CINCINNATI, Ohio—On Friday, September 8, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts will kick off its twenty-third exhibition season with the opening of UnFunction, a group exhibition curated by writer and independent curator Maria Seda-Reeder (Cincinnati, OH) that examines the intersection of functional objects and fine art.
The materials with which artists choose to engage have long reflected their particular understanding of the complex consequences of art as commodity. So what does it mean for artists to continue to create objects that will likely outlive their makers? Playing with signifiers of both craft and fine art, the dozen artists in UnFunction undermine and reinforce paradigms of purpose—transcribing meaning from the materials around them in ways that make us question our understanding of function. Interrogating the limits of formalism, applications of affordable and abundant materials, and subversions of the semiotics of design and notions of practical use are explored throughout the exhibition in myriad and unexpected ways.
Featuring artworks by Denise Burge, Terence Hammonds, Emily Hanako Momohara, Sean Mullaney (all Cincinnati, OH); Leslie Baum, Dan Devening, Emily Moorhead, Allison Wade (all Chicago, IL); Daniel Bare (Clemson, SC); Tracy Featherstone (Hamilton, OH); Elizabeth Runyon (Oxford, OH); and Chris Vorhees (Indianapolis, IN), UnFunction surveys a broad cross section of disciplines, techniques, concepts, and materials in an expansive installation utilizing both floors of the Weston Art Gallery.
Emily Moorhead (M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, MO) is a sculptor who creates serendipitous machines of futility. Her sculptural works have been exhibited nationally and she has been a featured lecturer at various institutions including Capital University (Columbus, OH) and Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). She has also been artist-in-residence at Torpedo Factory Art Center (Alexandria, VA), FugScreens Studios (Chicago, IL), and the Springer School and Center (Cincinnati, OH). As an artist and art advocate in Chicago, Moorhead currently serves as Board President for Chicago Sculpture International, a non-profit organization devoted to championing sculptors and the creation of sculpture through public exhibitions and programming.
Maria Seda-Reeder (M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies certificate, University of Cincinnati) has worked as a freelance writer, independent curator, and arts educator for nearly fifteen years. She currently serves as Exhibition Coordinator at Wave Pool Gallery (Cincinnati, OH) and Adjunct Lecturer at U.C.’s College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning. Seda-Reeder has worked for the Cincinnati Museum Center, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, ArtWorks, and the Contemporary Arts Center (all Cincinnati, OH). Since 2009, she has written critically about art for various local and nationally based publications and is Editor of the U.C. student-led online arts publication, FieldTrip. Seda-Reeder was a founding member of both Near*By Curatorial Collective and the FemFour. Much of her work as a curator involves working with, and on behalf of, artists.