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The Willoughby Art Gallery hosts ‘SENTIENCE’ featuring art by Jeff Casto

Artist Jeff Casto doesn’t consider himself a hoarder, but he knows many people may feel differently. That’s because he uses found and recycled materials that he collects, catalogs and stores away in boxes - given by friends or purchased at thrift stores - to create his two and three-dimensional artworks for his upcoming art show, ‘SENTIENCE,’ at The Willoughby Art Gallery at Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in North College Hill. ‘SENTIENCE’ will feature around 30 works of varying sizes, including four freestanding sculptures. By mixing acrylic paints with “repurposed/discarded junk” like toys, bottle caps, lids, small broken kitchen appliances, weathered pieces of metal or wood and other pieces of modern refuse, Casto creates art pieces that deal with environmental issues and their impact on the animal world. “Greater steps need to be taken to change/stop pollution, climate change and the possible extinction of certain species of animals and plant life,” he said. “Some of my work utilizes what junk people might throw away that I find interesting.” “I try to address these serious issues with pathos and humor,” said Casto. “I would also like for that part of the audience who is sighted to have a glimpse into what it might be like to be blind or visually impaired, in that their experience is primarily or entirely through touch.” Originally from Parkersburg, West Virginia, Casto came to Cincinnati in 1982 to attend the Art Academy, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting (1987), and a Master’s in Fine Arts in painting from the University of Cincinnati (1989). He is the recipient of two individual artist grants from the City of Cincinnati. Casto has exhibited regionally and in New York. His work can be found in several private and public collections. Casto currently works for The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. ‘SENTIENCE’ will run September 6 to 26, with an opening reception on Friday, September 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Willoughby Art Gallery is located at Procter Center on the campus of Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 7000 Hamilton Ave. in North College Hill. Guests can view the gallery Monday through Friday from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., or by appointment.

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