Friday, Oct. 7
7 – 10 p.m.
Chaz O’Neil, from Columbus, Ohio, received a BA from Otterbein University and a MFA from Bowling Green State University. He has worked at Otterbein as a Museum & Gallery Assistant, Collection Registrar, and as an instructor. He has taught drawing courses in Shanghai, China in partnership with Otterbein and Shanghai Publishing Printing College. From 2005-2019, O’Neil was a part of the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, where he was Assistant Director for ten years. O’Neil moved to his current role as Individual Artist Programs & Percent for Art Coordinator at the Ohio Arts Council in 2021.
In recognition of his studio practice, he has recently exhibited work at the Columbus Museum of Art and ROYGBIV. In 2019, he also took part in the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Residency Exchange Program in Dresden, Germany and the Ohio Art League Residency Exchange Program in El Bruc, Spain. He currently exhibits his work with Rela Art and maintains a studio in his home in Westerville.
This body of work derives from a fascination with mineralogy and their formation habits. Crystal shapes are determined by the chance arrangements of atoms. Cleavage, fractures, iridescence, and specific gravity are all random creation properties I think about when creating these pieces. Each image begins with a photograph of a mineral specimen that is mirrored and repeated. Subsequent layers of chance such as, paint splattering and stencil work are applied onto the printed photograph. A grid is created to act as a set of laws. The final layers are made of iridescent vinyl or other collage elements. Working within and outside the grid pattern is obeying, bending, and breaking laws of nature. The final layers are made of iridescent vinyl or other collage elements. Taking a three-dimensional object and compressing it down to a two-dimensional plane is a visual metaphor for the immense pressure it takes to create a mineral specimen.
Tesseract is homage to one of my favorite films, Interstellar. In the film, The Tesseract is an enormous, hyper-cubic, grid-like structure that is used as a means of communication for the characters to express emotions through gravity. The mineral-based images in the mandala animations are an experiment in moving time, space, gravity, and love. The main character in the film discovers the idea that our human connections and relationships are quantifiable. At the same time, love is abstract and has no spatial constraints.