SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — There are special bonds often created between professors and their students at Wittenberg University. Sometimes, they develop into lifelong friendships that manifest themselves in the most unusual of ways.
Take the Friday, June 10, opening of an art show titled “Jack Osbun In Search Of Significant Form” at the raw & co. gallery in Cleveland, Ohio. The works of Wittenberg Emeritus Professor of Art Jack Osbun will be on display in the gallery, which is owned by Richard Wood, class of 1984, for one month. Friday’s opening event will run from 6-10 p.m. as visitors will have the opportunity to speak directly with the artist while enjoying light refreshments.
“He’s been important to me since I first arrived at Wittenberg,” said Wood, who resides in Oberlin, Ohio. “It’s an honor to show his work in my gallery.”
Osbun was Wood’s adviser during his undergraduate years at Wittenberg, and the two have remained close in the years since Wood attained his degree in art from the university. He even visited Osbun in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where the former college professor has a studio and resides most of the year with his wife, Magdalena.
Osbun encourages former students and Wittenberg colleagues to visit him in Mexico, and several have taken him up on the offer. Some, including Wood, have come to appreciate the country as much as Osbun, who met his wife there after taking advantage of an academic opportunity to study in Mexico following completion of his undergraduate work at The Ohio State University.
“I have a great desire to see former students and keep in touch with them the way I have with Richard,” said Osbun, who retired from Wittenberg in 2000. “I’m open to the idea that students can come to Mexico to work with me.”
Osbun said that approximately 30 pieces will be on display in Cleveland at any given time. A total of 40 pieces are in the collection he is taking north, including a series of landscapes, a series of works depicting the Virgin Mary, a series of works depicting skulls and the Day of the Dead in Mexico and a series of abstracts from his early career.
In recent years, Osbun has had his work displayed at shows around the country, including his most recent show in April 2004 at the Gallery at Ambience in Springfield. This is his first show in Cleveland, however, and Wood’s gallery, which hosts a show per month, has its first Wittenberg connection.
Wood opened raw & co. in the trendy Tremont area of Cleveland in September 2004, joining more than 20 other establishments that cater to consumers interested in all forms of art and regularly collaborate to promote events. Wood, a real estate professional by trade who holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Texas Tech University, is partnered in the business with Per Knutas, a painting conservator. Knutas is a graduate of the Dutch Academy of Fine Arts who worked previously at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
— Ryan Maurer