PIQUA — Most Americans’ dream home does not match reality.
Like most, artist Erica Bailey of Kent, Ohio, knows she can’t afford her true dream home. Sometimes “it’s discouraging to dream. It’s really sad,” she said.
As an artist, she can make people think about home ownership through her work, pitting dream versus reality. That’s what she hopes to achieve with her installation art exhibition now at the Art Gallery at Edison Community College. At the west end of East Hall, it’s open to the public free of charge from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, through March 5.
Bailey, 34, prepares shows and exhibits for public viewing at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. She has a master of fine arts degree in three-dimensional media from the University of Cincinnati, and a bachelor of fine arts degree from OSU.
She designed and built her room-sized exhibit to allow people to be “part of a larger experience,” she said.
You enter a life-sized corner of a house under construction and view a series of projected photos of a housing development. There’s also a doll-house-sized one-twelfth scale diorama of a housing construction site. The title of the exhibit, ‘‘If Ever a Home Welcomed You with Open Arms ...,’’ is a marketing phrase for a low-end model manufactured home.
It “expresses the longing inherent in the American dream of home ownership, while also resonating with irony in its implication that the home to which it refers has individual character,” Bailey said. The projected images show faceless houses that feel like a stage set, sort of disposable housing, she said.
The diorama “presents a bird’s eye view of a moment in the construction of such a home,” she said. “Combined, the three elements reflect an ambivalence, expressing reverence for the act of house building and disappointment in the type of houses represented,” she said.
Piqua Lumber and Hardware donated materials for the project, she said.
The exhibition is part of a series of wide-ranging art showcased throughout the year at Edison, which offers a two-year program leading to an associate of arts degree in fine arts.