Akron Soul Train:
Joshua Eiskamp &
October Artist in Residence at Akron Soul Train
Josh Eiskamp is an abstract painter living in Seven Hills, Ohio who has worked in the arts for many years as an instructor at Lorain County Community College, as a Director of Sales for West Shore Frames, and as the Curator at the Malvina J. Freedson Gallery.
The pendulous is an ongoing series of paintings focuses on the spatial interplay between vertical lines suspended from a horizontal bar and layers of painterly color field. Intentionally
meditative and immersive the use of charcoal, graphite and acrylic paint glazes urges the viewer to look deeper into the picture plane and nuances of the surface and linger amongst the
line and paint. The imagery is floating on the surface of a hand crafted stretcher frames and hand stretched canvas. By design, the visible staples and edges emphasize the canvas as a
utilitarian foundation serving as a platform for the rich surface of drawn line paint strokes. The ultimate intent is to create a painting that is bigger than its scale, a surface that invites the viewer to dive in, and an overall use of materials that is intriguing, meditative, and fluid.
Prior to this proposal, the placement of the linear aspects and selection of color has been
based in the work’s traditional design elements, mark making methods, a compositional plan or purely to formally resolve an artistic whim. Throughout the Akron centric body of work I will
maintain the non-objectivity and the other key elements of the pendulous series mentioned above but initiate my process through inspiration from features of the Akron area. Visits to the
city, snapshots of moments, and visual interactions with the cityscape will serve as a catalyst for these paintings. The gathered moments will influence aspects of the work. The pendulous - Akron paintings will be a response and reaction to Akron through visual experience. The final pieces will be exhibited in an Akron venue.
October Artist in Residence at Akron Soul Train
Charisse Mae Harris is a mixed-media artist born and raised in Akron, OH. She currently lives and works in Columbus, OH. After receiving her MFA from Kent State University in 2016, she has participated in a number of exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and curatorial pursuits.
Most of us can recall a very vivid food memory. A memory so strong that it calls upon all our senses. Whether it is a pleasant memory or a profoundly disgusting experience, our memories of food can sometimes be more evocative than other memories. I would like to explore the representational potential of food memories and their connection to cultural identity. I will do this by replicating 10-20 “soul food” based meals from my memories into a 1:12 scale series of
miniature food sculptures.
These autobiographical sculptures will not only function as expanded self portraits but starting with my own food histories as launch point; I aim to explore the evolution & complexities of soul food in Black culture. I do not want to present this project as some kind of sweeping standard for food in all African American lives, instead my hope is to draw out meaning in what we eat, illustrate how food habits change for everyone, and think about soul food’s place in the greater American food discourse. I plan to conduct most of the work from my home studio but will need access to a photographer or photo studio to professionally photograph each of the final mixed media sculptures. I will include the photos, a short cultural history, and a narrative that details the memory into a miniature book. If it fits with the final design, I may also include a recipe for each dish.
Having just graduated in 2016 I have applied to several but have yet to complete an artist residency. I am excited to have an opportunity to carve out time specifically to realize an idea I have placed on the back burner for so long. Sculpting food has triggered a fascination not just with the process but trying to understand how what we eat merges and converges with our identities. Digging deep into food culture can be an art, and food as art remains one of the
most accessible subject matters. Not just because food sustains us, but because there is something about food that brings us all together.
Akron Soul Train
Akron Soul Train is an artist residency village connecting and empowering the community and artists by granting fellowships that provide resources for all creative disciplines, thereby fostering a more vibrant downtown Akron. Since its inception in 2016, Akron Soul Train has supported seven local artists with fellowships. Most recently, out of 70 applicants for 2018-2019 residencies, the committee selected 13 local and regional artists for residency. For more information visit https://www.akronsoultrain.org/.