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COLUMBUS, Ohio—How do we collectively reset ourselves after COVID-19’s dramatic and fatal strike across our worlds? How do we reassert our social selves? What do we do with our bodies now that we are reapproaching proximity and intimacy? These are the main considerations of Beeler Gallery’s latest exhibition, Bianca Beck, Tamara Gonzales, Christina Forrer, on view Monday, Aug. 23–Saturday, Nov. 6.

The first exhibition of the 2021–2022 academic year features 24 works by Columbus native Bianca Beck, Tamara Gonzales of Brooklyn, New York, and Christina Forrer of Los Angeles. Their works are gathered to help us think about these questions and consider the space around and between our bodies. The show’s curator, Greer Pagano, says the show reflects on our present state of community.

The interactions and proximity offered by the sculptures, paintings, tapestries, and watercolors consider how we take to the world, with desire and fear, after more than a year apart," says Pagano.

Finding a way forward is a theme carried through the other two exhibitions opening in August. 

A Bridge to Uncertainty, on view in The Project Room at Beeler Gallery Monday, Aug. 23–Saturday, Oct. 2, features existing and new works by artist Johnathan Payne. Payne is the inaugural recipient of the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Residency, named after the late Columbus-based artist and CCAD alumna Aminah Robinson. Works created by Payne while living and working in Robinson’s home are featured in the exhibition and include large-scale, geometric comic abstractions, newly constructed paintings, and mixed media works on paper.

Also opening Aug. 23 and on view in the Joseph V. Canzani Center Atrium adjoining Beeler Gallery through Saturday, Dec. 11, is BLM. The exhibition serves to both capture a moment in time and sustain the conversation surrounding racial inequality and injustice—and hopes for the future—as captured in the 200-plus #ArtUnitesCbus murals that were painted on plywood throughout Columbus following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020.

Columbus, like many other communities in the United States, was galvanized into action following his and other deaths of Black Americans at the hands of the police. #ArtUnitesCbus is an initiative created by the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts on June 1, 2020 as part of—and as a response to—these protests. The initiative employed  Columbus-based visual artists to make murals addressing such subjects as support for the Black Lives Matter movement; tributes to Black individuals killed by police, including Floyd and Breonna Taylor; and broader messages of love, hope, and unity. This show, which features more than a dozen of the murals, is part of an ongoing initiative by GCAC to exhibit the #ArtUnitesCbus murals around Franklin County.

Each of these exhibitions has a distinct relationship to community,” says Faculty Director of Galleries Tim Rietenbach. “The most direct examples are the murals made locally during the Black Lives Matter protests, acting as a reminder of the odd conflation of makeshift property protection and the impulse to express a message of solidarity and outrage. The three artists included in Greer Pagano’s curatorial vision anticipate the tentative nature of our resurgence, how we as a community can be in the same space engaging art, and how art can reflect the complexity of our circumstances through the likeness of the body. Johnathan Payne’s exhibition includes works made while in residency, as a visitor to our community, working in isolation in a moment when we are all fearful that we may return to a culture of isolation.”