This will be very different work for me and it’s the first time I’ll be having a dedicated show of the new direction I’ve been going in. I read a horoscope a few months back saying that for me, as a Gemini, unveiling a new creative direction in public in June was the worst time to do so and it would not be well received. I normally don’t put much stock into horoscopes — let alone the Astro Twins — but the description was a little too on the mark and specific with my situation as I was negotiating a gallery space. I’m glad the show got moved to the late fall!

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There are a few other exhibitions I am having in May and in June, but I suggest you visit my website and join my email list to get all the details.

This month I also found out that my husband will be having heart surgery in early June at Cleveland Clinic. Man, no matter what I can’t seem to get away from that place, can I? It was a shock to both of us, and the doctors, that he even needed something so invasive given how healthy he is and is in zero pain. It’s my turn to play nursemaid now, and you better believe I’ll be on the scene with those nurses! He has seen me go through this now — what, 6 times? But he isn’t like me. Frankly, he isn’t taking it well. I’m currently making a list of all the food I’ll be ordering for him at main campus because there’s now way he’s going to eat the crap they serve as hospital food. He has to take a month off work and won’t be able to drive, so I guess I need to come up with a lot of activities and road trip ideas so he doesn’t go crazy. If you didn’t know already, he is a runner, so this will be extra hard.

We also have some news coming in this summer on the Elephant Stone Records front, lots of visitors, a trip to NYC for my husband’s book event there with Jack Rabid, and that’s not including a few secret projects, my other freelance jobs, and so forth. I’ve had to put a pause on portrait commissions until 2017. Did I also mention I might have another surgery on my leg this year?

I’m normally pretty together, so if you have been experiencing severe delays in email replies and phone calls, this is why. But it’s okay. For me, to look at my calendar and see it be empty is like death. I can’t stand an empty calendar!

 

Winners + Thanks

Thank you so much to those of who donated (aka purchased) my sketches and color studies for my flash fundraiser! I’m glad these originals are going to some good homes and I’ll be getting them out over the next few weeks to everyone.

Congrats to Margaret McCartney, you won the framed acrylic/watercolor of “Hoodlum” and congrats to Melissa Mrazek, you won the catalog and sticker set!

I even sold some original oil paintings, so I can put a huge payment down to get the Cleveland Clinic off my back (how do you like that for transparency?). Oh, speaking of medical institutions, here’s a little article of me getting sassy about the unfortunate surgery from 6 months ago, while also promoting the sale and my upcoming little reception during 3rd Fridays at Toast. If you haven’t had a cocktail or the desserts from Toast, you should come even just for that! I’ll be there from 6-10pm. I’m a very social person, so when I get cooped up in the hospital or my apartment for too long against my will I go nuts, and therefore, make up for lost time in a big way.

Hoping to start maybe moving supplies back to the studio, although with this weather I’m not sure. Here is a funny photo of my current dining room table studio, sans the cats walking into everything…

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Everyone needs a Sabertooth skull and a shit list, right?

 

Snaps from the Reception at BAYarts

I have to say I think that was the most packed art reception I ever had! I didn’t think so many people would come out (all the way to the westside) let alone in the rain, but there we had it! My pals K&G even flew in all the way from San Francisco and we had a fun little weekend out of it. So, thank you all who came and supported me, you know I don’t get mushy about stuff but it meant a lot on light of the events that happened this month! Honestly, at one point I was considered cancelling the show or putting it off until next year — I’m glad I didn’t.

The art talk went pretty well considering I have only done one carefully timed Pecha Kucha talk before. I think I meandered a bit in the beginning and I remember using the words “whore” a lot, but that’s why I said it was NC-17, after all! The really nice thing about the talk were the current/former Cleveland Clinic employees and those married to them all wondering why the Cleveland Clinic didn’t sponsor this show, but mainly, why haven’t I been invited to speak there? I think it wasn’t just because of the medical history points, but the fact that I am a patient there and some of the later works reflected my state of mind why regard to that whole process. Stay tuned!

Anyway, here is a mishmash of photos myself and others were able to get in the flurry of activity. I was just excited to wear high heels for the first time in a year…

The show is up until April 25th at BAYarts, minus one painting I let be taken off the wall because it was a time sensitive birthday gift. I’ll be posting all the work and the new stories eventually here and on my website.

Medical Themed Art Show in Cleveland

I’m pleased to announce my next solo show is April 4th at BAYarts! I have been teaching kids classes at the beautiful BAYarts campus in Bay Village for several years now, so I’m really excited to be exhibiting there. This exhibit will depict fun stuff like amputees, ocular prosthesis, virgin goddesses, and maybe a nude or two. The irony is that I’ve been having health problems, again, and I’m due for another surgery as I’m trying to get work done for this exhibition — so it might not have as many pieces as I had planned originally. However, this is my first big solo show in Ohio since 2009, so I hope you’ll join me. Facebook invite here.

“Ephemeral Antidotes: Revisited”

April 4th – 25th, 2014

Sullivan Family Gallery @ BAYarts, Bay Village, Ohio

Opening Reception: Friday, April 4th 7pm – 9pm

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In 2010 Arabella Proffer was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer, and in the process of being treated, she discovered a 16th century painting of Saints Cosmas and Damian where it appeared the “cure” for her particular ailment had changed little. The result of the traumatic experience of having a section of her leg removed gave way to a new fervent interest in medical history, and is chronicled in the afflictions of her fictional female portraits.

After discovering the Dittrick Museum of Medical History was located in Cleveland she spent time doing research, and attending lectures there, that would help fuel inspiration for ways to combine this new fascination with her art. “This series was a good way for me to work out my anger and be even more thankful that what I’m going through is nothing compared to old remedies and techniques. My art and interests were in the way society lived in the past, but with emphasis on the defiant, glamorous, and eccentric. You could have been rich, important, or beautiful, but if sick you would still receive brutal or worthless treatment,” says Proffer, “but I also fell in love with old medical illustrations; they somehow made gorgeous artwork even though it depicts amputation and syphilis.”

“Ephemeral Antidotes: Revisited” explores the medical superstitions and practices of centuries past with a touch of magic realism. Continuing the theme from her 2012 solo show that took place at Loved to Death, in San Francisco, the subjects in her paintings are accompanied by a biography — all written by Proffer — highlighting the fascinating and misguided aspects of old medicine. Proffer takes inspiration from old world mannerist portraiture and medical illustrations of the 14th and 15th centuries while weaving in her own contemporary punk and goth sensibility. Done in oil on linen, her stylized subjects are bold and colorful, yet reveal a hint of the sinister.

Described as everything from neorealism to pop surrealism, her work touches on themes of identity, history, rebellion, and refinement. Earning her BFA from California Institute of the Arts, Arabella Proffer has participated in group and solo exhibitions throughout North America, Europe, parts of the Middle East, and Australia. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she has taken up residence in Laguna Beach (she went to high school there, thankfully, before the reality show), Boston, Los Angeles, and currently works from her studio in Lakewood, Ohio.

Gallery talk Wednesday, April 9th 6:30pm – 7:30pm

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Last Night in Cleveland

I was kind of distracted talking to people and didn’t take a lot of photos of the work, but here are some from the opening reception for “Illustrious”. It’ll be up through the end of the month at Wall Eye Gallery. Lots of comics to read and posters to see! You can read a little interview over here at OhioAuthority.com

Here is my stuff…

Me and pal Veronica. Everyone thinks we’re sisters when we go out…

some of the graphic novel by Derf about his friendship with Jeffrey Dahmer. Quite interesting!

Gina agrees. I think I need to get this shirt next time I’m down at the shop inside Wall Eye Gallery…

John G’s contribution can be seen here

Also really liked Jake Kelly’s fake movie posters. Here is one…

Derf, John G, Jake and I are some of the artists included in the exhibition that Sustainable Love Corporation has put together called “Notes From The Cleveland Underground”, and it’s happening in Cologne, Germany! My first time showing in Germany. It’ll take place here. Yay!