SOAP Wraps Up ‘Home Art’ Exhibition, Looks to Future Events


By Ashley Custer


It’s generally accepted that the furniture found in a living room, appliances in the kitchen or the knick-knacks adorning walls are not works of art, but these pieces aren’t typical home furnishings.


The Soap Gallery is wrapping up an exhibition called “For Your Home” that runs from March 4 to 27. The show sheds light on furniture, ceramics, paintings and other objects that are for the living room, kitchens and walls as works of art and not simply as furnishings. The exhibition is free to the public.


Daniel Rauschenbach, curator and co-owner of the Soap Gallery, declared the opening for the show a success.


“‘For Your Home’ is an exhibit that allows everyone to take home a piece of artwork or furniture that maybe doesn’t have the room or tons of money,” he said.


There are about 20 artists in the show, with 90 pieces on display. The show features Mark Nelson, a furniture maker who is a wood working professor at Rio Grande University in Southern Ohio.


There is also photography by many regional artists such as Susan Griffin and Stephen Poullas, a Soap Gallery co-owner, and ceramics by Andy Thomas, a Youngstown State University alumnus that is currently finishing his masters at Kent State.


“For Your Home” suggests that buyers look the maker in the eye, ask the craftsman how it was made and form a bond with a local artist before making the purchase. IMG_3322


Andy Thomas, a YSU graduate with a bachelors of fine arts degree in 3D design, is showcasing some of his work in the exhibit. Thomas has about 10 pieces that are available for purchase.


“The Soap Gallery is one of the best spots in Youngstown, and it is exciting to see what they are doing to promote art within the Youngstown area,” Thomas said.


Rauschenbach hopes YSU students take the opportunity to visit the exhibit.


“It is a great show to stop down and see in between classes,” he said. “This is the Soap Gallery’s sixth show, and the opening welcomed many new comers to the space. We hope with diverse shows that we are able to keep expanding the crowds attending openings.”


Tony Armeni, a Soap Gallery participant, creates primarily abstract steel sculptures.


“I hope by having my work in ‘For the Home’ that bird lovers who are also art lovers might have a spot in their yard for one of my pieces,” Armeni said.


Relating his work back to Youngstown, his preferred material is steel, but he also uses clay and fiberglass to create his birdbaths.


“Making bird baths is a way for me to offer a collector a piece of functional outdoor sculpture. They are aesthetically pleasing and offer the birds a place to bathe and drink,” Armeni said.


The next show at Soap opens April 1. It is the gallery’s first one man show featuring local printmaking artist Eric Alleman titled “Liminal.”


May 6 will begin the First Friday Art walks downtown. It is free for YSU students to setup, but $10 if they need a table.


Any students interested in selling crafts, artwork, custom furniture or clothing should register by emailing [email protected].