Monday, February 25, 2008

Review by Bill Mayr, The Columbus Dispatch


photo by Bill Mayr

Review:
Sunbonnet Sue and Melissa Vogley Woods are two busy people.
Sunbonnet Sue is featured in a series of paintings and quilted pieces. Vogley Woods, in addition to making art, is occupied with a couple of larger projects. As a quilt pattern, Sunbonnet Sue dates from about a century ago -- always appearing as a cute tot wearing a large hat that obscures her face. She evokes thoughts of pleasant childhood days with blue skies.
Vogley Woods' versions of Sue reflect diverse circumstances. Sunbonnet Sue in a Pile, a quilted piece, contains a pile of Sues, perhaps exhausted from their adventures. In The Escape, Sue carries a waif of a girl; from where to where isn't clear.
Not all of the Sues in the show are troubled, Vogley Woods said. "But my work the last couple of years has been responding to underlying crisis, a feeling of instability," she said. "With Sunbonnet Sue, the theme is a little bit of underlying trouble she is dealing with." Although the artist has put a contemporary spin on an old quilt pattern, she declared her allegiance to traditional quilting. "I do like art quilts and make art quilts, but I feel more akin to the traditional quilts. I feel like I'm working with those people back then." This year, she is scheduled to work with plenty of people in the here and now.
She will serve with Pam O'Loughlin as a co-director of the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition.
"We're trying to modernize the whole (application) process and bring in artists from all over Ohio," Vogley Woods said.
They started a Web log at ohiostatefairfinearts.blogspot.com. She is also among those trying to organize a Public Art Day, in which a neighborhood and its businesses would host outdoor installations -- maybe for a day, maybe longer.
"We're trying to make it happen this year," she said. "We're working on a neighborhood first." The Short North is a possibility, as is the area north of Ohio State University. "Even if it (the event) is really small," she said, "that would be fine."
For more information about Public Art Day, visit columbus publicartday.blogspot.com.
Bill Mayr

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