Drawing Attention to YSU Department of Art

By Amanda Lehnerd

Christine McCullough, Claudia Berlinski and Terre Brock Davis of Youngstown State University’s art faculty have been invited to exhibit their work in a three-person show called “Drawing Attention.”

The exhibit will take place at The Sally Otto Gallery at the University of Mount Union. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Jan. 26, 4-6 p.m. and the show will run through Feb. 19. The Gallery is located at 34 W. Simpson Street, Alliance, Ohio.

The exhibit “Drawing Attention,” is meant to challenge the viewer and allow him or her to build upon the individual images while investigating layers of personal and profound meaning.

“In other words, most artists produce bodies of work that relate visually or thematically, but each work does not necessarily depend on its proximity to another for the concept or meaning to be understood,” Berlinski said. “The work in this exhibition also draws attention or awareness to the specific concerns of each artist whether they are of personal, social or global significance.”

McCullough, Berlinski and Davis create works in series, and they all work with different mediums, yet their works still relate to one another under the theme of “Drawing Attention.”

“The relationship we have as artists is that we are drawing attention to personal ideas through our distinct voices and viewpoints — and in a visually representational way,” Berlinski said. “The theme, style and media are different for each of us, but we share an interest in subject matter that is highly personal to each of us, and we are using metaphor to depict meaning.” A&E Drawing Attention photo credit Claudia Berlinski

The University of Mount Union Sally Otto Gallery director invited McCullough to exhibit her work in the large gallery.

“[The director] has been familiar with my work for many years and invited me to exhibit in the large space,” McCullough said. “For several years now I have been creating smaller works that function as a series, and this invitation seemed the perfect opportunity to collaborate with two colleagues — Berlinski and Davis — who work in similar fashion.”

McCullough is exhibiting three distinct groups of work in the Sally Otto Gallery: “Her,” a series of four paintings containing diptychs, acrylic and juxtaposes, and a small series that exploits narrative devices but remains ambiguous.

“‘Her’ is a series of 16 works in encaustic and mixed media that focuses on gender-specific vernacular and its impact on self-identity. The next series showcases four paintings and contains two diptychs in acrylic and metal leaf,” McCullough said. “The final group is a small series that exploits narrative devices but remains ambiguous, allowing the viewer to form their associations.”  A&E Drawing Attention by Christine McCullough

Berlinski’s work was created using the camera on her phone. She said her work explores the fugitive nature of personal history and memory.

“This body of work is steeped in a personal and global obsession to record things visually. I always have my cellphone with me; I will record the times spent outdoors and visually collect the textures and objects of my home,” Berlinski said. “My work explores the fugitive nature of personal history and memory. These photos reveal found, and sometimes constructed, arrangements of places and things that are familiar to me. The images become metaphors that portray intimacies of my life.”

Davis said her work reflects her concerns for a social construct where self-interest is valued more than well-being. A&E Drawing Attention by Terre Brock Davis

“I’ve placed birds into contrived environments symbolic of this self-created construct. Birds can be representative of freedom and nests of the home,” Davis said. “I am playing with these metaphors to examine the dichotomy of perceptions associated with ideas like materialism versus values, self-indulgence and morality, safety and vulnerability, protection and entrapment, and confinement and freedom.”

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