When Michael Goodson joined Columbus College of Art & Design as director of exhibitions in August, he hit the ground running and quickly began tapping alumni and faculty talent.
With a fall exhibition still being pulled together, Goodson came to Columbus ready with ideas for spring. But where most people would have curated one spring exhibition— to fit nicely between CCAD’s hosting of the regional Scholastic Art Awards and the college’s first MFA thesis exhibition—Goodson curated two, brought in a rarely-seen installation piece by Malcom Cochran for its own show, and to top it off, traveled south to curate an exhibition of work by CCAD artists for the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.
“Putting together this exhibition has been an affirmation of the great work being done in my new home town,” Goodson said of Looking Forward, the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio exhibition. “In the end, the exhibition is a meditation on the harmony that is created when we share a starting and a finishing point and the dissonance that pushes us along the path in between.”
Looking Forward went up in January and includes artwork by 10 CCAD artists: Julie Abijanac (assistant professor), Carol Boram-Hays (adjunct faculty), Matthew Flegle (instructor), Dennison Griffith (CCAD president), Danielle Julian-Norton (assistant professor and 1999 Fine Arts alumna), Michael Litzau (adjunct faculty and 2004 Fine Arts alumnus), Kelly Malec-Kosak (assistant professor), Ric Petry (director of graduate programs), Tim Rietenbach (associate professor and 1977 Fine Arts alumnus), and Mariana Smith (adjunct faculty and 2002 Fine Arts alumna). The work is on view through May 20, 2012.
Goodson also curated Bending the Mirror and home., which graced the Canzani Center Gallery, Feb. 10–March 16.
Bending the Mirror featured work by 15 artists (including alumna Danielle Julian-Norton) and sampled the fecund diversity of international figurative art today.
“The history of CCAD and the use of the figure are paired going back to the inception of the school,” said Goodson. “With Bending the Mirror I wanted visitors and students to be aware of the various ways in which this long tradition still imparts ideas and how varied the methods, perspectives, and ideas can be.
home. examined what we might call “normal” suburbia and the lives of those within. The artists involved included New York City painter Jessica Rohrer, iconic 1970s photographer Bill Owens, and Cleveland-based artist Mark Slankard.
“In many ways home. was my attempt to understand the recent transition in my own life from the endless flux of Brooklyn and New York City to the relative quiet and peace of Columbus,” explained Goodson. “What I found, however, (and what started to drive the show) was that this is not a bucolic place. Perhaps no place in America is anymore. home. has become an attempt to understand the true complex nature of American suburban life. It’s an attempt to explore the dream within the American dream.”
“Michael has a sophisticated grasp of contemporary developments in diverse fields of visual creativity,” CCAD President Denny Griffith remarked. “His fresh and inspiring ways of contextualizing contemporary art and design through exhibitions and programming will be key to the continued prominence of the college’s exhibitions program.”
Goodson comes to CCAD from the James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY, where as exhibitions director he was active in the selection of works for group and solo shows and art fairs.
Goodson has also maintained a diverse teaching practice at several institutions of higher learning. He was adjunct professor of art at Hunter College and Wright State University. He earned a BFA in sculpture from Wright State University and an MFA in sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
In addition to curating at CCAD he is taking a very hands-on approach to the installation of other exhibitions being shown in the gallery.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s my exhibition. If it’s going up in the Canzani Center Gallery, I want to be sure that the way the exhibition is prepared and presented is a positive reflection on the college,” said Goodson.
Exhibition installation will keep Goodson busy with First: The 2012 New Projects MFA Thesis Exhibition opening March 30. The MFA exhibition closes April 27 leaving a short window of time to prepare for the May 11 opening of Show: the 133rd Annual Student Exhibition. As these shows are coming together Goodson will also be preparing for the fall exhibitions and developing opportunities for artists to visit and present at CCAD.
“My goal for the CCAD exhibitions program is to provide the public consistent, compelling information, with a dedication to making people aware of the art of their time, the art of this moment,” said Goodson. “I always tend to think of an exhibition as a kind of theater. This sometimes entails the use of a kind of flow and narrative—at very least it involves a clear consideration of the viewer’s time, body, and perspective thoughts within the exhibition space.”
To stay up-to-date on what the exhibitions program is cooking up follow the Alumni Facebook page.
Check out images from the opening reception for both Bending the Mirror and home.
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