Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Exhibits: Mainsite's Emergent Artist show

Last Friday, I made the short trip down to Norman to see the annual Emergent Artist show at Mainsite Contemporary Art Gallery. This year, the exhibition featured four artists: Kolbe Roper, Yu Takebe, Jerrod Smith and Dylan Bradway. I had been looking forward to the show since I am familiar with Kolbe, Jerrod and Dylan's work and always enjoy seeing what they are working on.

Kolbe Roper developed a strong, cohesive body of work for the show. He had several large pieces that were screenprints on a surface made of woven strips of paper from books. Many of the pieces featured portraits of people who I assumed to be friends and/or family of the artist.

Dylan Bradway created a series of paintings featuring a character common to his work. Dylan's pieces had a good sense of humor about them and I saw several visitors smile as they rounded the corner to see them. Closer inspection of these paintings reveals intricate line work and hidden details that I would imagine took many hours to complete. This work seems to be taking Dylan into a new direction and I'm curious to see where it will go.

Jerrod Smith exhibited a body of work that seemed to further what I would call his signature style of combining multiple elements into compositions that have a somewhat vintage reminescent feel. He also included some pieces with three-dimensional elements including cast lead and glass.

Yu Takebe was the one artist whose work I was previously unfamiliar with. These small paintings were squares of wood, washed with color in the background, layered with very inctricate ink drawings. The drawings combine botanical inspired elements to form shapes that hover above their colorful backdrops. These small works are obviously time intensive to create but manage to keep a sense of organic growth.

This exhibition is certainly worth a visit during its run through January 31.

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