As an artist represented by Hedge Gallery at 78th Street Studios, instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Art and executive director of Praxis Fiber Worskhop, Jessica Pinsky is a very active member of Cleveland’s art community. BAYarts’ latest exhibitions include Jessica Pinsky’s Equal
in the Sullivan Family Gallery and Teacher Tell Me a Story: The Mad Side of Wonderland
in the Diane Boldman Education Gallery. Both exhibitions open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11.
"We are honored to be showing Jessica Pinsky of Praxis at BAYarts,” says BAYarts artistic director Karen Petkovic. “Jessica is currently represented at Hedge Gallery where I was first exposed to her work. The loose woven nature of the pieces is complimented by the more geometric patterns of the weaving the effect is balanced and 'Equal.'"
After growing up in Akron, Pinsky earned a BFA in Studio Art from New York University in 2006, before receiving her MFA in Painting in 2009, and moving to Cleveland in 2011. Pinsky’s work has been showcased in solo shows in Cleveland, Boston and New York, and resides in the permanent collections of University Hospitals, MetroHealth Hospital and Whidden Hospital in Everett, MA. In addition to her work at CIA and Praxis, Pinsky has taught at Baldwin Wallace, Boston University and as far away as Tuscany Italy. Splitting her studio time between home and work, Pinsky’s Equal
series utilizes the same equipment she offers the public at Praxis.
“I split my studio time between Praxis and my home studio so I can have multiple weavings going on at once,” Pinsky says. “I used this show as an excuse to work on a mechanical dobby loom donated from Kent State that has not been used yet at Praxis. This incredible 16 harness loom with double backbeams has allowed me to make a giant discovery in my work and I am I so excited to continue to use it.”
Her exhibition at BAYarts features a new series of weavings, “planned and executed based on degrees of equality.” Utilizing her expertise, Pinsky showcases the inherent nature of different types of fibers to expand or contract from either hand-spinning or loosening tension. As a result, the same dimensions of materials react in radically different ways.
Elaborating on her Equal
series, Pinsky says, “Lately my work has been about color and form, and about pushing the boundaries of cloth. With lots of experimentation I discovered I could make cloth behave very differently with the same basic materials, but changing just a few things about those materials. For example, I can hand spin yarn to be very tight and twist upon itself, or very loose so it hangs without body. This body of work is a simple metaphor about how human beings are made of the same material, but can behave very differently.”
Meanwhile, Teacher Tell Me A Story: The Mad Side of Wonderland
is an exhibition exploring the classic world of Wonderland through the eyes of the Mad Hatter. Teacher Tell Me A Story
includes individual and collaborative works by BAYarts instructor Jessica Ramage and student Elizabeth Varis. In 2015, BAYarts opened its 2500-sq.-ft. Karen Ryel Ceramic Arts and Education Center on the BAYarts campus at the Cleveland Metroparks’ Huntington Reservation. The new ceramics studio has allowed the organization to offer more advanced and complex techniques and processes to students of all ages and abilities.
“Jessica Ramage is in integral part of the ceramic growth and development among our students at BAYarts,” says BAYarts director of programming Erin Stack. “I have had the pleasure of watching her move from a ceramic artist and student herself to an approachable and nurturing instructor over the last six years. Lizzy was one of Jessica's first students in her Middle School Art Club program a few years ago and it seems so appropriate that this mentor and apprentice have come together for a collaborative exhibition. I look forward to seeing the influence that Jessica has had on Lizzy as an artist. I know that Jessica has worked very hard at trying to get Lizzy to find her own artistic voice and spread her wings. This coming year, Lizzy will move into Jessica's Advanced Ceramics class, a new program that was developed for serious high school students looking for a place to develop as an artist. Jessica has limited the class to eight students so that she will be able to give each person the individual attention they will need.”
Both exhibitions remain on view at BAYarts through Sept. 23.
(BAYarts) 28795 Lake Rd., Bay Village, 440-871-6543, bayarts.net.