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Posted at 5:37 PM ET, 07/31/2006

Local Artists Bring the Funk to DCAC

By Julia Beizer

Depending on the exhibition, the gallery at the D.C. Arts Center can be a very vibrant space or a very bleak one. Vibrancy wins out this month with the center's "Wall Mountables" installation, a show with a concept almost as cool as the art on display.

For this annual fundraiser/exhibition, the D.C. Arts Center invites artists to mount their works on a two-by-two-foot square of wall. Each lot costs the artist $10 ($5 for members of the DCAC) and artists can purchase up to five squares. The ground rules: artists cannot combine spaces or write directly on walls. All else is fair game, so long as it can be mounted on a wall.

Like any open-call show, some work was lovely and some work was just okay. The show (obviously) lacked the tight focus of a curated show, but that's always okay with me. I was happy just to browse the densely packed gallery looking for the funkiest pieces.

Darren Smith's photo mosaics were some of my favorite works on view. In one, Smith carefully rearranged pieces of photographs of cloud forest so that the resulting piece looked like the woods as seen by a kaleidescope. In another, the Capitol dome and the Washington Monument were arranged so boldly that they seemed to speak to ideas of Washington power.

Also of interest were Mark de Rosa's silkscreen on plastic works. In simple wooden frames, de Rosa layered three silkscreened pieces of plastic on top of one another, leaving about half an inch of space between each layer. This three-dimensional effect was what made the work most appealing and even funny at times. For example, a goldfish from one layer of plastic appeared to be swimming through a man's head that appeared on another layer of plastic).

I could go on and on about other pieces on view -- Candace Keegan's pop-arty paintings of wind-up toys, Amy Lin's dot paintings, Kathryn Cornelius's vanity mirror -- but the exhibition is really worth a visit. It'll be up until August 13.

--Julia

By Julia Beizer  | July 31, 2006; 5:37 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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