‘It Sounds Like Love,’ immersive installation at Frank Museum, concludes with public events

Posted Aug 08, 2022

The public is invited to events Aug. 12-14.

French-American artist Cadine Navarro
French-American artist Cadine Navarro (Photo by Sophie Ansell)

The year-long installation of a living-art exhibition at Otterbein University’s Frank Museum of Art concludes with a series of events open to the public from Aug. 12-14. French-American artist Cadine Navarro’s immersive, sensorial exhibition was brought to Otterbein as a new commission by Otterbein art historian Janice Glowski, the Frank Museum’s director and curator. The unique installation builds on the sound vibrations of dormant indigenous seeds. 

The exhibition has functioned since last summer as a laboratory created by Navarro. Her approach is centered around deep listening with recordings of the sound vibrations of dormant seeds. Navarro, who was born and raised in Japan, explores energy and life forces in non-human organisms, including the vibrations and energy of dormant seeds. She combines this with her study of Japanese suminagashi — a traditional Japanese method of water-based surface design which produces patterns similar to marble. The result is a visual expression of the sound of seeds. 

“It is my intention to step out of our human-centric habits and words that define us to engage in a different kind of communication,” Navarro said. “I seek to explore the connection between people and the land.  

“Over the course of this exhibition, I have been able to trademark my invention of visualizing sound, with the trademark process still in progress. For the first time we are seeing the traditional and venerable art of suminagashi being adapted to visualize the vibrational frequencies of our world and thus have a means to enter into communication with the more-than-human.” 

Navarro’s unique technique is otonagashi™, or the art of floating sound.

Janice Glowski
Janice Glowski

Navarro and Glowski were brought together through a colleague, Gary DeCoker, director, ASIANetwork. DeCoker foresaw a collaboration because of the Frank Museum’s global arts mission and the Otterbein & the Arts: Opening Doors to the World (ODW) programming.  

“As an Asian art historian, I was especially impressed by Cadine’s keen use of and comfort with Japanese aesthetics to communicate ideas and to create experiential and community-based environments in her installations/projects,” Glowski said.  

Glowski began discussions about an exhibition of Navarro’s work in the Frank. An artist-curator collaboration ensued, and It Sounds Like Love was eventually born. 

“We share a deep concern about the environmental crisis and realize the power of art to bring change,” Glowski said. “We are both interested in art that not only brings awareness of climate-crisis issues but work that transforms how humans understand our place in the world. The so-called natural world is alive, and humans need to listen more deeply and in order to communicate. It’s important at this point to move into non-human centric ways of being in the world, and to learn from and to take lead from more-than-human beings — especially our highly intelligent plants — with whom we are kin.” 

Glowski says attendance at the Frank Museum this year has doubled from most previous years and faculty from four different central Ohio universities — Otterbein, Ohio State, Denison, and Kenyon — gathered funding to bring Navarro to Otterbein as a Land-based Artist-in-Residence. Some who have visited the installation have been moved to tears. Some return often to sit quietly and to listen to the seeds. It’s very common for people to stop by for a quick visit and then find themselves staying for more than an hour.

Empty Frank Museum installation
Photo by Mark Steele Photography
Installation At Frank
Photo by Mark Steele Photography

Upcoming concluding free, family-friendly, public events at the Frank Museum, located at 39 S. Vine Street in Westerville, include: 

Friday, Aug. 12: Kundalini Sound & Breath Yoga, Community Offerings, Readers, Theater, and Dance 

8-9:30 a.m. Kundalini Sound & Breath Yoga with Navarro 
6-7:30 p.m. Community Offerings: The seeds have spoken… what do we want to offer back? People are invited to offer short (3-5 minute) reflections or activities from their knowledge and interests (seeds, healing, poetry, song, dancing, prairie ecology, etc.). Actors will present a selection of poems written in response to the show by middle and high school students, followed by dance and movement, inviting us all to engage with the art. RSVP to cadinenavarro@gmail.com 

Saturday, Aug. 13: Kundalini, Expansive Questions, and a Musical Celebration 

9-10:30 a.m. Kundalini Sound & Breath Yoga with Navarro 
1:30-4 p.m. An Afternoon of Expansive Questions: Area environmental specialists will lead us in an exploration of the expansive questions raised by It Sounds Like Love with ways to positively address the climate crisis through more thoughtful land-use planning in Central Ohio. 
6:30– 8 p.m. Musical Celebration: Join Bill Walker for an open musical jam with the seeds of love. Bring your instruments and your willingness to explore with songs, drums, and improv. RSVP to cadinenavarro@gmail.com 

Sunday, Aug. 14: Kundalini, Panel on Public Art, Artist Talk, Lakota Blessing… and Celebration! 

9-10:30 a.m. Kundalini Sound & Breath Yoga with Navarro 
2:30–3:30 p.m. Panel on Public Art: Panel discussion on the role of the artist and engaged art for our times with curator Janice Glowski. 
3:30–4:30 p.m. Artist Talk: Artist-in-Residence Navarro will reflect on her art and her time here in central Ohio. 
4:30-6:30 p.m. Lakota Blessing: Ramon (Tigre) Perez, a community leader from Saltillo, Mexico will close the It Sounds Like Love exhibition with Lakota blessings and songs. This also will honor transition and welcome the next exhibition—Witness Blanket, by contemporary indigenous artist Carey Newman (Kwakwak’awakw), from Canada.

The It Sounds Like Love immersive installation was made possible by The Joanne Miller Stichweh’67 Fund and the Ohio Arts Council.