Seventh Son and 934 Gallery collab leads to 'Getaway' art experience
New works, including video, projection mapping and light installations from local and international artists, are on display at Seventh Son through April 3
During a September trip to Denver for the Craft Brewers Conference, Seventh Son marketing director Sara Hollabaugh went to a nearby train station for lunch. Inside, she found a kiosk from the people behind Meow Wolf, an immersive art company that opened a new experience in Denver last fall. To preview the full concept, Meow Wolf set up an installation that initially looked like a newspaper stand, but which featured an interactive animatronic puppet.
“They were bringing their artwork into this communal open space where you would not expect it, and it stuck with me,” said Hollabaugh, who began thinking about ways in which Seventh Son could display art at its Fourth Street brewery, eventually landing on an idea to collaborate with 934 Gallery on a joint exhibition consisting primarily of new media pieces: light installations, video, projection mapping and more.
Working with 934 Board President Liz Martin, Hollabaugh went through more than 40 submissions from local, national and international artists, putting a star next to each piece that seemed like a good match for the show and the space. “Magically, the 934 board was like, ‘That's exactly what we were thinking,’” Hollabaugh said.
Last week, Seventh Son and 934 Gallery debuted the pop-up art experience, “Getaway,” with multiple works spaced throughout the brewery’s (covered) rooftop patio and stairwell, all of which will be on display through April 3. The show shares a name with Seventh Son’s recently opened, vacation-themed taproom in Dublin, Getaway Brewing Co. “The idea of Getaway Brewing is escapism … and we just wanted to roll with that theme,” Hollabaugh said.
Entering Seventh Son’s rooftop patio, bathed in natural light, the theme feels apt. Lawn chairs and tropical plants give the space a summery vibe, even on a gray February day. The new artwork, though, shines even brighter at night, when three glowing TVs display “Digestion,” an animation by local artist Janelle Jordan; “Threatened Polished Faces,” an entrancing and colorful four-minute looping video by Dubai artist Taline Balian that’s intended as a commentary on “the simulated happiness offered by virtual platforms”; and “Fragments of Ourselves,” an animated collage of dream-like works by Columbus artist Brandon Page.
Beneath the TV screens is local artist Jordan Reynolds’ “Gradient Plane,” a plywood light box with soothing, shifting colors. Nearby, paper lights hanging from the ceiling similarly change colors via an app on the phone of Susanna Harris, a Columbus artist and printmaker, who named the installation “Interwoven Hosts.”
“During these past two years with COVID, I actually lost three people in my life, which has been hard. So at this point I'm thinking more about incorporating grief and loss into the artwork,” Harris said. “With this piece, I was thinking about the light and energy that we find in people, and when a person dies, that energy being transferred to other organisms or out into nature. I've been thinking about mushrooms and decay and the beauty of that transfer – almost like a continuation of life after death.”
For Harris, beauty is key to “Interwoven Hosts,” which she wanted to be “accessible and approachable. … I really liked the idea of this show being in a normal space, not an art gallery,” she said. “At night they glow so much, and since they can change colors, it really changes the atmosphere in this area.”
Another light installation, “Blooming Medusa” by Brooklyn artist Caitlin Miller, hangs near the upstairs bar, across from an additional TV screen showing the video piece “Too Big Drawing” by Genadzi Buto of Belarus. Since the digital pieces in “Getaway” aren’t for sale, tabletop signs display a QR code where patrons can donate to 934 Gallery, which will distribute the funds to the artists. (Seventh Son is also donating $1 from each pint sold at last week’s opening night celebration.)
In addition to projections on the patio windows at night, the Seventh Son stairwell features a projection mapping installation from Mural ReMix, a collective of Columbus artists who project animation over top of murals, bringing them to life in unexpected ways. In this case, the huge illustration of Seventh Son’s “assistant manager cat” by Evan Wolff (and painted by Grace Grudowski) gets the ReMix treatment from Krista Faist, Rew Wagner, Phil Liddell and others.
Around the corner, next to the elevators, “Illuminant,” a trippy, acrylic-paint-on-canvas piece by Dan Slutz (aka Hypnagogist) gets even trippier with projection mapping, making the liquid-like paint appear to swirl and sparkle – yet another an unexpected experience in an unexpected place.