September 2020 Virtual Show

Art By Angie Hsu, Ryn McCall, Cheyenne Sandoval and John Wehner

September 18 – October 23

September 18th 7:30-8:30 pm ‘Meet the Artists’ on FB Live

The intent of the Yellow Springs Arts Council’s Emerging Artist Program 2020 was to “support new voices in their creative endeavors and give them increased exposure through an exhibition highlighting their art.”  But how do you put on an exhibition during a Pandemic?

Here is the plan:

The show will be hung in the YSAC Gallery.  Then  it will be filmed by Sean Devine, Yellow Springs Public Access Manager.   Starting September 18th, the link to the film will be on our YSAC Web and FB sites.  Also on September 18th from 7:30-8:30 pm the artists will have a FB Live ‘Meet the Artists’ event.

These four dynamic artists are Angie Hsu, Ryn McCall, Cheyenne Sandoval and John Wehner.  Two are college students and two are young parents. So life is very busy for them all.  But all are creating art.

John Wehner

John Wehner is a photographer from Wapakoneta, Ohio. “Wapakoneta is a small town in Northwest Ohio best known for our hometown hero Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

I’ve had an interest in photography as long as I can remember. But it wasn’t until I lost my father to cancer and was flipping through boxes of photographs that I realized how precious capturing a moment in time can be.

I’ve been creating images now for approximately 5 years.

I love to capture everyday life, and people specifically. I’ve been lucky enough to capture images of well known people such as; Buzz Aldrin, David Letterman, Elliot Sloan, Dave Chappelle and Paul Shortino.

I’ve had the fortune of being able to work with local arts organizations and community foundations. To give back to the community, I’ve also worked closely with the local mental health/homeless shelter, and youth boxing clubs My passion has always been to help others in some way through photography and shine a light on people who deserve a second chance in life.

My biggest goal with my artwork is to show there is beauty in everything and everyone, and that we are more alike than we are different.

Though I mostly create digital images, I have also done film along with processing and editing. My range of focus is everything from Street Photography to Astro Photography.
Most of my art in this show is from my series called ‘life as we knew it.’ The focus is on individuals and how the pandemic has effected them or what they have been doing to pass the time.”

Ryn McCall

Ryn McCall is an Antioch College student, a poet and a mixed media visual artist. “Much of my photographic work and their themes are born from a desire to make sense of something.  My work is about the eternal process of meaning-making.”

“In many ways, I feel I have always been creating art. I began writing poetry when I was 8 and continued up through an associates degree in poetry. This poetic focal point informs how and why I create the work I do. I’ve been grabbing after cameras for as long as I can remember – aching to capture the world around me and smitten by the magic of moments that can be saved for later. I began shooting more intentionally at 17, first working with digital, then transferring exclusively to film. I have had an interwoven practice of digital and film for the past three years while slowly learning how to process and develop my own 35mm film. Lastly, I began found-material paper collage. In this work, I combine mischievously misplaced characters and undulating natural landscapes to suspend the viewer in a sense of titillating surreality.”

Classically a 2D photographer and poet, Ryn ventured into the solace found in the laborious act of crafting. Through these sculptures, Ryn explores how whimsy and despair convalesce into grandiose hyperbole to seek truth in the folds of the extravagant and eccentric. In a landscape saturated by digital connection and creation alike, Ryn chose instead to lean into the material world, yielding the ease of mastery and embracing the temperamental nature of manual manipulation.

These sculptures playfully explore the possibilities present to mold material around the immaterial. Ultimately, Ryn seeks to address discomfort and confusion while navigating a metamorphosis into comfort, joy, and perhaps even closure.

Their photographic work continues to prods the viewer by asking them to take a deeper, more considerate look at the seemingly mundane “dailiness” of our routine lives. It breaks open monotony with shards of light, crisp geometry, and whimsical color. In essence, these works are rooted in the provocation of the preexisting. By calling attention to the fascinating and ephemeral nature of our own unique realities, Ryn hopes to facilitate a private sense of meaning-making with each viewer individually.

Cheyenne Sandoval

Cheyenne Sandoval is a student at Sinclair Community College. She creates art with Charcoal, Ink, Tape, Sharpies and Paper. “I know what drives my work, it’s simple, I don’t want to be doing anything else.  When it is just me and the pen it feels like I am floating, that I hit a level of estacy that no drug, no love, and no alcohol could ever compare to.”

Cheyenne has an obsession with patterns.  She has been working on a big piece for the show that has multiply layers. It’s “ all these little stories- together they make a giant picture.”

“I am finding my voice as an artist and as a person. I have a strong sense of style. Lately, I’ve been exploring finding the meaning behind that style.  My art is everything I wish I could say or do as a person but can’t. I am the kind of person who doesn’t take any risks. But with my art it’s different. It get’s to be everything I wish I could be as a person.”

 Angie Hsu

Angie Hsu is a ceramic artist, who had a baby this past year, and started to rethink her priorities. She cut back the hours of her day job as a victim’s advocate to concentrate more on making useful art.

“I deeply believe in the immersion of handmade art and craft into our daily lives.  As we spend more and more time using technology and interacting on electronic platforms, touching and appreciating a handmade craft is a return to our most basic roots and instincts as people.  Being a part of ceramics today is a small act of resistance against consumerism, homogeneity and the rush of modern life.”

“ I have always loved to cook and host others, a gift we all took for granted until recently. So one theme in my art, looks at hosting and serving, both those in your household/pod and those at social distance. I thought of ways to celebrate both, though they have taken on a certain heaviness in Covid time (whether that be monotony of everyday serving or navigating how to safely share with others).”

“In talking to a bartender friend who works with sake, he said, ‘Traditionally sake is something you don’t pour for yourself. Pour it for everyone at the table and someone at the table would pour for you.’ How lovely that even in the repetition of daily life we can at least pour for the others we live with, and them for us. The teapot and sake sets here in the show are for turning a simple moment of drink into something more special, caring, and shared. This friend and his colleagues designed the Bird sake set, in which you hold the round bottle in the palm of your hands like a baby bird, pouring with a ‘giving and caring motion.’ The cups are wide with a shallow lip, such that ‘holding the cup is a mindful experience.’ I hope the other sets inspire some mindfulness and momentary peace in use as well.”

Hsu goes on to describe one of the Tea Sets she made for the show:

“The Corona Tea Set is whimsical, a game of sorts for these days. The idea came as a friend and I danced six feet apart, noting that holding opposite ends of a six foot length of bamboo could mark the distance. Covid times don’t mean we can’t dance together…or share tea! But it does call for good communication, a sense of humor, and inevitable awkwardness. Like a three legged race, you have to be in sync with one another. Lifting up the teacup and saucer, taking a sip, setting it down: we are reliant on one another. The pottery is simply connected to the poles by string. As soon as times allow for it, cut off the string and you’ll have a normal tea set, no poles and no social distance required.

“My other body of work stands in stark contrast and relates to the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, as well as pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. I am attempting to capture some of the emotion and tireless energy of these protesters and the wider movements they belong to. I heard someone say that ‘these protests are nothing new.’ I couldn’t disagree more. There is a certain fearlessness that is awe inspiring, especially coming from youth protesters I chose to paint. Though difficult to capture, I took guidance from the bold woodblocks of Lynd Ward, who often depicted social struggles in his work.”