Artbeat

Capsule reviews of current area art exhibitions.

Amid warehouses in an industrial section of Boynton Beach is a special art gallery, the likes of which is rarely seen in Palm Beach County. The Neighborhood Gallery is heralded by a Technicolor mailbox bearing its address and shares a parking lot with several broken construction vehicles. It's also a showcase for 30 artists. Not the overly hip kind, but the true-love, hard-working, not necessarily hugely famous kind. And the brand-new kind. Take Tessa McGrow, an Atlantic High School senior waiting on acceptance to New York's elite Cooper Union art school but having her first professional show. Working primarily in pastels on foam core, Tessa displays a talent beyond her 17 years. Her depicted youths, crouching, looking into the distance, appear to be checking out the dangers lurking somewhere on the periphery. The colors and the moods are dark, the figures slightly abstracted and out of proportion, recalling that teenage panic we're all familiar with. Sharing the show is Haley Ahokas, another high schooler from Raleigh, North Carolina. Working mostly in pen and ink, she displays similar maturity and gravity. Regular gallery exhibitors, painters Kathy Henner and Stan Sternback, and New York sculptor Ralph Papa also display work in the outdoor gallery space, consisting of white half-walls in the shadow of the construction implements. (Through February 9 at the Neighborhood Gallery, 422 W. Industrial Ave., Boynton Beach. Call 561-736-8181.) -- Megan KennyNow Showing

There's fullness and richness (perhaps even too much) to "I Feel Mysterious Today,"the group show now at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art in Lake Worth. Twenty-six artists from nearly a dozen countries are represented in roughly 70 works, most created since the turn of the century, more than half by men. Guest curator Dominic Molon of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago interprets the term mysterious generously and characterizes the art as "presenting us with fantastic or supernatural imagery, peculiar everyday situations, and radically transformed objects and images." Roe Ethridge's big color photos, for example, turn lowly pigeons into creatures of great grace and beauty. And Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt's Enchanted Forest is an inspired installation of dozens, maybe even hundreds, of brightly colored plastic streamers. (On display through March 27 at PBICA, 601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth, 561-582-0006.)

When the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach opened its new wing two years ago, it added 14 galleries with more than 12,000 square feet of exhibition space. Much of it is devoted to the museum's justly acclaimed collections of Chinese art and pre-1870 European art, as well as a splashy ceiling installation by glass master Dale Chihuly. What often goes unmentioned is that the expansion also lets the Norton showcase more of its contemporary collection. The wing's first-floor galleries feature nearly a dozen pieces worth viewing. But it's the wing's largest gallery that features the most imposing works: a pair of mixed-media pieces by Richard Long. In August 2004, the artist worked directly on an expanse of blackened wall using clay and water to create the abstract Seminole. For the 2002 piece Mohawk, Long challenges our notions of what constitutes a landscape by covering most of the gallery's floor space with a vast oval-shaped installation that suggests a stream of smooth gray Mexican river rocks flowing through chunks of white marble. (On display through fall 2005 at the Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, 561-832-5196.)

 
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