Ohio winters are replete with messy road slush, bone-chilling temperatures and dull gray skies. But some artists saw Cleveland's misery as inspiration. ArtNeo's Seasons Greetings exhibit, on display through Dec. 30, features 125 Northeast Ohio holiday cards. "The cards are an expression of community," says William Busta, ArtNeo's collections committee chairman. "It's a part of a seasonal gesture with the warm fuzzy feelings of the holidays." Busta offers a look at three cards that'll greet you at ArtNeo.
The late Riba, whose painting The Crucifix hangs in the Cleveland Museum of Art, was known for unsettling but appealing magic realism paintings, an art style popular in the late '40s and early '50s that portrays unreal elements as natural. "This style is more spontaneous and expressive than a lot of work that I've seen of his," says Busta.
This card, which late Cleveland Press editorial cartoonist Willard Combes crafted by rolling ink on a block of linoleum with the pattern carved into it, merges design and industry. "The types of lines and shapes are the sort that you could just imagine as an art deco vase," says Busta.
The Lithuanian artist, who taught at Oberlin College, focuses on the meditative aspect of the holidays in this silk-screen card, which is typical of her minimalistic and abstract painting style. "It speaks to her whole warmth, intellect, spirit and personality," says Busta. "One of the things you want to do as an artist with holiday cards is to inform your patrons what you are doing in the present."