AVATARS: Relics from the Future (on view April 29 – July 23, 2017) will take audiences on an artistic excavation of mighty entities such as mummies and totems extracted from the innovative ceramic studio of Gary Spinosa. The figurative works in “AVATARS” combine human, animal, and architectural forms, as Spinosa seeks to materialize spiritual energy through his serenely benevolent figures. For the artist, animals contain the keys to a universal language that bonds humanity at its most primal level. These sculptures, from towering grand constructions to diminuitive “stones,” are imbued with deep sanctity and stillness, a sometimes disquieting mystery, myth, and perhaps even superstition. A review in “Cleveland Scene” noted, “Gary Spinosa's sculptures hark back to the days when art didn't just look pretty or express the individual's feelings, but served as a reminder of a higher power.” And the “Erie Times-News” of Pennsylvania offered, “Respect is the word that continues to come to mind when experiencing a Spinosa collection—respect for the materials … and for what each of us chooses to believe and how we choose to express it.”
Scrimmage: Football in American Art from the Civil War to the Present (Aug. 1 – Oct. 30, 2017)
Scrimmage: Football in American Art from the Civil War to the Present investigates the history of football imagery by prominent American artists and photographers beginning with Winslow Homer’s engravings for Harper’s Weekly at the close of the Civil War and culminating with the work of contemporary artists such as Catherine Opie and Shaun Leonardo. The artworks, which represent a variety of media including prints, paintings, sculpture, photographs and video, attest to the fact that football has played a significant role in American cultural history for the last 150 years. Scrimmage is the first scholarly exhibition to survey football imagery in depth and to demonstrate that a multitude of artists have made important images of this quintessentially American sport.
Elijah Pierce: The American Narrative (Nov. 23, 2017 – March 4, 2018)
The American Narrative explores the work of self-taught, American folk artists of the 20th century, Elijah Pierce (1892 – 1984). Pierce was a prolific African American wood carver known for his brightly painted sculptural panels illustrating biblical stories, moral lessons, historical events, and images from popular culture – a landscape of wood-carved art that is unlike any in America. The exhibit will focus on 40 major works. Featured will be Pierce’s most ambitious carving, “Book of Wood” (1932), consisting of seven panels with 33 scenes illustrating the years Christ lived on the earth, as well as works depicting segregation, the Vietnam War, Watergate, and Civil Rights, among others.
African Menagerie – The Inquisition (April 26 – July 15, 2018)
In a spring family-oriented exhibit, CMA will present the “panoramic adventure” African Menagerie. This touring exhibit will let audiences discover and explore the plight of African wildlife species, Featured is celebrated American artist Brian Jarvi, whose works have won numerous awards from national and international animal conservation agencies, including the Safari Club’s International Artist of the Year. In both museums and galleries, he is considered one of the world’s premier painters of wildlife. Central to this exhibit are seven, visually interlocking panels, more than 36 ft. in length, including a ten-foot by five-foot centerpiece; plus 100 related research sketches and mixed media studies. The works help to call attention to Earth’s wildlife extinction crisis. From the jungles around the equator where mountain gorillas and chimpanzees barely endure, southward to the Serengeti Plain, Kalahari Desert, and the grasslands of Zimbabwe, the animals whose very iconic presence has become symbols of wildness to all of us are dwindling at alarming rates. African Menagerie uses the power of art to address this global concern.