It's funny how our perception of the world can be altered completely when the right idea comes along. That's one of the great things about Gallery Hop. Friday evening's exhibitions offer another way to look at a problem or a new vantage point to understand the world.
Three of Friday's shows address common topics of contemporary concern: nature, aging and religion. By considering another's perspective, you might find your own influenced to change.
Three artists with Lexington roots — Marco Logsdon, Renee Shaw and Michael Wayne — offer varying interpretations of humanity's interaction with nature at M.S. Rezny Studio/Gallery. By preserving varying elements of our surroundings through art, they comment on social notions of what is expected and accepted as natural.
Logsdon, in his mixed-media paintings, presents a bleak, apocalyptic landscape composed of tar, oil and beeswax.
"I use tar at the bottom to focus on a petroleum base, what our landscape could become in our obsession for taking minerals from the earth," Logsdon says. "It's bleak, but there's beauty in the absence of man."
Through video and found-object sculpture, Shaw also incorporates man-made materials in her multimedia artwork. Concentrating on the idea of preservation, she collects and preserves in canning jars a variety of things natural and man-made, including plastic figures, silk flowers and gum tree pods. With the objects suspended in vegetable oil, the works act as specimen jars, prompting a recognition of both the acceptance of these objects in our world and the deviant status that some of these objects hold in nature.
Wayne's landscape photo graphs are intentionally blurred, capturing his photographic method of shooting sunsets from a moving vehicle as well as the momentary nature of time.
"His work captures the second, how fast everything passes," Logsdon says.
By framing his photographs without glass, Wayne further prompts a re-engagement of the viewer in a moment that is now not forgotten.
'Aging Through a Physician's Lens'
At the Lexington Public Library, a series of photos taken by Dr. Jeffrey M. Levine, past president of the New York City Metropolitan Area Geriatric Society, reminds us all of the inevitability of aging.
More documentary portraits than medical documentation, the photographs show New York nursing home residents and elderly people at home across the country and in Mexico and Japan.
The exhibit declares itself to be a propagation for awareness regarding the critical shortage of professional care-givers for the elderly — and is thus divided into categories including Spirituality, Social Networks and Self-Expression. It also called to my mind a song in my "best of the '90s" playlist: Help the Aged by the British band Pulp.
The joie de vivre evident in Betty, a former resident of New Orleans, and Julio, a resident of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, reminds our age-obsessed society that one day we'll be older too, and our enjoyment of life can last as long as we do.
In Gallerie Soleil's exhibit SUPERBIBLE, the irreverent iconoclastic drawings of Lexington artist Kevin Clapp return to Gallery Hop, and he directs his biting social commentary at religious symbolism.
Mixing pop culture, historical references and apocalyptic imagery with an irascible sense of humor, Clapp describes his work as a light-hearted look at fundamentalism.
With titles like Three Cheers for Armageddon, the show might not change your religious outlook dramatically, but it's startling and fun.