Review: Erin K. Drew at City Gallery 

click to enlarge Erin K. Drew, "24/7 (Rough Morning)"
  • Erin K. Drew, "24/7 (Rough Morning)"

“My experience of a lot of stuff is regional, rejecting this omniscient view.” That's Erin K. Drew on her mixed media work, which draws on the neon signage and retro building facades found everywhere in Fountain Square. Drew, who knows the area as well as anyone, is aware of a certain tension that exists between longtime residents and partygoers. In her work, she doesn’t take sides between the two factions — residents enjoy the nightlife too, after all — and it could be that she’s channeling both points of view to create her whimsical art.

Drew uses stylized fonts to create mock signs — hinting at social commentary — that you would never find on a Fountain Square storefront. Her piece reading “Hood Economy” is but one example. The centerpiece of this exhibition is a faux brick wall against which you see four neon sign-like constructions, one of which, “24/7 (Rough Morning),” reads RoughM on one side and Ornin' on the other, as if predicting a coming hangover (and the corresponding frazzled mental state).

There’s also whimsy also in her Amish-inspired hex sign “Her Sign to Guard Against Ugly living” that incorporates hamburger motifs, while her sign reading simply “Regionalism” telegraphs a certain modesty about her artistic goals. That is, her art isn’t going to change the world, but it certainly might make you see Fountain Square in a different light — and make you laugh a little. Through March 31 at the City Gallery at the Harrison Center for the Arts.

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