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Sculptor and painter Katina Radwanski's grandparents grew up on Ikaria, a Greek island in the far east of the Mediterranean. The island is named after Icarus, the young man in Greek mythology who flew too close to the sun and plunged into the sea close to Ikaria, according to legend.
Radwanski depicts the story in her sculpture "Icarus and Daedalus" in the entryway of Group Ten Gallery. The sculpture is made of corten steel she weathered into a rusted patina.
"I always heard stories of Icarus," she said. "There's the threshold into adulthood, where the youth is beginning to ignore the parent and flies too close to the sun and ultimately falls to the sea. This is right before they fly. It's a threshold of his demise as well."
Through June 24, more than 50 works by 14 artists will be on display in the new exhibit "Thresholds: An Exploration of Passages and Possibilities." The public is invited to the opening wine reception and meet and greet from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday.
Radwanski, one of the gallery's newest members, said she is "reunited" with fellow outdoor painter and gallery member Carolyn Lewis, whom she met at Summit Artspace in Akron. Lewis is the author of a how-to book called "Painting Mood and Atmosphere in Oils" that is sold throughout the U.S.,Canada, Europe and Australia. Her painting "Inca Ruins of Machu Picchu" is on exhibit along with several other nature and outdoor scenes.
She painted the old coaling tower in Nelsonville, which took place in the Ohio Plein Air Society competition. She was also invited to paint with the Plein Air Artists in Colorado. Apparently painting outdoors comes with risk.
"You have to sign an agreement that if you're killed by a bear or a moose or whatever animals that are out there that they are not responsible, and I was approached by a bear coming up the ridge," she said.
Lewis painted a caboose in Peninsula on a cold December morning and painted the Everett bridge in Peninsula as well, which are both on display at the gallery.
"I like beautiful things, but I like old fire engines and old tractors," she said. "Without photography or artists, those things are going to be gone. That's the only recording of them that we have. It's important to capture history."
Judy Gaiser was thinking of childhood thresholds when she painted the puppets and her daughter's favorite toys in her oil painting "Prague-Gnosis," inspired by the puppetry she saw while traveling Prague last year. She said she created "Cartwheels in Architecture" using just a palette knife. The painting is of her granddaughter and her friend doing cartwheels through historical monuments, like stone henge.
Gaiser taught art to veteran artist Lawrence Walker's sons at Mogadore High School years back. Walker, president of the Akron Society of Artists and member of Group Ten Gallery whose mediums include interior sculpture and painting, has been experimenting with crayon batik for the past few years. But for this show he's created abstract mixed media, a popular art style of the 70s. The intensity of the colors are from using dye, he said.
"I'm having fun doing this stuff now," Walker said. "You see very intense color. When the inks hit the surface instead of sinking in they just kind of flow out into the water."
Walker took a soda straw and blew on the ink to create different shapes and splatters on the page and a tooth brush to add texture. He mixed a rubber cement base and his own acrylic glaze to define the blue and yellow hues in "Dancing Glasses" in the front of the gallery.
"All different techniques I've learned over the years," he said.
The members invite the public to cross into their threshold at the exhibit opening on Friday. The gallery is located at 201 East Erie Street in downtown Kent and will be open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays noon to 5 p.m.