Studio M: Art as Journal

The Great Tangles - Laura Ruth Bidwell 

Promised Land - Shari Wilkins 

September 22-November 4, 2019


The Massillon Museum celebrated the opening of its new Studio M gallery, part of the expansion project, on Saturday, September 22. The inaugural exhibition, Art as Journal, with photographs by Laura Ruth Bidwell and Shari Wilkins, will continue through November 4. Shari Wilkin's series is called Promised Land, and Laura Ruth Bidwell's series is called The Great Tangles.






Laura Ruth Bidwell, 6534U, Digital lustre paper print mounted on birch panel, 2018

Laura Ruth Bidwell

Laura Ruth Bidwell began her career as an artist with a degree in painting from the University of Akron. After a career as a graphic designer, she now works on photography, video, and on-demand book projects.

About her segment of Art as Journal, entitled The Great Tangles, Bidwell wrote: “When we moved from Peninsula to Cleveland, the one thing I truly grieved for was the great abundance of forest and tangles surrounding our property and in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Once I started walking around my urban neighborhood with camera in hand I could see how much lush foliage and tangles existed among the houses and buildings around me. This show has given me the opportunity to pair up what I call The Great Tangles from my rural and urban lives.”

 Shari Wilkins, 8th Street, Instant Film Print, 2017


Shari Wilkins

Shari Wilkins a Cleveland-based photographer and mixed media artist who focuses on alternative photographic processes. Wilkins holds bachelor of arts degrees from Kent State University and Cleveland State University, with a master of arts degree from Ursuline College. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Ohio and New York City. Wilkins founded the Cleveland Print Room in 2013, creating a community darkroom and photographic gallery.

In her series Promised Land, part of the Art as Journal exhibit, Wilkins wrote: "Shot primarily on miniature instant film, this project portrays images of homes built in my father's hometown of Cairo, Illinois, at the confluence of the Mississippi and the Ohio Rivers. It is a mythological place in my family's collective memory. Cairo's rich historical past has made this city famous, written about around the world. After a twenty year absence, I visited Cairo and was struck by the abandoned town that I visited often as a child. I set out to find my grandmother's home as my first step in documenting some of the remaining homes, some abandoned, some not, unintentionally capturing the beauty of this southern river town that lost its luster long ago."

Studio M

Studio M is Massillon Museum's designated space for celebrating contemporary art, designed to exhibit artwork in all media. The first new space of the Museum’s expansion to be opened to the public will be Studio M, a dedicated gallery on the second floor, which will present about six contemporary art exhibitions each year. It replaces and expands on a shared space in the Fred F. Silk Community Room.  The original Studio M has been exhibiting artwork since 2003.


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