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Fri, Jul 12

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Akron Soul Train

Opening Reception: Katie Butler and Kayla Weinman

Take in our new exhibitions and celebrate with the Artists at our free public reception. Food generously provided by Jilly's Music Room.

Opening Reception: Katie Butler and Kayla Weinman
Opening Reception: Katie Butler and Kayla Weinman

Time & Location

Jul 12, 2024, 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Akron Soul Train , 191 S Main St, Akron, OH 44308, USA

About the event

Katie Butler Showcases Her Allegorical Paintings in “Bread and Butter”

Akron Soul Train artist-in-residence Katie Butler presents “Bread and Butter,” a series of still-life paintings commenting on financial disparities in American society. Scenes of everyday spaces and objects, like a barn, a gingham tablecloth, or an American flag are framed in the background: small, obscured, and off at a distance. In juxtaposition, the foreground radically shifts in scale with a large table set with fine china, wine, and food delicacies. Butler uses this contrast to accentuate the income divide in contemporary American society and examine the difference in realities between the average citizen and those in power. Both boldly provocative and shrouded in disparity, Butler’s paintings seek to narrate the class climate in American society.

“With superficial notions of ‘bread and butter issues’ at the center of campaigns, the dinner table becomes a metaphorical stage for political theater. Objects symbolic of wealth, greed, and political power sit amongst the ostentatious displays of food, serving as reminders of who gets a seat at the table and how the system is designed to benefit them at the expense of others.” – Katie Butler

About the Artist Katie Butler:

Katie Butler is a painter based in Akron, Ohio. Her allegorical still-life paintings provide critical commentary on American politics. Her recent exhibitions include Abattoir Gallery, Cleveland, OH; Tuesday to Friday Gallery, Valencia, Spain; the Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI; Tchotchke Gallery, New York, NY; and Hashimoto Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA. Her 2023 solo presentation at HESSE FLATOW, New York, NY was featured as a “must-see” exhibition in ArtForum Magazine. Her work has appeared in other publications including New American Paintings, Juxtapoz, Canvas Cleveland, and the CAN Journal. Recently, she was awarded an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant and participated in the inaugural Summer Artist Residency at Alfred University in Dusseldorf, Germany. Butler received her BFA from the University of Akron in 2017 and her MFA from Kent State University in 2021.

Kayla Weinman’s “Clowning Around” Shines a Light on Anxiety

generously sponsored by Jeannine and Steve Marks

Artist Kayla Weinman creates representational objects that somehow have a twist whether they are intentionally smaller, larger, brighter, or have exaggerated features. In “Clowning Around,” Weinman designs pieces inspired by specific parts of a clown’s attire using coils, slabs, hyper-smoothing, carving, and stitchwork. Certain pieces are photographed on a model, which amplifies the juxtaposition of the large, stiff, visibly uncomfortable, and unfitting attire with the human body wearing it. At first look “Clowning Around” may seem humorous and nostalgic, but as a viewer examines the life-size clown attire and how it looks on a model, underlying themes of insecurity and anxiety surface. A clown may seem simple and direct, yet they find ways to satirize situations, entertain, and make light of the complexities of everyday life. In Weinman’s “Clowning Around,” there’s an element of levity but the pieces may surprisingly evoke a personal reflection of how individuals “mold” with society.

“The purpose of this series is for a person to dress up in these bright colorful ceramic objects to [involve the] audience and make the viewer feel comfortable with the person who is wearing the pieces. For me, this aspect of performance art represents the burden of a socially anxious person. Anxious individuals…may feel by ‘putting on a show’ or appearing cheerful they make social groups feel comfortable. This act reemphasizes how the person wearing these pieces is willing to make others comfortable at the expense of their own comfort. This feeling is something I have investigated in my work for many  years now.” – Kayla Weinman

About the Artist Kayla Weinman:

Kayla Weinman is a local Ohio-based Artist; she possesses a Bachelor of Fine Art in Ceramics from the University of Akron. Weinman’s current art interests include a focus on ceramic attire and the effects it can have on one’s appearance. Weinman is an instructor at various Universities and Art Centers including Apple Creek Elementary School, Wayne Arts Center, and The Myers School of Art. Her artwork is also held in various public and private Ohio-based art collections.

About Akron Soul Train:

Akron Soul Train is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts in Akron, Ohio. Through artist residencies, exhibitions, and community engagement initiatives, Akron Soul Train provides resources and opportunities for artists to explore their creativity and contribute to the cultural richness of the region.

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