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The Suburbanite
  • Artist Beth Nash returns to Canton for solo gallery show

  • A new body of Beth Nash’s striking work — paintings of multiple figures interacting ambiguously and even surrealistically — is the focus of a new exhibition at downtown Canton’s Translations Art Gallery, opening today from noon to 10 p.m. to coincide with First Friday.

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  • Beth Nash, a Southern Ohio artist with an increasing Canton presence, is not one to laze around waiting for inspiration to strike.
    “I’m a worker,” she said. “I go and work in my studio. That’s my job. I’m so prolific, it’s almost a problem.”
    A new body of Nash’s striking work — paintings of multiple figures interacting ambiguously and even surrealistically — is the focus of a new exhibition at downtown Canton’s Translations Art Gallery, opening today from noon to 10 p.m. to coincide with First Friday.
    The show’s title, “Crowds With No Names,” reflects its interactive element. For the month of its display, gallery-goers are invited to suggest titles for the as-yet-untitled paintings via Post-It notes.
    “I’ll pick the winners,” Nash said brightly.
    Local art fans may recognize Nash’s distinctive style from her participation the past three years in the Canton Museum of Art’s Canton National Art Show.
    “It’s a lovely place to show, and they treat you so well,” she said. “I have a couple of (local) collectors I see regularly there.”
    Her work also has appeared in group shows at Translations gallery.
    Nash’s path to painting has been a roundabout one. A native of the Cleveland area, she earned her BFA in printmaking from Kent State University. She drew portraits on the boardwalk in Wildwood, N.J., then launched a clothing-design and fabric business, for which she dyed and airbrushed fabric.
    For 12 years, she has been an instructor at Marietta College, where she teaches portraiture and life drawing.
    “I really didn’t start painting until about 2003,” she said. “My goal at first was to do a painting a day. I got through about 50.”
    She draws and paints on wood panels, using liquid acrylic and blackboard paints.
    As for her now-recognizable style, Nash said, “It just developed. I’m interested in a lot of different types of art. I just started to trust myself. It does change as time goes on.”
    Nash, who lives in Whipple, Ohio, “a really small town near Marietta,” only does a handful of art shows annually.
    “I’ve basically always sold my stuff by myself,” she said. “I keep my current work on my Facebook page. I do sell on there, which is always surprising.”
    Her works range in price from $200 to $1,400.
    Translations Art Gallery is at 331 Cleveland Ave. NW. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.