YOUNGSTOWN — It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention, though you could say for Marvin T. Bankhead creativity also fills that role — with a twist.
“I keep coming up with ideas,” Bankhead, of Youngstown, said.
Bankhead, a self-employed carpenter who studied carpentry and construction at the New Castle School of Trades before graduating in 2010, is highly deft at using repurposed pine wood for building unusual projects such as champagne-glass planters attached to rods that can twist together. In addition, he is skilled at inventing designs, multiple practical uses and applications for his works.
Bankhead also is among the few dozen artists, collectors and makers who are showcasing their works for the 20th annual Fa-la-la at The Ward show that began Sunday and continues noon to 5 next Saturday and Sunday in the Ward Bakery Market building, 1024 Mahoning Ave.
Lots of foot traffic filled the building Sunday as attendees looked at or bought plenty of paintings, prints, custom jewelry, sculptures, pottery, fiber and digital art, woodwork, scented and handmade soaps, drawings, photographs and vintage furniture.
Bankhead was busy in his space constructing the top ringed portion of a planter, the likes of which he intricately designed to hold potted plants as well as expensive bases. He also carves a hole in the middle that leads to a base made from cedar wood — both parts of which are attached by aluminum rods that can twist and straighten — the idea being that leaves will collect at the bottom instead of where the plant sits, which makes it far easier to remove them, he explained.
Bankhead didn’t select cedar by accident, however, but for its practicality and longevity.
“Cedar wood doesn’t rot,” he observed. “Also, bugs hate the smell of it.”
Beforehand, Bankhead had conducted “10 years of research and trial and error” to hone his skills, though that hasn’t quenched his thirst to continue experimenting, he said.
Many people also seemed intrigued by several series of photographs that Robyn E. Maas of Poland had, that filled the walls to her studio.
“I began in ceramics and went into sculpture” before settling on photography, Maas recalled.
Maas, who also lived about 13 years in Youngstown, has on display several sets of sharply colorful and outlined photographs devoid of people that she took at Joshua Tree National Park and Desert Shores near the Salton Sea, both in southern California’s lower Colorado Desert. Other series capture her expansive travels to Iceland, Lake Erie and Murrells Inlet, S.C. The Iceland set was exhibited in 2018 at the Butler Institute of American Art, Maas said.
While in the California desert, she happened upon about 300,000 hay barrels that had been arranged to help generate sand dunes to protect nearby Palm Springs via absorbing unwanted microorganisms in the air, said Maas, who added that she’s drawn to open spaces and “dramatic” cloud formations.
“I kind of want to bring the viewer into the space,” she continued.
Maas, who enjoys collecting shells and rocks, explained that her technique also includes placing the photographs on boards before painting and carefully taping the edges. She then pours resin on the photos, a process that usually takes two or three days to fully cure, Maas explained, adding that resin protects the images from moisture.
Maas also said her ambition is to be more of a travel photographer, though her displays that show several remote parts of the world appear to demonstrate that she already has gone a long way toward achieving that goal.
If you go…
WHAT: Fa-la-la show at The Ward
WHEN: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
WHERE: The Ward Bakery Market, 1024 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown