Oglebay Institute Gathers Artists, Advocates With ‘Art For Mobility’

Oglebay Institute is presenting an art exhibition, “Art For Mobility: A Gathering of Artists and Advocates,” opening this week at Stifel Fine Arts Center, 1330 National Road, Wheeling.

Through a collection of metallic and canvas pieces by Haitian artist and amputee soccer player Francillon Chery and CHAOTICA Art creator Don Bristow, this exhibit brings attention to the plight of the disabled in Haiti and beyond. It opens with a free public reception at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 3. The exhibit remains on display through Friday, Aug. 29.

The exhibit is presented in partnership with Dr. Fred Sorrells, president of the International Institute of SPORT and Operation Go Quickly, and John Warnick of Small Things-Great Love Ministries. Sorrells and Warnick are advocates for people with disabilities locally, nationally and internationally.

Artwork sales will support a global mission of awareness of those with disabilities, their artwork and methods of creating art.

Chery lost function of his left foot when he was 10 years old. He survived the Jan. 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake and was a member of the 2010 Argentina World Cup Haiti national amputee soccer team.

In November 2010, after the World Cup of Amputee Soccer, his undeveloped leg was amputated and replaced with a prosthetic leg. To help reduce phantom pain, Chery began painting for therapeutic recreation. Today he creates beautiful Haitian and Christian paintings and metallic art.

He uses his artistic ability to help change the lives of others with disabilities. Proceeds from the sale of his work support a metallic drum art production center in Haiti that will employ people with impairments.

Bristow pores over solutions to equations from the field of mathematics called Chaos Theory, and there he finds landscapes, seascapes, stars and planets – a mathematical virtual universe that looks much like our own. As a photographer, Bristow composes extraordinary abstract and representational images, but unlike other art forms the images have the added quality of fracticality. Fracticality results in greater detail than a painter can create with a brush, and it can cause levels of new details to pop into sight as the viewing distance is changed.

“CHAOTIC is a very exciting project,” Bristow said. “Like astronomy and nature photography, it’s a process of search and discovery.”

Bristow’s works remind viewers of Hubble telescope images, aerial photographs and microscopic images, and attract young and old, artists and engineers.

“Scale is one of the fluid factors in fractal art,” he explained. “Each piece changes with the viewing distance, sometimes dramatically. Having a wide range of scale and detail, the pieces can represent single ideas from various perspectives or several ideas connected together to form powerful concepts.”

While fractal art is still considered an experimental art form, Bristow maintains a great deal of discipline in his work and hopes to help lead the art form out of its infancy and into wider acceptance

“Art for Mobility: A Gathering of Artists and Advocates” can be seen free of charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Evening hours are dependent on classes and special events. For more information, call 304-242-7700.

United Bank partnered with Oglebay Institute to present the 2013-14 season of art exhibitions at Stifel Center. This exhibit is part of the Helen B. Gaither Exhibition Season.