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Fallout: Rebecca Kaler, Paintings from 2003 – 2022

November 17, 2022 @ 5:30 pm - January 14, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

  • Rebecca Kaler, Portrait by Jef Janis, 2022, Photograph
    Rebecca Kaler, Portrait by Jef Janis, 2022, Photograph


Opening Reception: Thursday, November 17, 5:30 – 8:00pm

In-Person Meet the Artist Q & A: Saturday, December 10th, 1:00 – 2:30pm REGISTER HERE


Fallout will open with a free public reception on Thursday, November 17th, 2022, from 5:30 – 8:00pm and will be on view through Saturday, January 14th, 2023.


When the Artists Archives adds a new artist into their permanent collection, they offer the artist either a solo or dual exhibition. Beginning November 17th, the AAWR will feature the work of Rebecca Kaler in an inaugural show which highlights the last nineteen dynamic years of her painting career. Born in Mansfield, OH, Kaler’s vibrant, saturated colors and energetic brush strokes were influenced by her extensive time spent abroad, traveling to places as diverse as South America, Southern Africa, Siberia, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and Bolivia, where she served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. For nearly two decades, Kaler also served as the Curator of the Pearl Conard Art Gallery at Ohio State University in Mansfield, OH. She has spent the subsequent years devoted to her personal work. In 2022, Kaler was awarded a prestigious Paul & Norma Tikkanen Painting Prize Honorable Mention from the Ashtabula Arts Center.


A major theme in Kaler’s work is the practice of mark making, using repetitive slashes and graffiti-style text to claim her place in space and time. From paleolithic cave drawings, to tally marks on jail cell walls, and the ubiquitous “Kilroy” of World War II, Kaler’s paintings address the primal impulse to impact our surroundings and proclaim our existence. Using these visual markers, her work has translated into abstraction many difficult themes including a series on war and the horrific impact of nuclear weapons.


As she describes, “I use symbols, textures, bold strokes and colors to express a spectrum of human expressions from joy to anger, fear and frustration, and of calm and serenity in a range of environments because at our very core, we all want recognition and to feel that we counted for something…to say, ‘I was here, and I did good work.’ It’s a phrase that applies globally to all cultures and always will, applying to countless objects, actions, and events, such as the atomic bomb, bullets, footprints, glacier grooves, or grave sites that bear evidence of having been.”


Accompanying her two-dimensional work, will be a series of sculptural Boxes which take the concepts developed in her large-scale canvases and fold them into discrete, portable cubes for exploration in the round. They also play with the various meanings of the common object. She explains, “We use boxes for storage and to keep things safe…Then we box people in, we box in cattle so they don’t get away, or when the pressure is on, we feel boxed up, and too many problems can box us in. I took the box and gave it another meaning… I want to give the box itself a moment of glory, away from its job.”


On Saturday, December 10th, 1:00 – 2:30pm, AAWR will host an informal Q & A with exhibiting Fallout artist Rebecca Kaler, in-person in the museum’s home gallery. Kaler will discuss her work on view, her history as an artist, and her career as an art administrator in an intimate, conversational setting. Audience questions welcome. This event is free of charge and open to the public. REGISTER HERE


Need special accommodations? We’re happy to help! Email info@artistsarchives.org to plan your visit or call 216-721-9020 for assistance. We’re looking forward to seeing you!


The Artists Archives of the Western Reserve has been proudly certified as a Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities “ALL means ALL” organization. All people deserve to have equal access to and be equal participants in all aspects of community life. This includes where a person chooses to live, learn, work, and play. Cuyahoga DD’s ALL means ALL initiative provides guidance on actions businesses should take to ensure that they are welcoming of all people and able to support their inclusion in all activities, programs and events. To learn more about the ALL means ALL initiative, visit the Cuyahoga DD website.



November 17, 2022 @ 5:30 pm
January 14, 2023 @ 4:00 pm
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Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
1834 E. 123rd St.
Cleveland, 44106-1910 United States
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