Artbeat

"Doing Business As..."

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"Doing Business As...," on display through February 21 at Gallery Six, Broward County Main Library, Sixth Floor, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-357-7444.

"Doing Business As...," now at the Broward County Main Library's Gallery Six, might as well be called "Business as Usual..." That's how tame much of the art is. Fortunately, there are some exceptions. Included in this uneven mix are nearly a dozen South Florida artists identified as graduates of the Artist as Entrepreneur Institute, whatever that is. At any rate, it turns out to be a flimsy common denominator to hang a group exhibition on. The show is curated by LeeAnna Yater, Virginia Fifield, and Jacklyn Laflamme, all of whom are artists whose work is featured in the exhibit, which seems a little self-serving. Laflamme's psychedelia seems nothing if not strained. But let's focus on the positive. Yater's colorful fiber/appliqué works display a flair for eye-catching composition, and Fifield's large charcoals of animals (dogs, horses, birds) demonstrate a solid knack for realism. Gerard Delany gets surprising mileage out of cutout words and logos in such works as Art and Product, just as the disarmingly simple abstract imagery in Michele Guarino's photography is unexpectedly evocative. Working primarily with clay forms derived from female fashion, Steven Sylvester creates wall-mounted works that are whimsical and elegant (his Wardrobe Malfunction is a wickedly deadpan takeoff on a notorious Janet Jackson getup). And Rod Appleton's sculptural installation of concrete forms, The Yard, is oddly appealing, while his grid-based abstracts incorporating such diverse materials as beeswax, sand, salt, rust, glass beads, copper, and acrylic are well-balanced and harmonious — he has a great feel for how the raw materials of his art work together that's the mark of an artist who relies on his instincts.

 
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