Impact! Exhibition

Somethings cover

Exhibit Dates

October 31 - December 2, 2016

Opening Artist Reception

Friday, November 4, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Free Admission

The UC Blue Ash Art Gallery has free admission and is open to the public


An Introduction by H. Michael Sanders

The works in this exhibition have been selected because they all share features that result in pointed commentary on cultural, economic or social issues. There is a fundamentally dynamic relationship between individuals and the societies in which they live, and artists are often at the forefront of questioning our values, intentions and actions. One of the most venerable functions of art and artists in our culture has been to draw attention to social issues that involve such topics as exploitation, economic disparity, gender, and inequality. The impact of these works resides in their persistent suggestion of our collective failings.

Morgan Craig’s work focuses on the ways in which our industrial architecture functions as a marker for the value choices of our society. His surprisingly vibrant imagery of disintegrating factories and other rotting industrial structures offers an unsettling glimpse of the slowing creeping obsolescence of our consumer culture. The fact that he renders these representational works in the classical art medium of oil paint on linen only helps to underscore the their function as documents of a vanishing aspect of civilization.

Inspired by the subject matter of the regionally important economic commodity of coal, Pennsylvania artist Chris McGinnis explores the raw physicality of this substance in his visually striking works, while simultaneously suggesting its economic value and the high environmental and societal costs associated with its extraction and use.

J. Pouwels addresses, in his extended series of works collectively titled Dysfunctional Systems, the growing concerns that we face in relation to accessible and reliably pure sources of clean, safe water. The works sampled from this series that are included in our show were inspired by the continuing crisis in Flint, Michigan concerning safe water delivery systems, and the decisions made by political figures leading to this catastrophe.

Reza Refiei Rad is an Iranian artist whose photographic works have often placed him in legal jeopardy in his home country due to their subject matter. With a persistent and sensational focus on gender and feminist issues in this portfolio, Rad explores male encroachments on the personal sovereignty of women through the surprising and unsettling motifs of menstrual blood and sanitary napkins. The ironically poetic titles of these works reinforce and help articulate the visual impact of the images.

In a similar vein, Kathryn Shinko uses woven tapestries, media conventionally associated with female artists and traditionally domestic craft uses, to unexpectedly explore the violence embedded in the language used to title pornographic videos. Superimposing these decontextualized obscene phrases culled from the internet over the innocuous landscape imagery of postcards, Shinko shocks us into recognition of the debasing quality of the language in a manner that is both poetic and alarming.

The collective impact of the work in this exhibition is intended to provoke a pause in our thinking about topics we often find ourselves able to circumvent or ignore. The purpose is to stimulate dialogue between the artist and the viewer in the rarefied environment of the art gallery, and conversation with one another when we find ourselves back in our everyday environments.

Morgan Craig

Artist’s Statement

Architectural structures act as both repositories and as vehicles for memory. They profoundly influence culture and identity by providing a tangible framework through which facets of society can be expressed. Consequently, I have been inspired to build a body of work dealing with how identity is influenced by the types of architectural edifices present in a given landscape, specifically post-industrial edifices. My work is not merely a method of documentation, but a sociopolitical commentary on the effects of hubris, avarice, free trade, outsourcing, deregulated capitalism, and technological obsolescence upon communities throughout the world. I believe my work provides a clear trajectory of how one might merge concept and technique into a cohesive body of work.


About the Artist

Morgan Craig is and an award-winning artist living and working in Philadelphia. He has exhibited widely throughout the North America, Europe and Australia. His recognition includes the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant and two Individual Artist Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Recently, he was visiting artist at Australia national University.


Works by Morgan Craig

  1. Cadaver of Capitalism, oil on linen, 54” x 72” (2015)
  2. So Much, In the Afterglow, oil on linen, 72” x 54” (2015)
  3. The Gravity on Reason, oil on linen, 72” x 54” (2014)

A more extensive collection of work by Morgan Craig may be found at If you would like to know more about his work, you may contact him at

Kathryn Shinko

Artist’s Statement

Every culture creates its own definitions of how a family should operate, how sexuality should be expressed, and how men and women should interact. The purpose of my work is to question these definitions. I do so through media that has been conventionally associated with womanhood and domesticity: embroidery, cross-stitching, latch-hooking. I use these traditional practices to question traditional stereotypes. The works in this exhibit are from my "Vignettes" series comprising six large industrially-woven tapestries examining the language

of pornography juxtaposed with landscape imagery. By bringing together pornographic video titles appropriated from the website and images of majestic, noble landscapes, the artwork questions the violent and sexist qualities inherent in pornographic language, and asks how this affects our societal view of women as a whole. My goal is to question the definitions of how things “should be” and assist the viewer in revising and reaffirming their own understandings.

About the Artist

Kathryn Shinko is a mixed-media artist primarily working in textile techniques such as weaving, embroidering and sewing to address controversial contemporary social issues. She received a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Akron (Akron, Ohio) and an MFA in Textiles from Kent State University (Kent, OH). Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States including shows in Chicago, Brooklyn, Denver, Columbus, and Cleveland. Most recently, she received an Honorable Mention for the Creative Promise Award from the Surface Design Association, a national organization dedicated to textile and fiber arts.

ShinkoK-5a-Cute Girl
ShinkoK-2-Extreme Close Up

Work Included in Exhibition

  1. Vignettes: Extreme Close Up, industrially-woven tapestry, 55” x 65” (2014-2015)
  2. Vignettes: Cute Girl, industrially-woven tapestry, 55” x 65” (2014-2015)
  3. Vignettes: Two White Girls, industrially-woven tapestry, 55” x 65” (2014-2015)

A more extensive collection of work by Kathryn Shinko may be found at If you would like to know more about her work, you may contact her at

Christopher McGinnis

McGinnisC-Spoil Tip 2
McGinnisC-Graphite Gem2

Artist’s Statement

The work in this exhibition is from my “Ridges and Shafts” series, which includes drawings, paintings and layered objects inspired by physical (analog) deformation modeling and the coal-rich land of Southwestern Pennsylvania. These artworks explore a number of materials and processes from cast graphite and resin to wall drawn installations and poetic verse. My primary interest here relates to the value of coal as both a physical material and economic resource, and the complex circumstances surrounding its extraction. This subject matter is represented aesthetically through surface luster, layered mine maps, reflected color and mixed media approaches.

About the Artist

Chris McGinnis is an artist, educator and cultural producer working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has created projects for the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, SPACE Pittsburgh, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and The Rivers of Steel Heritage Corporation. He is currently assistant professor of art at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and is also co-founder and chief curator of art for Rivers of Steel Arts program at the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark.

Work Included in Exhibition

  1. Spoil Tip #2, graphite, ink and mixed media on duralar mounted on wood panel,10” x 8” (2016)
  2. Seam #1, graphite, ink and mixed media on duralar mounted on wood panel,18” x 24” (2016)
  3. Piles, graphite, ink and mixed media on duralar mounted on wood panel,18” x 24” (2016)
  4. Graphite Gem #1, cast graphite and epoxy resin with florescent cad stock,12” x 10” (2016)
  5. Graphite Gem #2, cast graphite and epoxy resin with florescent cad stock,12” x 10” (2016)

A more extensive collection of work by Christopher McGinnis may be found at If you would like to know more about his work you may contact him at

J Pouwels

Artist’s Statement

I’m interested in addressing the concerns we face over our access to clean, reliable water supplies. The global climate is in flux, there is clear evidence concerning the reasons for these changes, and there is much political maneuvering unrelated to the welfare of constituents. My work asks viewers to consider our roles in determining leadership and the consequences of such decisions. My current artistic exploration, Dysfunctional Systems, relates to the Flint, Michigan water crisis and more general concerns for safe and easily accessible water for all Americans.

About the Artist

A native New Zealander, J. Pouwels earned an MFA in painting from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 2004 and has subsequently maintained an active studio in Chico, California. He has exhibited his work on both coasts of the United States as well as internationally, including most recently in Portugal during an artist residency.

Work Included in Exhibition

  1. Dysfunctional Systems #08, ink on paper, 22” x 30” (2014)
  2. Dysfunctional Systems #14, ink on paper, 22” x 30” (2014)
  3. Dysfunctional Systems #23, ink on paper, 22” x 30” (2014)
  4. Dysfunctional Systems (two pieces), cardboard, 18” x 7” x 7” each (2016)

A more extensive collection of work by J Pouwels may be found at If you would like to know more about his work, you may contact him at

PouwelsJ-Dysfunctional Systems-08
PouwelsJ-Dysfunctional Systems
PouwelsJ-Dysfunctional Systems-14

Reza Rafiei Rad

About the Artist

Reza Rafiei Rad is an Iranian artist living and working in Teheran. He holds a Master’s degree in painting from Yazd University in Iran. His work has been exhibited internationally in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. One of his photographic works from the series currently on exhibition was recently featured in MetaDada: The International Journal of Dada Mining.

RefieiRad-03-We Were Shooting copy
RefieiRad-10-Your Plane Hit Me copy
RefieiRad-01-Suddenly We Were On Cross copy

Work Included in Exhibition

  1. Suddenly We Were on the Cross, photograph, 11” x 14” (2016)
  2. We Were Shooting in All History, photograph, 11” x 14” (2016)
  3. Such Blood Was Shed, photograph, 11” x 14” (2016)
  4. No Way, You Will Not Be Satisfied by Me, photograph, 11” x 14” (2016)
  5. Fish Was Shot Inside My Panties, photograph, 11” x 14” (2016)
  6. Your Plane Hit Me, photograph, 11” x 14” (2016)
  7. Winds, My Blood Will Fall Apart in the Sky, photograph, 11” x 14” (2016)
  8. Your Menstruation is Prettier Than My Menstruation, photograph, 11” x 14” (2016)

If you would like to know more about the work of Reza Rafiei Rad, you may contact him at


The UC Blue Ash Art Gallery is supported by the Office of the Dean and the departments of Art & Visual Communication and Electronic Media Communications. This exhibition is curated by H. Michael Sanders and John Wolfer. Gallery publications are edited by H. Michael Sanders and designed by Michael Ziepfel. John Wolfer is gallery director.

Contact Information

Phone: (513) 936-1712