As both an artist and journalist, I know better than most how often art, as well as the artists themselves, are packaged and repackaged to make for easier consumption. Though I’m not here to criticize or defend that construct, I am here to say that you’re going to want to strap on a pair of shoes and get yourself out to The Arts Center long before the convenience and bite-sized cheeses of the September art walk. Starting this Saturday and lasting until September 30, Log-Cabin Medley will be erected for your viewing pleasure, and there’s at least four damn good reasons to do exactly as I’m telling you: Clay Lohmann (the captain of this ship), Julie Green, Anna Fidler, and Kerry Skarbakka.
The standard thing to do here would be to list about a thousand accolades that explain why these humans are a big deal – the national coverage of Julie Green’s “The Last Supper” project alone is enough to fill a phone book – but I’m not going to do that. In the spirit of The Art Center’s recent Slow Looking experiment, I’m going to save some space and suggest that you Google these names and spend some time with what you find. This is also where the bias spills out; I’ve studied under two of these artists at OSU (all but Lohmann teach there), and have spent enough time with the others to know exactly where to go when I want to see thoughtful, inspired work, or need insight. I can’t tell you about their accomplishments any better than anyone else, but I am an expert on their impact in this community (which certainly eclipses that recent solar event, though with less t-shirts).
All of that aside, what exactly can you expect at the exhibit? For starters (and enders, so to speak), check out the information found at https://theartscenter.net/log-cabin-medley-exhibit/. Fabric art, painting, illustration, photography, and more. What does it all mean, how will it be arranged, what will it be? I’ve got no clue. There’s a quilt motif attached to the show here and there, but I suggest blowing that word out the airlock of your brain and forgetting about it. Instead, look a bit closer at the inclusion of the term “medley.” While it has been retired to boxes of trail mix in recent years, its got a decidedly less mundane past, and certainly speaks well to the spirit of the artwork created by these individuals.
Normally I’d issue a plea about coming out to support the arts, but I think the arts are going to be okay under their own weight for a month. This endorsement is more about seizing the opportunity to see something that should, statistically at least, be awesome. And if not, I suppose they’ll have three days after this is published to find a way to live up to the hype.