Can Did, Organized By Julio Rodriguez • Visual Poems: Clare Olivares • My Favorite Things: Carlos Fernandez • Seen Your Show II: Denison University Art Students At NIAD Art Center from March 2-29 //

Organized by the NIAD’s Assistant Gallery Director Julio Rodriguez, this exhibition uses candid photography as a point of departure. The selected works exemplify pure personality through a visual language. In these pieces is found a sincerity in expression similar to one within an unplanned photo or snapshot. They celebrate the natural self; capturing individuality without any posing. We are too often confronted by controlled images that use manipulative tactics to incite an emotional response. The works in this exhibition help remind us that despite this overabundance of disinformation, authenticity still thrives.

Included in this exhibition are: Brock Brake, Bijan Bucket, Kellen Chasuk, Arista Dawson, Dylan Dockstader, Felicia Griffin, Peter Harris, Sara Malpass, Karen May, Samantha Niedzielski, Julio Del Rio, Shantae Robinson, Elena Rossi, Roste, Jesus Salas, Christian Vassell, Jonathan Velazquez, Billy White, Matthew Wilson, and Susan Wise

Julio Rodriguez is a visual artist whose paintings are the result of an urban experience. His work uses elements from the cityscape as a visual vocabulary to engage in a dialogue about emotion and identity. He has shown in group exhibitions in Oakland and San Francisco. Rodriguez received his BA in Studio Art/ Art History at San Francisco State University. He lives in Richmond.

This is the first exhibition Julio Rodriguez has organized at NIAD.


Visual Poems

While in Cambodia on an art residency Oakland-based artist Clare Olivares started working on her Visual Poem series which incorporates her interests in painting and poetry. These artworks use the “found poem” format, a literary equivalent of the collage. Popular with Surrealists of the early 20th century, the “found poem” is a way of tapping into the subconscious. Olivares began the series using a 1930s physics textbook, a remnant of her former life analyzing bubble chamber film. Continuing to primarily use scientific related books as source material she addresses themes of resilience and mystery. Using ink and paint to isolate poetic phrases on the page her color choices become important in highlighting the mood of each “poem.” These altered book works, while aesthetically resilient and thematically interrelated, are collages of Olivares’ personal remembrances.

Clare Olivares earned her undergraduate degrees in studio art and art history at the University of California at Berkeley studying with Elmer Bischoff and Joan Brown. Receiving her Masters of Fine Arts in painting from Mills College, Olivares studied with Jay DeFeo and continued art history coursework in East Asian art. These studies led to a trip to India which proved pivotal in her artistic development exploring the symbolic and spiritual nature of color. She has exhibited at both national and international venues including Gallery Route One, ACCI Gallery, Richmond Art Center, Alexandria Museum of Art, Gallery Irohani, SaSa Art Projects and art space Dotouan. She has been an artist in residence at the Morris Graves Foundation (California), Kala Art Institute (California) and SaSa Art Projects (Cambodia). For many years Olivares was employed in scientific research labs – analyzing bubble chamber film, organizing international science conferences and working with biologists studying species adaptation to climate change. With a nod to both scientific knowledge and universal mysteries, her art straddles the line between the known and the unknown.

This is Clare Olivares first solo exhibition at the Art Center.


My Favorite Things

NIAD artist Carlos Fernandez has created a vibrant body of work based on images he sees and selects from magazines or books. The appropriation artist traces with graphite only the part of the image he wants and transfers it to a piece of paper. The hacked-out image then seems to float disembodied on a field of color. “My Favorite Things” features a selection of recent, smaller pieces.

This is the second solo exhibition of Carlos Fernandez’s work at NIAD Art Center.


Seen Your Show II

Senior art majors from Denison University (in Granville, Ohio) react to and draw inspiration from the world around them. Taking on a variety of formats, media and processes, these students strive for independent and creative thought through the development of a rigorous studio practice. Their work examines and reflects life with curiosity and a critical eye meant to not just think about themselves, but their relationship to ideas from an array of global perspectives.

Last Fall, NIAD worked on a collaborative project with the students. It was exhibited at Denison’s new art space in Newark, Ohio. This time around, we’re delighted and honored to show you the work of a number of artists at the beginning of their career (not unlike some of the NIAD artists we exhibit). Participating artists include Elliot Avis, Ivy Distler, Ash Egloff, Celena Gilmore, Grace Heutel, Andy Lin, Katie Liu, Ali Rose, Sage Rucci, Arnav Somani, and Li Xie.

Andy Lin was born in San Francisco, California and grew up in Shenzhen, China. His main mediums are printmaking (etching) and drawing. He draws lines. He draws shapes. He draws patterns. He draws faces. He draws landscapes. He draws what he sees. He draws what he remembers. He draws from his mind. He draws himself. He draws Andy Lin.

Ali Rose was born in Denver, Colorado but lived an international childhood. Moving from South America, to Africa, to Europe, Ali grew up with consistent access to arts and cultures and lives from all over the world. Many materials come from her personal collection of fabrics and souvenirs from travels, evidence of her memories, and identity as a third culture American citizen. Her work questions the role of art in political activism and wrestles with the idea of the American identity. 

Ash Egloff grew up in central Indiana.  She is interested in artistic themes revolving around illustration and the evocation of emotion, along with interests in psychology and geoscience.  She spent five months studying and painting at the Marchutz School of Fine Arts in Aix-en-Provence, France and received their 2017 Purchase Award for one of her paintings.  Ash plans to possibly attend graduate school and pursue a career in illustration… or otherwise go wherever her work takes her.

Celena Gilmore is an artist from Newark, Ohio. Her development as an artist has been marked by explorations into multiple mediums. Interactivity comes into play in her work, as she utilizes sculpture to investigate space. Her recent projects focus on the relationships that exists between representative objects, primarily, in the form of family and self-portraiture.

Elliot Avis is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and its suburbs. His life was centered around wrestling and lacrosse, but he has always looked for ways to escape troubles at home and the sports that defined him. Elliot’s work deals with issues of absurdism, gender, Internet, pop culture, and identity.

Grace Heutel was raised in Columbus, Ohio. She draws inspiration primarily from photographers and designers. The interaction between form and line is very important in her work. This work has originated in digital media but is also interested in film, sculpture, and the 2D. Grace tends to veer into new mediums to express unfinished ideas. However, photography is the most impactful and fluid medium in her work.

IVY_DISTLER originated from Fort Worth, Texas. She focuses on photography, the collection and reuse of objects, and text-photo pairings. She struggles to understand her own impulses. Her spirituality and the intersection of science in her art practice have led to internal conflicts that is processed through creation. Ivy’s current interests are in public intimacy, active sexuality, and interactions of queer bodies in queer spaces. 

Katie Jiaxin Liu grew up in Xi’an, a large city in Northwestern China. She came to study in the United States in 2014. Katie believes people are shaped by their experiences, which happen through exploration of the outer world and the inner self. Her next exploration is in the study of sculpture at graduate school.

Sage Antonella Rucci resides in Columbus, Ohio where she avoids crowded spaces and cilantro. Her work is often about what she is concerned with. She makes art surrounding topics such as women’s pain, domestic spaces, and classism. Her recent works focus on absence, including pain that is ignored, absence of ability, and absence of caring. These absences relate to her personhood, as well as others who feel their struggles or existence is ignored.


This month’s exhibitions are generously supported by Jack Higgins.

Opening Reception is Saturday, March 10 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm