Gen Estro 

We didn’t get the memo about all-women group shows popping up like crazy this month. We’re not upset, mind you — we’re really excited about the recent surge of female-only art shows. A great example of the hot flash (so sue us) Five Women and a French Accent at Fishead features a variety of work by five artists ... and a few French titled pieces (hence the accent). The artists experiment in various media — from linocut to charcoal on paper.

Walking into Fishead owner Todd Fichter’s work space, the first piece you’ll notice is Valérie M. Horne’s “Welcome,” a bold Pop-Art-inspired triptych that serves as the focal point, offering a much needed splash of color in the room. It’s a simple setting with an eye-popping twist, due to the three dimensional window-side setting.

It’s not that all of the other pieces in the show are drab … just a few. Laurence M. Denis’s “Clafoutis” (a custard-like French dessert) was the only work of hers that elicited any response from me. At first glance I didn’t recognize a baked goodie in the charcoal-on-paper work; I thought it resembled more of a sea-meets-garden creature. Possibly a string of amoebas found in a clafoutis?

Kelli Woods-Klauber’s insect-themed work provides good balance — with a comic element not provided by the other artists. Her three-piece bug profile catches the viewer off-guard. She adds a hint of femininity by mounting the works in Victorian frames. “Scarabaeidae — Gold” is, dare I say, a gorgeous beetle over a deep-purple background with a nearly matching frame. The beetle nearly pops off the canvas, even though the piece isn’t as detailed as any of the other artists works.

Sonia Garcia Paschall’s work blends her interior design background with a complimentary color scheme, while Pascale Vial’s six-piece collection of linocut prints capture moments of whimsy.

I really enjoy how the women ventured into new territories. With the exception of Denis’s piece “Un Air de Printemps,” none of the works are overtly girlish. They tackle various themes such as outdoor inhabitants, love, and France (well at least French food), while challenging the viewer to find the purpose behind their pieces — Klauber might be lusting over beetles on her off-time, but that’s just a guess.



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