A five star review for sculptor Ben Johnson 

5 stars

Gallery 924 at the Arts Council. An auspicious alignment of "firsts" transpired as the Arts Council of Indianapolis unveiled Gallery 924, a sleek yet rustic new fine arts exhibition space located at 924 N. Pennsylvania St. The inaugural exhibition is the first major Indiana show by contemporary glass artist Ben Johnson, a Cicero native who is the first MFA student at Ball State's premier Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass. The result of these relationships is a top-rate exhibition and gallery venue. The space is dedicated to featuring Central Indiana professional artists each month, explained Dave Lawrence, Arts Council President and CEO. "This is really a space that came out from what we were hearing from artists – that they really wanted a place to exhibit and sell their work." Johnson has created a visually seductive exhibition of organic sculptures, vessels and wall works that abstractly explore decay and erosion, cause and effect and interconnection themes. Multilayered matte surfaces may challenge viewers' notions of what is possible with glass. Johnson builds works with layers of blown glass that are then covered in a pattern that is perfected after hours of sandblasting before works are acid etched. A sculpture of tormented beauty, "Rubicund Host" has a candy red, opaque surface with raised patterns and two opposing bulbous ends sharing a central artery. Each end is sliced open to reveal interior cavities invaded with proliferating white circular, tubular forms. Sunny yellow and white, the hexagon patterned vessel, "Where is the Honey?" stands over two feet tall and is both playful and strikingly sophisticated. Through Oct. 29; 631-3301; gallery924@indyarts.org.


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