Three and a half stars
Big Car Gallery, Suite 4
Debbie Reichard’s sensitivity to materials and processes and her abilities to reference industrial versus traditional practices makes Warm an intriguing exhibition. Reichard, who recently moved back to New Jersey after spending several years in Indianapolis, shows her range in working with fiber art, printmaking and sculptural media. The exhibition’s title work is a rectangular, baby blue, latch hook wall hanging with black patterning that first appears to be a folk art design. Upon taking a step back, the pattern is seen as a replica of a sheet of Dow blue insulation foam — a clever recreation of a manufactured product using a down-home, crafty method. Several quirky “stones” on plywood pedestals invite viewer participation: “Warming” radiates heat, and Reichard reveals that a crock pot sits inside the sculpture. A series of brown linen banners are filled with white text gathered from e-mail subject lines in spam messages, such as “Read Carefully and Reply Urgently” and “Re: Good News Dear Friend.” The electronic slogans are printed using a hands-on, traditional batik process, and the brown dye made from black walnuts gathered from Reichard’s yard. “Mine Now,” a wall hanging of two navy blue Northwest airlines blankets with Reichard’s white screenprinted bandana patterning, made me want to wrap both my head and body into the work. They had Reichard’s human touch, and how can that not be warming? Through Oct. 25; 317-450-6630, www.bigcar.org.