Kat Rakel-Ferguson, Cynthia Kukla, Jan R. Wiesner, and Mary Anne Donovan.

There is merit to the exploration of an artist depicting themselves in their own work. The art becomes a sort of snapshot, a small glimpse into how the artist views themselves at a given point in their life. Historically, portraiture is teemed with hidden meanings through objects, making the viewer aware of the artist’s vision of themselves. In the contemporary, this symbolism transforms through an intersectional lens, as artists become able to explore their own identities through their work in abstract ways.

This spring, 1628 is excited to be showing 20 local and regional women artists in Upon Further Reflection: A Celebration of Women Artists and Introspection, opening a dialogue between the artists and viewers and calling for a dive into how women are presenting themselves in art. Featured in this show are artists Kat Rakel-Ferguson, Cynthia Kukla, Jan R. Wiesner, and Mary Anne Donovan.

Kat Rakel-Ferguson has finally found time to make her own art having recently retired from teaching art for over 30 years. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University (BA & BFA) and the University of Cincinnati DAAP (MFA), Kat works with a variety of media, with an emphasis on photographic processes. Themes frequently address political and social issues through a personal and mechanical lens.

“Photography gives an impression of realism but it really isn’t ‘truth serum’. What lies beneath the surface, visually and symbolically, is open to interpretation. I am the same. What you see isn’t necessarily what you get. I can hide a lot of things under my surface. Sometimes I will let you in on the ‘secret’, but I also find comfort and security in the world of rose-colored glasses. Titles can be clues but sometimes they are merely glitches in the GPS system of my art.”

Cynthia Kukla has exhibited paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sculptures since graduate school on four continents, in over fifty solo shows and three hundred curated/group exhibitions. Her first tenured appointment was at Northern Kentucky University, and her first sabbatical was spent as a visiting artist in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2004, she was a keynote speaker for the symposium for the exhibition Coming of Age in Ancient Greece at the Cincinnati Art Museum. In 2006 she was inducted into the Watercolor Honor Society of America. She built her dream studio in Cincinnati in 2020.

Her work conveys her identity as a woman and artist as she looks to the past to find revered women in history and mythology: Queen Nefertiti of Egypt, Athena, Isis-Tyche, Aphrodite, etc. Rather than paint herself, she works to reveal historic female figures to balance the countless mail portraits painted throughout history.

Jan R. Wiesner, a narrative ceramic figurative sculptor from Paradise, Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati DAAP with a BFA, and she was an art educator in Connecticut, Maryland, and Ohio for 39 years, teaching at Seven Hills School, The Summit Country Day School, and Xavier University as an adjunct professor of Art Education. With her husband Mark, she maintains a working studio and gallery at the Pendleton Art Center and is represented by Caza Sikes Gallery in Cincinnati.

Growing up within her family in Texas, Jan heard often from her mother the mantra that she came from a long line of strong women. This idea is one that she has always incorporated into her view of herself. She Came From A Long Line of Strong Women…, and Borne Along By Those Who Came Before… speak to this concept as well as to the idea that we can all benefit from support.

Mary Anne Donovan has exhibited in a wide variety of venues in regional, national and international shows. Over several decades, she has explored oil, acrylic, mixed media, and sculpted surfaces. She has taught for the Montana Arts Council, The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, The Taft Museum, The Art Academy of Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky University. For 21 years, she was a Lead Teacher/Art Specialist in the Cincinnati Public Schools, earning special recognition by the Ohio Art Education Association as Outstanding Art Teacher for Southwestern Ohio in 2007 and Ohio Elementary Art Teacher of 2016.

“Ancient myths and goddesses brought to life in paintings and terra cotta wall reliefs, the lure of ancient gardens-dimensional and vivid-a world reimagined by women. During the isolation of Covid, I have rediscovered a long interest in the rich culture and mythologies of the ancient Mediterranean—recognizing people still seek beauty, ideals, and order as we wrestle with devastating environmental events, plague, civil unrest, and ultimately the need to feel connected.”


Multiple pieces in this exhibition are for sale. If you are interested in purchasing any artwork from the show, please contact us at art@1628ltd.com.”

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