“Mouse House Party” exhibit allows more than 150 Cleveland artists to explore the emotional toll of the pandemic

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  • Courtesy of Liz Maugans
  • Mouse House Party works

“Mouse House Party,” a new exhibition of more than 150 artists who have all used the same mouse-hole-shaped model to create works that serve as visual responses to the emotional toll of the pandemic, opens with a preview this Thursday night and a grand opening Friday in Current Cleveland.

The exhibition was made possible through a partnership between Liz Maugans and the Akron Art Museum and will be on view until September 30.

The idea was conceived at the height of the pandemic and arose out of a commission for Liz Maugan’s work planned for the lobby of the Akron Art Museum. This show was postponed and delayed due to the pandemic, but the idea for Mouse House was born.

“For this project, we contacted Liz Maugans, who brings people together. She expressed a desire to create a radical healing platform after the pandemic, ”said Seema Rao, deputy director of the art museum.

“This concept provides a space for creatives to collectively celebrate their own emerging perseverance, revitalization and revitalization, perhaps honoring those who have struggled and emerged with renewed strength and in this time that has been fulfilled and continues to be. a challenge for so many of us, ”Maugans said.

Fans have noticed that Maugan’s work might notice that mouseholes have already appeared as portals to another location, perhaps as an escape route or as an entryway, perhaps both. , in the artist’s psyche and as a way to immerse and emerge at the same time.

“I have been using this form of arch in my work for several years,” Maugans said. “It’s a good, simple shape changing shape that I attach to a sunrise / sunset, arch or entrance gate, rainbow, mountain, gravestone and in this case a mouse hole. I think that’s a metaphor here to question our mortality in these trying times. A house party seemed appropriate as a counter-narrative, as we all come out of dark, confined spaces and we we connect. ”

“The varied perspectives and range of media will present a truly inclusive and expansive exhibit, engaging audiences with the wide range of ideas present in this region with the aim of connecting and celebrating our collective energies,” said Britney Kuehm, co -Founder of Current. Cleveland. “Maugans was particularly well placed to spearhead this collective adventure. Her past work sits at the intersection of contemplative practice and civic engagement, particularly in how artists can engage and connect collectively. Maugans continues to explore communion in public life with communities and organizations with a happier mantra. ”

Maugans created an open call for artists with the “Fill the gap” prompt. The open appeal prompted the artists to fill this mouse-hole-shaped frame with their work expressing something about filling the emotional holes felt during the pandemic and their emergence.

Amy Morgenstern, a grade 3 teacher at Elyria who is a metal jewelry artist, reproduced a mouse-sized version of a blanket she crocheted for her grandson during the pandemic.

Gina Washington created one called “Home of our Hearts”.

She wrote: “This year has been madness and joy. Filling a hole was difficult. However, I put the footage together, cut it and kept my promise that less is more like a song came into my head. I have a wealth of music that pulls me through anything and everything. Psychedelic furs are the inspiration for the piece. There is truth in the innocence of these words and the memory of a year, of a past life that changed you, changed me:

Heaven is the home of our hearts and
the sky will not tear you apart
yeah paradise is the home of our hearts

-Extract from the song “Heaven” by The Psychic Furs

“Artists lost shows, couldn’t schedule shows, they lost other creative income when artistic and cultural institutions were closed. Even when it reopened, many were put on leave, ”Maugans said. “I think a lot of artists felt creatively tired. I think this Mouse House Party, on a very small level, just made people look forward to something and feel part of a more fun, if not silly, time… Hope the artists sell their stuff. works and will earn extra money! I hope other people will meet artists whose works they appreciate – maybe they will collaborate on something. I really love that an opportunity that has come my way becomes a time for others to bounce off of each other. Hope we can have more parties like this, fun and interactive.


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