Summer 2023 Artist Spotlight – Alaina Mercer, Lisa Pregent, Tom Towhey, and Lauren Maenle
Author : 1628 Ltd.
4 minute read | Author : 1628 Ltd.
4 min read
Summer is the season of boundless possibilities and pure joy. As the days get longer, the city of Cincinnati comes alive through the hearts of its residents. The energy in the air is strong; it brings people together to create memories in smiles and laughter. There’s so much to appreciate – from being around those who bring joy to exploring the vibrant colors of freshly bloomed flora.
There’s no better way to embrace this positivity than through art. The city has been blessed with a thriving creative culture, offering up talented artists that have the same goal as the summer breeze: to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. The purpose of the Saturation exhibition is to use vibrant colors to bring a sense of brightness and positivity to those who enter. Featuring art created by local artists, viewers are able to experience an environment full of laughter and an overall feeling of cheerfulness.
The pieces showcased in this exhibition capture the vibrant aspects of modern pop culture as well as the free-spirited energy captured by artists. Each work carries a unique message intended to evoke a smile, a laugh, fond memories or even just an “Oh Wow!” reaction. With every wall of this exhibition offering up color and excitement, it’s easy for patrons to find something new that will leave them
feeling energized and inspired.
This summer, 1628 is proud to give a spotlight to 19 talented artists from the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky area in our exhibition, Saturation: An Exploration of Vibrancy. This show features artists including Alaina Mercer, Lisa Pregent, Tom Towhey, and Lauren Maenle.
Alaina Mercer, A Cincinnati native, graduated from Mount St. Joseph University with a Bachelor of both Art and English in 2014. She paints oil on canvas, focused on abstract landscapes. Her love of Shakespeare inspired early work and continues feeding her desire to paint today. Married in 2017, Alaina is a proud mother of two daughters, another rich source of inspiration in her work. Each piece is an invitation into a depth of emotion she can only translate to canvas. She hopes her paintings transport the viewer to a current/past feeling, memory, or dream, and that they enjoy the visit.
“When entirely in tune within, I transfer every emotion, memory, and thought I can’t easily verbalize onto canvas. The relation between colors, expressive textures, and blended edges harmonizes into something tangible. My Paintings are portals to a universe of dreams, literature, and love; a glimpse of my heart and the embodiment of who I am, romanticized through abstracted landscapes.”
Lisa Pregent, a liberal arts graduate and Ohio native, has had a colorful career in Colorado, New Hampshire and finally settled in Cincinnati as a Realtor for Comey & Shepherd. Always drawn to fashion and color, the accessibility of collage became a serious hobby during Covid and had evolved into an art practice. She lives in Oakley with her dog Bella and cat Midge. When she isn’t cutting and gluing collages. you can find her gardening or cycling down the bike trail.
“As a self-taught graphic designer, I developed a love for clean composition and white space in my designs which I bring to my analog collage art. Using handcut images from vintage magazines and books, I feel that I give the images a new life. My colorful and whimsical artwork is meant to bring a smile to the observer. Looking for source material and flipping through old magazines, etc is also part of the fun. I have been making collages since 2020 and live in Cincinnati.”
Thomas Hieronymus Towhey was born in 1958 in Cincinnati, Ohio. While he studied briefly at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati, he is primarily a self-taught artist. He is a founding member of the Maintraum Art Group. Towhey was instrumental in developing after school art programs for the Cincinnati YMCA which included outreach programs for Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He also served as a voluntary art teacher for Cincinnati’s St. Rita’s School for the Deaf. He moved his studio to Sante Fe, New Mexico, for a period in 2006. Currently, Towhey lives and paints in Cincinnati. His work has been represented by numerous galleries and is part of many public and private collections.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been creating in one form or another. I have always been intrigued by the psychological affect color, shape and space can have on the human mind. I am primarily a self-taught artist. I use the term self-taught loosely because I have, in fact, learned a great deal from other artists and people in many disciplines. Still, I think an artist must recognize his or her personal muse and have the nerve to follow it where ever it leads. I have come to understand creativity as a process void of ego, immersed in emotion and fueled by compulsion. Over time, the act of creating becomes as necessary as oxygen to an artist immersed in his or her work. I believe an artist must have the freedom to live in a fashion that enables full expression of his or her artistic vision. Solitude is my refuge, for I feel connected to something beyond the three dimensional world when I work. I know I am in my place, grounded in my work. I work on several paintings at a time. . . Almost all my paintings come from my own imagination. I rarely start a painting with a preconceived notion; however, on those occasions when I do, the original idea usually gives way to the act of painting as it opens new doors of perception.. During the creative process, much of the original work is destroyed in the process of reaching for a more accomplished painting. I consider a painting successful when it strikes a chord or triggers a response with a viewer, maybe touching a memory of the past or perhaps prompting a dream of the future. There is always more than meets the eye in my paintings. I have developed techniques using layers of transparent paint to create a subtext within a painting. Images reveal themselves to the viewer after time is spent looking at the painting. In one instance, I was phoned by a collector, who five years earlier had acquired one of my paintings. She was delighted to have just discovered a leprechaun in the lower left hand portion of her painting and hoped to find more surprises.”
Lauren Maenle is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio primarily focusing in the medium of ceramics. She is currently living and working in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduating with her BFA from the University of Cincinnati this spring. She spends much of her time in the studio and hanging out with cats.
“My artistic practice has come to encapsulate a range of styles and themes, mainly centering around playfulness and cats. My most recent body of work, displayed in my senior thesis show “Preservation”, comments on notions of ownership and companionship with our furry friends. Reflecting on these ideologies translates into the laborious process of making with clay, yielding tactile forms that play with our space and being able to nurture something from nothing.”
The Summer 2023 Exhibition will be on display May 22nd – August 24th, 2023.
Multiple pieces in this exhibition are for sale. If you are interested in purchasing any artwork from the show, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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