Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

The Dairy Barn Arts Center celebrates art, regional artists

Located 1.6 miles from Baker University Center, The Dairy Barn Arts Center is home to art from all around the Midwest.

The Dairy Barn, once known as the Bower Farm, is located at 8000 Dairy Lane and was originally built in 1877. The Dairy Barn supplied milk to the Athens State Hospital from 1877 to 1914 and was later used to develop cow herds.

In 1977, after years of neglect, the barn was slated to be demolished. The Hocking Valley Arts Council worked to preserve the barn and transform it into a non-profit arts center.

The Dairy Barn is now displaying three exhibitions, "Equilibrium Disorder" by Crystal Brown, "UPROOT" by Logan Woodle, and "OH+5: Contemporary Art of our Region." The exhibitions will run for three months.

Keri Ann Wolfe, The Dairy Barn's exhibition director, organizes all the art exhibits.

"It's really exciting to see all of the artists come together at the opening night and see their work in a new space," Wolfe said.

Multiple Ohio University art department faculty and community members are involved with these exhibitions. Calls for entries are made across Ohio and bordering states for artists to submit their work, and a jury panel of well-trained artists goes through every submission and cultivates the collection by selecting pieces for the show. 

After the selection process, Wolfe sets up the exhibition pieces and ensures all the art is ordered and installed properly.

Emma Kamerer, a second-year MFA candidate in painting and drawing, is a returning artist for The Dairy Barn and now has multiple pieces that are part of the "Contemporary Art of our Region" exhibition in the Sauber Gallery.

Kamerer frequently explores the different facets of female perception and concepts of womanhood with her work.

"I work a lot with the idea of the gaze – how women are looked at and how that idea is externalized and how I specifically value the things that I do in my life," Kamerer said. "Sometimes, I look down on myself for different things I do as a woman and I'm like, 'Why do I do that?' And so, a lot of my work is discussing those instances of where I feel less of a person and just sharing these experiences honestly."

In the Sauber gallery, Kamerer features an oil painting titled "Change is worth the risk of f---- up," which depicts a contemporary woman and her struggles with appearance. Kamerer took inspiration from "Woman at Her Toilet," by Berthe Morisot.

"I always thought that (painting) was so interesting and maybe I can contemporize that for me, a modern woman, impulsively changing my appearance for the modern world," Kamerer said.

Kamerer works to make her contemporary art personable and capture girlhood through her own experiences.

"I peppered in some details about my life and passions," she said. "I make those details because they build a narrative explicitly."

"OH+5: Contemporary Art of our Region" features a wide array of mediums, from quilts, paints, sculptures, clay, cardboard and photography. Along with that, artists from neighboring states and regions such as Kentucky, Columbus, Indiana, Athens and Michigan are featured throughout the exhibition.

Equilibrium Disorder, another exhibit on display at The Dairy Barn, highlights "the unseen domestic labor of caregiving," according to the exhibit description. The exhibit is a solo show created by Brown, who earned her MFA in sculpture and expanded practice from OU.

The exhibit features an array of kids' clothes, toys and paper-mâché constructed by Brown's children's homework.

The third exhibit on display, UPROOT by Woodle, captures stories of Woodle's upbringing and addresses the topics of racism, generational wealth and climate change through elements like silver, copper, pewter, steel and brass.

These exhibits allow regional artists to display their work and potentially connect with others.

"It's essential for communities to have a space where local creatives can get together and discuss, (and) show off the things that they're working with," said Kamerer. "It was so amazing to just walk around the gallery and feel like I was a part of something bigger than the work that I make hunched in my little studio … Sometimes art making can be an isolating experience when you don't have an opportunity to share it." 

Along with art exhibitions for visitors to enjoy, The Dairy Barn also offers various educational opportunities. 

Kelly Shaw, The Dairy Barn's education director, creates and hosts classes, workshops and educational events and runs a summer art camp program.

"We're trying to make art experiences and arts education accessible for all ages and everyone in the community," Shaw said.

The Dairy Barn offers four sessions of classes, one during each season that can be registered for on their website. It features and hosts classes on various mediums, including clay, glass, fiber, painting, drawing and mixed media. 

The Dairy Barn focuses on making art accessible across all age groups and financial capacities, with free activities and workshops. Along with those initiatives, The Dairy Barn also operates a membership program for their ceramic open studio with kilns, wheels and other equipment to make pottery creation more accessible to the community.

The Dairy Barn's galleries are open to the public from 12-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with a $10 general admission fee. Opportunities to become a member or support The Dairy Barn are also available on their website.

"Everyone should be able to access their creativity and their inclinations for artistic pursuits, all ages, socioeconomic statuses," Shaw said. "That's a big part of (why) we try to make sure that we're always keeping all of these programs really accessible."

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH