Exhibit in Review: The Robert Thurmer Peoples’ Art Show

“Peoples’ Art Show 2022” by Mark Siankard. Photo by Stevens

Having opened on the Sept. 20, the Robert Thurmer Peoples’ Art Show is now on display at the Cleveland State University Galleries until Nov 26. The exhibit, held biannually, was recently named in honor of the former director of the Galleries, Robert Thurmer.

This exhibit features the work of community members who submitted their artwork during the collection period. 

Stepping into the Galleries, my first thought was how much work there was. The Galleries were crowded with artwork- in a good way! There was work about a variety of topics and in a variety of mediums. 

To the left, when entering the Galleries, is the “I’m Totally” Collection by Raccine Williams (pictured below left). I enjoyed the artist’s Picasso-like twist on some very classical works of art, such as the “Mona Lisa” and “Starry Night.” In these interpretations, the original artist is depicted juxtaposed over their work. Keeping up with the trend, we see a Van Gogh-inspired planter in the front window.

Below are some of the works that filled the walls of the main room of the Galleries.

There is even an empty frame that an artist included as a more conceptual piece. 

In the center of the main showroom are the 3-dimensional pieces pictured below.

Continuing into the side room of the Galleries, the first thing I noticed was the outline for hopscotch at my feet. (Pictured below). Looking up, I then saw projections of three different videos on the wall.

On the walls of the room with the projector were several other works (seen below). I particularly enjoyed Sister Support by Valerie Adams and Pink Champagne by Veronica Leigh. Pink Champagne is interesting because it has a raised surface made up of resin, quartz, and broken glass.

If I thought the first room of the Galleries had a lot of artwork, the back room had even more. (see below). My favorite piece was also in this room, Peoples’ Art Show 2022, by Mark Slankard (Pictured at the top of the article).

In this exhibit, there were a few pieces that were composed of trash, like the one pictured below (on the left). I found this to be a creative way of raising awareness for the environment. I also found the piece Urinal: The Real R Mutt by Heather Molecke to be a witty spin-off of another famous work. (Pictured below right).

In my opinion, the best part about the Peoples’ Art Show is that it reflects the community. It is work by the community and for the community. 

On my way out, speaking with Kit Hannum, a student worker at the Galleries, she said, “it was a fun exhibit to help put up. And it was very interesting to see how Kendall, our director at the Galleries, curated such a mix of works- everything came to be organized in a nice way.”

There is more work than I can mention in this article, so see the exhibit for yourself! The Galleries at Cleveland State University can be found at 1307 Euclid Ave. They welcome the public to view exhibits free of charge Tuesday-Saturday between the hours of noon and five o’clock p.m. More information is available on the website.

Author: Trinity Stevens

Trinity Stevens is a current student at Cleveland State University majoring in Dance in Community, minoring in Theatre Studies, and pursuing a certificate in Arts Management & Community Development.