Art in the Funk-town
Hood Tour 2005
Story + Photos by J R Compton with Comments by Anna Palmer
Laura Abrams - Silliscope, 2003, brass and rubber - 9 x 8 x 8 inches
When we parked across the street in the busy little townish squish of stores, I knew this space was just the sort of sleazy little, low-rent place where real artists could make real art. And we were pleasantly impressed with the breadth and depth of the work of Laura Abrams
We didn't even want to go in the room with The Sunshine Man's gaudy, uh... stuff. We each started to, stopped in our tracks, shuddered, then tracked back to Laura Abram's amazing metal pieces scattered through the spacious but busy storefront.
Fallen Angel among Laura Abrams' art in potentia
Okay, here's another artist I shoulda put into DARts' unfortunately now defuncted Artists Worth Watching pages. Laura's work is diverse, yet has a certain, Body of Work similarity. It has identifiable style and quality, is quirky and fun, but also serious.
Laura Abrams - Tripod, 2004, bronze, 10 x 10 x 10 inches
She's the only artist on today's tour I wouldn't' be at all surprised to find soon associated with a serious gallery, here or in some bigger burb.
and Work In
Driving away from that little strip of storefronts Anna gleefully pointed out yet another intriguing visual display of the Grove Visual Phenomena, out across the wide Military Parkway to Lorena's Clothes garnering attention to an even funkier storefront.
More colorful Grove culture at Lorena's Clothes
Our last stop was far from The Hood, at the studios of Elizabeth Zaremba and Michael van Enter, in a light industrial office w/warehouse building in a run-downish neighborhood of wood frame homes and delayed new construction, too close to a major thoroughfare (I-30 E).
A real studio, no doubt.
Inside, we shared the last brownie and heard the rich somber strains of Erik Satie — tasty highlights. Neither of us dared dip the bright colored miniature peppers. What seemed smallish behind its big steel fence out front, proved bright and cavernous in back. Lots of space for 2- and 3-D art.
Enter's sculptures seemed derivative, and his paintings anatomically absurd, their deep-seated purpose to open and expose female genitalia, all luridly arching, stretching and spreading.
Zaremba's work was, at best, gentle, soft and textural, and at worst, lepidopteran.
"H.R. Giger meets The Butterflies."
But that's too glib. Enter's sculptured figures are line and shaped drawings brought, sometimes elegantly, into an elusive third dimension — like one long, dark metal line bent, warped and woofed into itself.
Badly shown in his busy studio, but popular when the elements line up in space, not so many other lines competing, and remarkable in the right light.
Michael van Enter sculpture with shadow
I'm sorry we missed B&A Glass. I love translucent color and would like to have made all eight stops on this quirky little art tour of Grove texture — including work by Brad Abrams, Deanne Eskeridge and Members of the OCA (Oak Cliff Artisans), but the map was just too confusing.
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counter installed February 5 2006