Artbeat

Capsule reviews of current area art exhibitions.

More than a view through children's eyes, the photographs on display as part of Palm Beach Photographic Center's "Picture My World" program offer a look at our community — both the people and the places. The exhibit is the result of the program's goal to use photography and digital imaging as means to develop self-esteem, non-violent expression, responsibility, and community in underprivileged and at-risk youth. For student photography, the exhibit is a strong one, particularly the "An All-American Town: Our Lake Worth" portion, where kids of Guatemalan Maya parents visually explore the neighborhood. The kids chose eclectic subjects for their photos. Of course, there are family members, but there are also shots of strangers: a man getting his hair cut at the vintage barber shop, a postman in front of the chocolate shop, ROTC members marching in a parade, an elderly couple holding hands ankle deep in the surf. Then there are the series like Madonna busts on an antique store shelf and a display of burritos for sale at a local market. Some kids even successfully experiment with foreground elements and reflected images. Deserving special note are the images of 10-year old Omar Andres, who has a natural talent for the art. In one photo, he captures the sun spilling through palm branches, the light shooting from the center so that its beams resemble the blades of the palms. In another, he shoots the interior of a market through its window so that the foreground elements become abstract, geometric squares. (Through August 5 at Palm Beach Photographic Centre, 555 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-276-9797.)

A golden Buddha reverently holds a giant phallus before him like a censer of incense. It's the central image of Los Angeles artist Jamie Adams' triptych (each a 12-inch encaustic oil on linen) Big Sur. With a playful juxtaposition, Adams' work not only holds the penis in high regard but puts it at the center of things — the flanking images are a seascape and skyscape, to the left and right, respectively. The first in a series of three summer exhibitions, Mulry Fine Art presents "A Group Show of Landscapes" featuring painting, sculpture, and photography from the gallery's stable of artists. For the show, gallery directors — sisters Fecia and Meghan Mulry — have interpreted the landscape theme as creatively as the artists have rendered them, so don't expect to see a bunch of realistic fields and meadows. Even the photographs have a painterly quality to them. Wheaton Mahoney's Sweet Pea, for instance, a giant, digitally manipulated close-up of a white-and-pink flower, is reminiscent of one of Georgia O'Keeffe's blossoms. Likewise, Celia Pearson's photographs capture their subjects in larger-than-life close-ups; however, the artist's method is a traditional one as she explores light and depth within the image as they capture their subjects: Stem Leaf and Bromeliad. Others, like Robin Kahn's "State of the Art" series, take greater liberty with the theme. The New York artist uses a found image (perhaps originally a woodcut or linocut) of a forest-lined river as the backdrop for her cartoon of a woman balancing a man overhead with one arm. The cartoon woman performs a tight-wire act on a piece of string laid across the picture. These works (identical except for the positioning of the string and cartoons) focus more on female roles than they do on nature. Also on display are works by Isabel Bigelow (paintings and monoprints), Peter Burega (abstract paintings), Luis Castro (wood and stone sculpture), Cara Enteles (multimedia), and Marc Leuders (photography). (Through June 30 at Mulry Fine Art, 3300 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach. Call 561-228-1006.)

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