In fact, it’s the unofficial driving force behind Sandusky Cultural Center's new exhibit Preconceived Objects, which runs April 15 through May 20 at its Sandusky High School location. “It’s been in the works since a year ago and it’s co-curated by Stephanie Craig, who is a ceramics professor at Baldwin-Wallace College in Cleveland,” Sandusky Cultural Center Director Charles T. Mayer said. “It’s really kind of two shows put together because she curated for Tri-C Western Campus in Cleveland, which has a smaller exhibit space than we do. She proposed that we agree on a couple of additional artists so it would fill our space more adequately. We added two artists to her original group of seven. They are all concerned in one way or another with objects as art, as opposed to pictures of things.” Artists involved are Geoff Buddie, Elizabeth Emery, Jon Gott, Josh Haplea, Carey McDougal, Wendy Partridge, Gary Spinosa, Emily Sullivan and Chris Rom. The exhibit includes metal jewelry, different types of sculpture, shaker boxes and more.
“They key word is objects and sometimes they’re objects that are partly made from things that were found and sometimes just made from regular art materials like clay or stone or metal,” Mayer said. “But a lot of them have a component of something that has been found. The original show had a subtitle of Still Life Revisited, but we dropped that because that kind of suggests more an arrangement of more than one thing, where that’s not always the case in this work.” There’s another way Preconceived Objects is two shows. On one hand there are the many artists making their Sandusky Cultural Center debut, and then there’s Spinosa, who by the way Mayer talks is a rock star of the art world. Easily the most popular artist ever to display their work at the Sandusky Cultural Center, the sculptor seemingly exists in his own world. “He doesn’t show in very many places so his work is in very great demand,” Mayer said. “We last had his work about a year and a half ago and people were waiting an hour outside the door before we opened to buy his work. His work is kind of mystical. It’s mystical in the mood that it conveys. He’s a sculptor and he works in a huge medium but he’s best known for small, hand-sized, very elaborate little porcelain pieces. They frequently combine human and animal figures. He dyes the clays before he uses them, so the color is in the clay rather than on the surface. It’s a very individual and unique vocabulary of images that he uses. His work is immediately recognized once you’ve seen it.” Granted searching for an artist’s motivation is often a fool’s endeavor; however, Mayer believes a primate motivation behind Preconceived Objects is reacting to raw materials. And then there’s Spinosa. “His work just seems to scream out, ‘This is just amazing,’” Mayer said. “And you’re not going to see it anyplace else.” Preconceived Objects runs April 15 through May 20 at Sandusky High School, 2130 Hayes Ave., Sandusky. A public artists’ reception takes place at 1 p.m. April 14. For more information, call 419-625-1188 or visit sanduskyculturalcenter.org.
View photos of the exhibit HERE.