Shannon O’Deens, Emily Van Walleghen, and Jennifer Baldwin

“Abstract art” is an extensive term that sprawls throughout the archives of art history. It has a deeply rooted history across the world, and as centuries pass, we are still drawn to the unseen and the imagined. It spans all art forms and can be interpreted endlessly by each person that views the work.

There is no unchangeable formula to abstraction. Expressionism and even geometric abstraction provide radical freedom from principle, and in doing abstract work, artists are in a sort of conversation with the surface. Rituals and processes are created and sustained by the artist, not solely by the rules of the past. Color and shape are essential—they guide our eye, are loaded with meaning, and unlock the emotions of each image. Bold hues catch our attention while subtle tones provide a sense of peace, drawing each person deeper into the artist’s narrative.

This summer, 1628 is thrilled to be showcasing 19 local and regional artists in our first exclusively abstract show, Not Quite Seen: Investigating How Artists Perceive the World. Presenting new ways of looking at the world, it is an exploration of form, color, and emotion, created and interpreted uniquely by artist and viewer. Featured in this show are artists Shannon O’Deens, Emily Van Walleghen, and Jennifer Baldwin

 

Shannon O’Deens is a multimedia artist from Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati, DAAP in 2022 with Bachelors’ degrees in Art History and Fine Art. Her area of focus is painting, though much of her work tends to bleed into other mediums as well. Research is an important part of her practice and much of her work is supported by her study of art history. In her work, O’Deens explores themes of memory, trauma, intimacy, and vulnerability. Chaos is a key element of her work. It surrounds and engulfs each piece allowing her to express challenging and often intangible experiences. She places figures or objects in cerebral, dream-like spaces, filled with organic forms and soft edges that allow her to explore darker or abstract themes. The work explores our relationship with our bodies, the spaces around us, the people closest to us, and our past. The cold blues are contrasted by harsh, angry reds and warmed by hopeful pinks. The spaces are cold but never devoid of any warmth. Her paintings are lonely, at times finding safety in the solitude. She ultimately grapples with questions around how we adapt to survive and struggle to gain independence from our past. Her work questions the effects of trauma and who it makes us.

 

Emily Van Walleghen currently lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio where she earned an MFA in Studio and Fine Art from the University of Cincinnati in 2020. Her previous degrees include a BS (University of Illinois), MS (University of Arizona), and PhD (Virginia Tech) in the field of Nutritional Science. Her practice is informed by her education and professional experience in science and research and shaped by a reality of sensationalism where fact and fiction are so tightly interwoven the truth does not exist.

Through fiber work that explores time, labor, and the relationship between process and outcome, Van Walleghen investigates the explicit and hidden forces subverting data collection and dissemination. Using commonplace materials and familiar craft techniques, she stitches the scientific and academic into everyday experience. This work asks the question: How can a figure tell the truth in a world where fact and fiction are interwoven so tightly the truth does not exist? Through the process of abstraction, it becomes clear that the objective truth is infiltrated by a subjective reality where meaning lies in the translation of the figure itself.

 

Jennifer Baldwin began as an art educator in 1976 and retired in 2021. She received a BA in Art from Thomas More College (1976) and an MA in Art Education from the Art Academy of Cincinnati (2005). For 22 years she was the director of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for the Southwestern Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana region. Jennifer works in a variety of media, including various forms of printmaking, painting in acrylics and oil, mixed media, and sculpture. Her works have been installed at IBM, Caza Sikes Gallery, Cincinnati Art Club, United States Embassy in Ecuador, The Carnegie Arts Center, Thomas More College, the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and many art fairs in the region. Jennifer is a member of Tiger Lily Press and serves as Development Chair including Local Ink Market.

 

 

Multiple pieces in this exhibition are for sale. If you are interested in seeing our most recently scanned exhibition Queen City Visual Narrative virtually, click here. If you are interested in purchasing any artwork from the show, please contact us at art@1628ltd.com.”

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