Blue Star Contemporary Art Center hosts the CAM Kick-Off Party this Thursday, March 3 from 6-9 p.m. Six exhibits will open the same night at the location where CAM began in 1986.
Brian Jobe’s site-specific outdoor installation is joined by an indoor review of recent work. Jobe’s signature effect is his use of zip ties in his works, which are made from refigured found objects. Though humble, everyday material, the zip ties create a pulse-like visual tide that runs through all the artworks.
Cathy Cunningham-Little worked in figuration until several years ago, but now makes light works that explore the mutable experience of sight. Inspired by her father’s stories of visual hallucinations after going blind in 1994, the artist was given even stronger prompting to make these explorations of visual phenomena when her own eyes developed cataracts several years ago. Fortunately, surgery has restored Cunningham-Little’s sight, but her dedication to navigating the worlds of eidetic experience remains. Installed in a darkened gallery, the pieces are backlit, forming imbedded squares or circles of colors that seem to brighten and change size when approached, or soften when seen from a distance. The effects are the results of her experiments in the use of hundreds of filters in the artwork’s screens. This is color-field work. The contrasting hues are chosen for their specific properties as complements — such as red and green — or for the way they play together in contrasting grades of light and dark.
UTSA art professor and department chair Gregory Elliott makes works that are accessible, referencing aesthetic sensibilities he finds common in craft traditions in Latin America, Africa, and among self-taught American artists. This is emphatically handmade work, carved from wood, welded from metal, but though it may look like Outsider art, Elliott is no self-taught artist. He has over 30 years of exhibition credits and three degrees under his belt. Pull Toy for the New Millennium depicts bombs, the center which is the size and design of Little Boy, the code name of the nuclear device dropped on Hiroshima.
Other works, such as Battleship, continue Elliott’s depiction of weapons of destruction made ridiculous, reworked into child’s toys. This is political art in the broadest sense — reassembling fear into flippancy.
Dirk Lange’s figurative drawings and collages display parts of human images with gem-like, ornate surrounds that mix costumery and techniques taken from medical illustrations. There is a fleeting, dream-like quality here, perhaps driven by the figures’ unknowableness — their lack of facial details. Instead, we are offered intricate weaves of hair, the visage presented is ethereal, the face not of a lover, but a vision.
Also on view a short bus trip away is Art From The Land Of The Cougars, a survey show of work from University of Houston’s school of art, and Prime Cuts, a group exhibition of linoleum prints made in Blue Star’s MOSAIC after-school program, curated by Alex Rubio.
CAM Kick-Off Party
Featuring six exhibits:
Brian Jobe: Blank Tides
Cathy Cunningham-Little: Breathing Light
Gregory Elliott: Dam The Torpedoes
Dirk Lange: Slow Gemini
Art From The Land Of The Cougars
Free, 6-9pm Thu, Mar 3
116 Blue Star
Most exhibits on view through May 14, Slow Gemini on view until Mar 26, Prime Cuts on view until Apr 28, Art From The Land Of The Cougars on view till April 23
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