Arts preview: "Common Cosmology"

Jim Fischer

That the work of two artists with different approaches can stand side by side in a collaborative exhibition speaks, at least in part, to the underlying constructs in "Common Cosmology," an exhibition of new works by Columbus artists Stephanie Rond and April Sunami.

The exhibition explores themes of commonality among differing cultures and worldviews. The artists created all new work specifically for this exhibition, which has been nearly two years in the making.

"I always felt like our work would pair well," Rond said. "We explore many of the same discussions. We each have a certain character, and our messages are the same. But our work is enough different that we set each other off."

Rond is primarily a street artist whose work can be seen on walls throughout Columbus. Her bright-colored, large-scale works reside compellingly and comfortably alongside Sunami's mixed-media work.

"We have different styles but they come together well in this show," Sunami said.

The idea of the cosmos as the basis for the exhibition was settled on early following multiple conversations between the artists. Along the way, Rond and Sunami took a few road trips and attended a Women's Creativity Summit in Florida together.

"Our studios are not far apart, so we're always in conversation," Rond said. "One of our strengths as friends is that we're open to hearing the other person."

The exhibition isn't meant to answer questions, Sunami said, but to ask them, which she said is sufficient to create dialogue around the exhibition topic.

"I've said what I wanted to say" in the work itself, Sunami said.

Rond noted the exhibition has fostered a sense of commonality by pairing two artists who haven't exhibited together in the past.

"One of the first things we realized is this is bringing two communities together," Rond said.

"There were so many people who had never been to the gallery before" in attendance at the opening reception, Vanderelli Room owner Alicia Vanderelli said.

The exhibition remains on view through June 2, and concludes with an artists' discussion with Rond, Sunami and Vanderelli.

The Vanderelli Room

Artists' discussion

6-7 p.m. Thursday,

June 2

218 McDowell St.,