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"Target Audience" (house paint, collage on panel) by Casey Vogt
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Inside Casey Vogt's Studio
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"it IS a tumor" (house paint, collage, resin on panel) by Casey Vogt
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"Out of 12,000 dots, I can point out the one that was just a little off." --Casey Vogt
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"Inspiration Comes in the act of me creating." --Michael Marras
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"Wolfboy" by Michael Marras
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"Portunis Alcazar" by Michael Marras
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"She Loves Me" by Michael Marras
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"Glimpse of Hope" by Bernadette Glorioso
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"One of my favorite things about being an artist is meeting other great artists." --Bernadette Glorioso
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"Peaceful Interlude" by Bernadette Glorioso
Art is an expression of ideas, and it can be anything you want it to be.
It can be dots painted with the back end of a marker. It can be scrap metal welded together with a torch. It can be pieces of fabric used as a canvas. Each person sees it in a different light. It evokes emotion
and encourages thought.
Art exists in every corner of the world. Akron is one of those corners.
Akron Life has taken a peek into the studios of three local emerging artists — Casey Vogt, Michael Marras and Bernadette Glorioso. Each one uses different tools, finds unique inspirations and has one-of-a-kind talents. Come with us, as we discover their viewpoints through their works of art.
Casey Vogt | Dot Composer
Casey Vogt sits in his garage-turned-studio as his dogs bark in the yard. He’s surrounded by completed art, paint cans and books, but his work table is clean. Above it, a phrase on the wall reads: “Do more. Be better. Shut up. Make art.”
After snowboarding for seven years out of high school, Vogt followed a girl to Akron from Colorado and began taking formal classes at The University of Akron’s Myers School of Art.
When he was 25, he saw an exhibit of Australian Aboriginal dot paintings.
“I’d never seen anything like that, [it] just absolutely floored me that you can describe, move, whatever with dots,” Vogt says. “It was just dots for dots’ sake. It was telling a journey but it was also just pattern and color.”
Today, Vogt creates his pieces with Masonite, scrapbook paper and house paint. He uses pencil erasers, sticks, markers — whatever — to make the carefully placed dots in each of his works.
Vogt’s paintings include figures of cowboys, who are often staring up at the explosions of color and pattern representing America’s pharmaceutical giants.
“For me, cowboys play the quintessential role of hero and villain and this dichotomy that is so American,” Vogt says. “It’s the most American icon I can think of.”
Those cowboys are contrasted with a pill component in each work. What appear to be dots are sometimes small pills. Vogt hates big pharma and chooses to rail against it.
Vogt says cowboys always had a way of solving their problems, while people today often rely on medications for their problems — whether physical or mental.
Vogt describes his aesthetic as high-class
“I use really banal materials,” Vogt says. “I use scrapbooking paper. I cut out images of cowboys, and I use house paint and markers. That’s it.”
But Vogt is definitely particular about his work.
“Out of 12,000 dots, I can point out the one that was just a little off,” Vogt says. “But that also gives it a little character.”
Michael Marras | Metal Sculptor
Michael Marras’ workspace looks more like a warehouse than an art studio. It’s fitting, then, that his work features metal, rust and welding.
Standing with an intricate rusty figure behind him, Marras discusses the road he took to becoming a sculptor.
Marras grew up in the Akron area, but eventually found himself in Florida studying computer animation. After graduating from Full Sail University, Marras did some freelance 3D modeling.
“But I wanted to do more hands-on art,” Marras says. “I didn’t really enjoy sitting in front of a computer for 16 hours.”
If he could do 3D models on a computer, he thought, why couldn’t he do them in real life?
He got an apprenticeship, learned how to weld and made his way back to Ohio where he could find metal scraps and materials for free. At first, he wanted to get into cleaner pieces because he thought they would look more professional, but then he realized he was getting positive feedback on his rusty pieces.
In addition to his personal work, Marras creates commissioned pieces and has done work for restaurants. Locally, his pieces can be seen at Fresco Mexican Grill & Salsa Bar in Kent.
So what inspires him to create these industrial, robotic pieces of art? Coming into the shop and getting to work.
“Really, the inspiration comes in the act of me creating,” Marras says. “I’ll start to get into something and then I’ll start researching and figuring stuff out.”
It’s a challenge to figure out how to make each piece, he says. There are no blueprints for what he does.
Looking ahead, Marras wants to start making public sculptures and eventually wants to create a screenplay and short film based on his sculpted characters.
“I’m moving a lot faster than I thought I would,” Marras says. “My career is kind of exponentially growing, and I think that’s because every single day, I put time into it.”
Bernadette Glorioso | Fabric Painter
Bernadette Glorioso has stacks of fabric in the upstairs of her house. Some pieces are from old dresses, and some are scraps that someone else didn’t want.
To Glorioso, they’re her canvas. She uses the fabric as the backdrop for her paintings of the female form, but this untraditional medium does have its fair share of challenges.
The fabric, Glorioso says, is the focal point, the deciding factor. It dictates what color scheme she uses and how she lays out the piece. If a flower falls where the woman’s face
is supposed to be, it can
It also isn’t very forgiving.
“You can’t make a mark on the fabric and expect to come back [off],” Glorioso says. “You can’t wipe it away. It’s there.”
Glorioso has been interested in the arts since she was a little girl. Her supportive father wanted her to meet a professional artist to see if art was something she should pursue.
She began painting the female form because she struggled with it when she was in college at the Columbus College of Art and Design and The University of Akron. She was obsessed with figuring it out.
She also feels she can relate to these paintings more.
“I paint so much about my interpretation of people and my experiences with people,” Glorioso says. “I’m a woman. I don’t know a man’s interpretation.”
When painting people, she says she tries to look inwardly at them. She wants to reflect each personality. She interacts with them, learns their stories and tries to understand their styles. That, she says, is what draws people to her paintings.
Glorioso’s work can be seen at NOTO in downtown Akron, and she’s also painted murals for The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland.
In the future, Glorioso would like to find a studio space she can use with other artists.
“One of my favorite things about being an artist is meeting other great artists and collectively collaborating to create amazing spaces to represent multiple forms of art,” Glorioso says. “Astounding things happen when many unique talented minds come together to create a common vision.”
Writer Audrey Fletcher is a junior at KSU working on her bachelor’s in magazine journalism.
THE AKRON ARTS SCENE
Sandy Kreisman’s job, as director of the Akron Area Arts Alliance (AAAA), is to promote the value of a strong, diverse and vibrant arts and cultural community in Akron.
With close to 30 years of experience working in the arts industry, especially with individual artists and community arts engagement, Kreisman says Akron has an independent and creative spirit in all the art forms blossoming here in the city.
“It’s all about creative ideas,” Kreisman says. “You bring people together that are in this space and inspiration kind of takes over.”
In her leadership role with the AAAA, Kreisman is trying to identify arts partnership models that benefit arts organizations as well as their audiences.
“I hope I’ve been able to identify some partnership activities that will benefit all our members, and the ones that ‘rise to the top’ will ultimately be the direction for this organization in the future,” she says.
The AAAA is also working on a Community Engagement Initiative which includes using the monthly Downtown Akron Artwalk to showcase new work, thinking about ways to incorporate public design in the downtown footprint and using
technology to make art in Akron
Original thinking and making communities better are the ideas that drive Kreisman’s passion for the arts.
“The arts knit together learning and other cognitive processes in life, make people appreciate the beauty in life more deeply and help people express themselves emotionally,” Kreisman says. “The arts bring people together from all backgrounds, classes and cultures, while providing an interest-based platform to explore together — whether that is music, dance, the visual arts or design.”
Want to check out these artists’ work?
Here’s a way to find it:
Vogt’s work can be seen on his website, www.caseyvogt.com, and at Tria Gallery in New York City.
Marras currently has work for sale/on display at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery and Hazel Tree Interiors in Akron, and at Blue Eyed Dog on Main Street in Peninsula. You can also
view his work online at www.mwmarras.com.
Glorioso’s work can be seen at Blue Eyed Dog in Peninsula and NOTO in Akron. She also teaches private art classes. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org