MMmmm... Pretty Little Things & Prickly

Story by JR Compton + Kathy DelloStritto
Photographs by JR Compton

Tom Sale - Balancing Act


Pretty Little Things at Gray Matters, through February 23, 2002

and Prickley at Mulcahy Modern

Kathy was unimpressed by the too-cool-for-the-room in-crowd at Mulcahy Modern in Haute Cliff. She wasn't much whelmed by the art either — except Nate Cassie's run run run run run [ above ], two running shoes cast in sugar. We wondered how long it would take the ants to get it.

As Kathy sipped the gourmet, pour-your-own French wine, JR mused about surface, which is what he thinks Mulcahy Modern art is all about.

Whether it's Tom Sime's exquisite flat fronted wax hunks with amazing apparent depth, Celia Eberle's furily monochromatic toys, Rosalyn Bodycomb's luscious skyscapes ( none of which were featured in this show ), Nate Cassie's flat pastels rippled with circular dents, Monica Pierce's vibrant, vivid abstracts, or Jin-Ya Huang's spatial, spectral photo explorations, Cynthia Mulcahy seems drawn to works whose content isn't as important as their succulent, sensual surfaces.

JR's also getting to like Ms. Mulcahy's penchant for naming shows after adjectives. This one was called Prickly.

North of the Trinity, at the grand reopening of Gray Matters, we were warmly greeted by gallery co-owner Vance Wingate. The whole place seemed friendly. It was difficult to see all the Pretty Little Things, there were so many people.

Standing out in any crowd was artist Dottie Love ( formerly Allen ) respendent in red fringe and rhinestones. She told us about her, her husband Tom Sale and his poet father and mother's trip as artists in residence to Newfoundland last summer.

She was deeply affected by the depressed people and economy there. That and subsequent events like 9/11 made her want to turn to love and family and things positive — even decorative.

Dottie Love in red and one of her tiny, found art photographs at Gray Matters' first exhibition in two years


Her found photographs are tiny, often hand-colored, snapshots from the naive, rural past. Our favorite was a little girl dressed as a ballerina.

In the next room, husband Tom Sale's works were mostly teeny little things that make visual puns. Naturally, we were both attracted toUnnatural Attraction ( above )., which was about the size of a breadbox.

Actually, we really liked all of his little three-dimensional fantasies, but JR especially appreciated Balancing Act ( top of page ), and we both liked Creation of Adam. Chocoholic Kathy zeroed in on the dark Chocolate Jonah.

Don't miss the red room.

We're both looking forward to lots more new art at Gray Matters. Two years was a long time to wait between shows at the little gallery on the leading edge of fun art.


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