Columbus, OH

‘Boundary Lines’ challenges domesticity amid pandemic, increased time spent at home

The Lantern
A piece entitled “Lavatorium” by Molly Jo Burke and Nathan Gorgen features decadent bathroom fixtures. Credit: Phoebe Helms | Lantern Reporter

The Cultural Arts Center’s most recent exhibition, “ Boundary Lines , ” brings together the work of four artists, each aiming to challenge the confines of art and domesticity.

A component of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the Cultural Arts Center hosts a variety of exhibitions, classes and workshops open to the Columbus community. “Boundary Lines,” on view for free until Feb. 12 in the center’s Main Gallery, consists of work from Erin Furimsky , Nathan Gorgen , Molly Jo Burke and Katie Davis .

Davis, the artist who proposed the show to the center, said the original idea for an exhibition about domestic spaces evolved as a result of the pandemic.

“A big theme of the show has to do with home and domestic spaces and the boundaries of being confined, like physically confined, to our homes during quarantine,” Davis said.

Davis said the pandemic allowed her and the other artists to challenge previously held notions about domesticity and how stay-at-home orders shifted American perspectives, offering a fresh take on life at home.

“It’s just a new perspective,” Davis said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show that talks about domestic spaces and the domestic experience and also the experience of parents.”

Works in the exhibition display various household scenes in a positive light, including an ornate bathroom sculpture, a tapestry made up of different fabrics and multiple paintings and ceramic pieces.

Come opening day, the show was presented as scheduled, with small changes made to account for the pandemic — including hosting a closing reception instead of a typical opening reception.

“We postponed the normal opening reception for the exhibition because of the surge in infections in Franklin County,” Tom Baillieul, exhibitions coordinator for the Main Gallery, said. “Instead, we, along with the artists, have opted for a closing reception on Feb. 11.”

Davis said despite COVID-19, those who have seen “Boundary Lines” seemed to enjoy the show because the various mediums have created a colorful presence in a dark time.

“We’re in kind of a crazy time right now with omicron and, you know, just the pandemic,” Davis said. “It’s a really bright, kind of colorful, fun show.”

Baillieul said he enjoys the show because of its variety and its ability to push boundaries, as its title suggests.

“What I love about ‘Boundary Lines’ is the mix of media,” Baillieul said. “We’ve got ceramics, we’ve got glass, we’ve got fiber, we’ve got acrylic on canvas. And I find it fascinating how the artists have made it all work.”

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