Review: East Side Story at Harrison Center 

click to enlarge Jonathan Frey, "Self-Portrait - Man Taking Break"
  • Jonathan Frey, "Self-Portrait - Man Taking Break"

City Gallery and Gallery Annex at the Harrison Center for the Arts; through Jan. 27

The innovative City Gallery, which houses material encouraging people to consider living in the donut neighborhoods surrounding downtown Indy, was too big to contain all the work by Eastside residents included in East Side Story; as a result, work by 20 residents spilled over into the narrow hallways of the Gallery Annex. The work actually in the gallery—Brent Aldrich’s "Washington Street Panorama," a collection of building facades rendered in ink and charcoal on repurposed material— failed to connect. The line drawing, in ink, seemed to fade into the repurposed vinyl siding that Aldrich used as a canvas. (That said, it was drawn competently enough, and Aldrich deserves credit for using material rescued from Near Eastside renovations.)

Meanwhile, the Gallery Annex was full of impressive work, including urban-themed self-portrait photography of Jonathan D. Frey reminiscent of film noir movie stills and a surreal digital media landscape by Wug Laku, “Enter Exit.”, which might’ve reminded you of the folding cityscape scene in the film Inception. An abstract drawing in graphite and acrylic entitled “Loose Interpretation,” by Stan Blevins, also caught my attention. It’s not difficult, of course, to get to the Gallery Annex to see this work. But if I were curator, I’d want to get the more engaging art into the prime venue.

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Dan Grossman

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