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Current Exhibition: Core Functions- Bette Drake and Marvin Jones

January 19, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - March 3, 2018 @ 5:30 pm

  • Marvin Jones, Untitled, Mixed media on board, 24” x 18”

Title of Exhibition: Core Functions- Bette Drake and Marvin Jones
Dates: January 19 – March 3, 2018
Campus Wide* Opening Reception: Friday January 19, 5:30 – 8:00pm
Art Bites: Collecting Art Talks –
February 10, 1:00 – 3:00pm Improves with Age, Collecting Fine Wine with Cris Drugan


The Artists Archives of the Western Reserve is proud to open its 2018 exhibition schedule with Core Functions, an inaugural show for two new Archived Artists, ceramicist Bette Drake and painter and printmaker Marvin Jones. The event will be celebrated with a Campus Wide Opening Reception on Friday, January 19, 2018, 5:30 – 8:00pm* during which all three entities within the Davis Foundation Campus, The Archives, The Sculpture Center and The David E. Davis Sculpture Studio and Gallery, will be open to the public.


Bette Drake, born in Cleveland in 1942, is a studio potter who makes functional work well within the tradition of reduction fired stoneware established by twentieth century studio potters like Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada. She works with a mix of Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri clays on a wheel and with slabs, formulates her own glazes, and fires work in the reduction atmosphere of a gas kiln. She learned her craft from Toshiko Takaezu, who was her teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Art, until her graduation in 1965 with a major in ceramics and a minor in painting. She also holds an MFA from Tulane University. Her philosophy of art making is informed by her materials and dedication to the craft of making work that is functional. The plasticity and versatility of clay as medium appeals to her and she likens her forms to blank canvases for decoration. Studio pottery made in this fashion is both a science and an art. The reduction firing process itself is not totally predictable and so the experience and technical skill gained over her years as a ceramicist are communicated by the achievement of her forms and glazes which read like expressionistic paintings. Drake has been included in several CMA May shows, The Best of…Ohio Designer Craftsmen Shows, various national juried exhibitions and fairs, and is in the collection of the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona California and the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus Ohio.


Marvin Jones (1940 – 2005) was a professor of art at Cleveland State University from 1976 – 2004, where he primarily taught printmaking. His extensive resume includes over five hundred group exhibitions throughout the world, including many major biennales such as The 3rd and 9th International British Print Biennales, The Yugoslavian 13th International Biennale of Graphic Arts, The 8th Biennale of Graphic Design in Czechoslovakia, and The International Drawing Exhibition of the Joan Miro Foundation. He has had over 75 solo exhibitions of his paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture and his work is included in over forty public collections. Jones was himself a great collector of the works of many cultures and held a very large collection of Outsider, Inuit, Aboriginal, African and Mexican Folk Art. He used these objects widely for inspiration within his own work, particularly in his later years. His earlier work was heavily influenced by the other California artists who taught at his alma mater, the University of California at Davis in the 1960’s. Teachers like Roy De Forest, Robert Arneson, Wayne Thiebaud, William Wiley and students like David Gilhooly, who were the founders of California Funk art. This movement was characterized by an outrageous wit that fused counter–culture thinking with a devil may care attitude. Marvin’s early work clearly shows the “funk” influence in his choice of subject matter, and cartoon style. His later work, while changing in focus and process, still relates back to those former teachers and fellow artists from Davis. The eyes that Marvin often painted by hand on his prints in later years, look very much like the eyes Roy De Forest painted on his dogs in the 1970’s, and works like Squirrel Descending a Staircase and Aunt Bea Catches a Squirrel are printed in a style that shows Deforests influence. In general Jones took a very crafted, deliberate, approach to the numerous drawings, prints and ceramics that he produced prolifically during his lifetime. He was beloved teacher whose sense of humor was never very far from either his personal art or his teaching style.
…” Both Western and non-Western art, except at the most trivial level, is about the experience of being human and is an attempt to control and understand the environment in which we live…. The Ocumicho figures are usually seen as humorous. It is always good to remind ourselves that the basis for comedy is tragedy and that the thing that is most unhappy is often the best occasion for a smile. ”*


As part of Core Functions, Art Bites programming for 2018 begins in February with a Collecting Art Talk on Collecting Fine Wine, for Valentine’s Day. Improves with Age, a lecture on collecting fine wine given by licensed wine appraiser Cris Drugan will take place Saturday, February 10, starting at 1:00pm, followed by a wine tasting courtesy of Vintage Wine Distributor, Inc. led by Sommelier John Constantine. While the lecture is free we are asking for donations of $10 to visitors of age 21 and over, who wish to stay and partake in the tasting.


We request that attendees please REGISTER on our website, www.artistsarchives.org or call 216.721.9020 to reserve a spot. AAWR is fully wheel-chair accessible and has ample free parking both in its adjacent lot as well as on East 123rd Street. Light refreshments will be served after the programs. Exhibitions and programming are free courtesy of a matching grants provided by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC) and Ohio Arts Council(OAC).


The Artists Archives of the Western Reserve would like to thank Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Ohio Art Dealers Association, the George Gund Foundation, the Bernice & David E. Davis Foundation, the William Bingham Foundation and the Zufall Foundation and our members for their continuing support.




January 19, 2018 @ 5:30 pm
March 3, 2018 @ 5:30 pm
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Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
1834 E. 123rd St.
Cleveland, 44106-1910 United States
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