Three and a half stars
Dean Johnson Gallery
Whimsical and charming, Transition offers an interesting twist on the childhood game of telephone. A work of art and its title originates with one artist, and then is passed on to another artist. From this original work, the next artist draws inspiration, but creates a new work of his or her own — and so on and so on. The original title of the work remains the same, but content, color and style change with each transition. Collectively, five artists known as the Garage Art Society participated in this chain-game. Nowhere is the transformation more evident than in “Chalk Birds.” Artist Hadley Kelly starts things off with a mixed media piece resembling a small, loosely sketched chalkboard. On the board are pieces of bird anatomy. Like an exercise in abstraction, the bird’s parts are deconstructed to their most essential elements — a roughly sketched beak, a feather pattern, an eye and a wing, etc. The bird parts are stylized and saturated in a muted watercolor palette. Next is James Kelly’s interpretation of the original — the chalk medium is carried on in Kelly’s work as he embraces the chalk with loose, sketchy strokes. Kelly’s work is then passed on to Jenny Elkins. She creates a shadow box, which captures some of the original bird inspiration. The artist’s style transforms the work. And so on and so on … Through April 24; 317-634-8020.