Virginia Kistler Mutual Homes Dedication
The City of Kettering CitySites Public Art Program is proud to announce the dedication of a new artwork by Virginia Kistler of Gahanna, Ohio. The dedication took place on Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 10:30 am until 12 pm with remarks at 11 am in Oak Park, Kettering. The artwork is the inaugural piece in the ArtLocal program, an initiative utilizing art and creative thinking in localized public spaces throughout the city of Kettering.
Since fall 2017, Kistler facilitated hands-on workshops and conversations with children, residents and veterans at Greenmont Elementary School, Greenmont Oak Park Community Church, and VFW Post 9927 to capture the values and spirit of the Oak Park neighborhood.
Through these interactions, Kistler’s stainless steel artwork Mutual Homes reflects the meaning of home to Oak Park residents. Kistler was inspired by the characteristics of Oak Park’s 1945 Cape Cod-style homes, as well as the words and images shared by its residents. She was also inspired by the influence of manufacturing in the neighborhood history; Oak Park developed across from the Delco Plant (later a General Motors plant, and currently owned by Tenneco) with involvement by Charles F. Kettering, with many residents working at Gentile Air Force Base. Mutual Homes includes a lenticular patterning of relevant images including Charles F. Kettering, as well as impressions of the drawings and words of residents placed into the surrounding landscape.
“I record impressions as a way of understanding changing landscapes and as a way to investigate their past and future,” Kistler wrote. “My process involves historical research, interviewing community members and site visits to gain an understanding of the community and environment.” About Mutual Homes, Kistler stated: “The structure is inspired by the homes in the Oak Park neighborhood and the fact that they are of similar appearance. After visiting the neighborhood and researching its history, I kept returning to the houses as the unifying element.” Kistler utilizes images within the public art structure from Kettering’s history. “The images inside of the house speak to the rich history of the neighborhood and the origins of the area,” she wrote. “The community is incorporated into the piece through the plates that are embedded into the concrete. Residents wrote about living in the neighborhood and children drew pictures to express their feelings about their homes in Oak Park.”
Kistler received her MFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design and has recently completed commissioned artworks for the Dayton Metro Library, the Lincoln Motor Company and the City of Columbus. She is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and photography while using a variety of media—laser cut rubber, CNC router-cut plastic, and 3D printed plastic. Her work focuses on the ubiquity of urban landscapes and the absence of biodiverse spaces. She has shown work both nationally and internationally. Kistler was also the subject of a solo exhibition at Rosewood Gallery in Kettering, which was on view from April 16 – May 18, 2018.
Support for this project is made possible by CitySites, the Community Foundation for Kettering and the Ohio Arts Council. In its inaugural year, ArtLocal worked closely with Cities of Service (COS), a City of Kettering program dedicated to innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers and address critical city needs.
ArtLocal is an initiative of the City of Kettering’s Cultural Arts division. Through Rosewood Arts Centre, which provides arts education opportunities, and CitySites, a percent for art program, ArtLocal is an artist-led, collaborative public art program based in Kettering’s neighborhoods.
CitySites is a percent for art program recognizing artistic excellence, accessibility to the arts for all people, and the positive impact creativity has on our community and quality of life in the City of Kettering. With over 25 artworks throughout Kettering, CitySites continues to enhance our environment, inspire our residents and celebrate our legacy as a premier city to call home. For more information about the project, please visit www.playkettering.org/citysites.
ArtLocal Public Art Dedication with Virginia Kistler
Saturday, June 23, 10:30 am – 12 pm, with remarks at 11 am
Free, with family activities
Oak Park, 2055 Malcolm Drive, Kettering 45420