Betty Scarpino: On and Off the Wall 

Four stars

In her woodcut prints and wood sculpture, Betty Scarpino explores personal subject matter in a style that echoes the Native American woodworking culture of the Pacific Northwest. Her pedestal and wall-hanging pieces, many of which are both turned and hand-worked, have a curvilinear shapeliness. Sometimes that shapeliness mimics the human form, albeit in an abstract way. In the pedestal piece “Transition Together,” two elegant plates of curved, unvarnished maple rise from a single base. A number of other pieces, such as “Elements of Temptation,” hint at a theme of fertility by incorporating painted wooden eggs.  In Scarpino’s woodcut prints, the imprints of natural wood grain patterns complement abstract designs that have both playfulness and accessibility. Take, for example, “Familiar Strangers,” where you might link the title to the relationship between woodcutting and woodcut prints and/or to a more personal theme. Scarpino’s artistic language, in this and in her other works, is rooted in her skillful rendering of organic media. Through Nov 29; 317-356-3776, www.avframinggallery.com.

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