So on the 12th of February I spent the day flying to Cleveland, Ohio, where I met up with Kathleen Browne, the Jewelry/Metals professor at Kent State University’s School of Art who took me out to Kent, about an hour out from Cleveland.
Owing to the recent weather patterns on the east coast and inland I was wary of cutting it too fine, so my arrival was the day before the opening of The Digital Hand on the 13th. The exhibition, as the name implies, was of jewellery works by artists who use digital technologies in their practices. The opening went really well, as did the opening of the student show upstairs. While at our show I got to have a great chat with some local artists who were involved, including Matthew Hollern and partner Pam Argentieri. (Check out the catalogue below to see their work.)
The following day I gave a lecture on my practice for the department of art, which went pretty well. It’s a tough thing to practice, talking in public, since rehearsing in front of an audience is not really workable. It’s like stand-up comedy in a way, the only way to get good at it is to do it. Hopefully, with all the practice I’m getting, I’ll someday get really good at it!
While I was there I also spent some time with some students, mostly graduates (what we in Aus would call postgraduate students – students undertaking their MFA’s), talking with them about their work. And I got a tour of the enamelling studio, which included the great big new enamelling kiln.
On the Saturday we trekked back into Cleveland where Kathleen and I met up with Gretchen Goss, another enamel artist, whose work I was familiar with after installing it for first Heat Exchange exhibition in 2012. Together we toured the recently fully-reopened and pretty ah-maz-ing Cleveland Museum of Art for the afternoon. The collections and the architecture are incredible, I really recommend a visit.
While in town I stayed with Kathleen and partner Stephen, also an impressive artist. They were fantastic hosts, and the time with them allowed me to tour both of their studios which is always a fascinating peek behind the curtains of an artist’s process.