The Cleveland State University Art Gallery will present Digital Safari: International ‘New Media' Exhibition from Friday, August 29 through Saturday, October 4. The exhibit is free and open to the public; a Gallery Talk by co-curator Qian Li will take place on August 29 at 4 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 5-8 p.m.
Digital Safari is an exhibition of new media exploring the frontiers of technology in art. The show is curated by Qian Li, assistant professor of art at Cleveland State and a native of Mainland China, and Robert Thurmer, Art Gallery director. Li is a new media artist in her own right whose work, SILENT MIX, was shown in 2006 at the CSU Art Gallery.
The featured works highlight the latest capabilities in electronic and web-based media: computer game modification, electronic sound and performance art, virtual reality, and tele-presence. The exhibition is a small sampling of the fast-moving world of technology-based art that also reflect the curator’s sensibility: harmony, positive energy, and beauty.
The exhibition explores the full range of new media, featuring 10 international artists:
Dextro, Austria – online interactive video
Shawn Towne, Massachusetts – abstract art video
Christopher Paretti, California – e-Mobil Art
Tan Ying, Oregon – digital animation
Daniel Shiffman, New York – interactive video installation
Rebecca Allen, California – video
Xiu Bing, New York – interactive installation
Mark Napier, New York – video installation
Ryan Lott, New York – electronic music
Joshue Ott, New York – interactive audio-visual
Art Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays from Noon to 4 p.m. The Gallery is located at the corner of East 23rd Street and Chester Avenue (2307 Chester Ave.).
In Gallery C: Boris Vitlin Exhibition
Aug. 29-Sept. 13
Gallery Talk by Richard Schneider: Sat., Sept. 13, 2 p.m.
Boris Vitlin is a retrospective exhibition of large-scale ceramic works by local artist Boris Vitlin, who was a Project 60 art student at Cleveland State for several years. (Project 60 allows students age 60 and over to take classes for free, without credit.) The exhibit is curated by professor of art Richard Schneider.
“Students at CSU would frequently ask Vitlin for advice, and it was always freely given,” said Schneider. “He used to refer to coming to ceramics class as being in ‘Paradise.’”
Vitlin arrived in the U.S. in 1989, after years of waiting for permission to emigrate from the Soviet Union. A native of Leningrad (St. Petersburg), he spent most of his life in the Soviet Union as an engineer and computer specialist working for the government. “I would work for the money in the daytime and at night I painted for my soul,” he would say.
Eventually Vitlin found a low-level job as an electrician at an artificial skating rink, giving him more time to devote to his art. He set up a studio in an abandoned steam station, built an electric kiln and began to experiment.
One day policemen came and confiscated all of his clay works, accusing him of running an underground business. There were court hearings, in which he pled not guilty, and soon after he and his family received permission to emigrate.
Vitlin was determined to earn his living as an artist in America. At first he made hand painted tiles, then low fired functional ceramics-Majolica, then he switched to middle range temperature, and the last two years of his life were spent making high temperature reduction stoneware.
More about Vitlin can be found at www.ceramicsdelight.com.
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