"Mixed Media," the show at Loyola College's art gallery through Feb. 8, is a group show selected by gallery director Mary Jacque Benner to feature work in a wide variety of media. It includes everything from painting and drawing to monotype and monoprint to clay, bronze and neon to collaborations between artists and writers.
Such an approach might have produced a horrendous mishmash, but in this case the selections for the most part are good and the result is an array of works that cohabit fairly agreeably.
The sculpture is particularly strong. The temptation with a show such as this is to have a couple of pieces of sculpture and let it go at that, because sculpture can be difficult to cart around. But there are about a dozen pieces of sculpture here, and the variety makes for some intriguing juxtapositions. Robert Copskey's "Paula," a traditional bronze head, stands near Rodney Carroll's "My Cross to Bear," its wooden and aluminum crosses referring both to Christianity and to the relationships between traditional and modern art.
Nearby are Patrick Caughey's austerely handsome raku-fired clay wall piece, "Crucis," and Doug Baldwin's funny terra cotta "The Great Duck School of Sculpture"; this miniature building filled with little ducks working on all kinds of sculpture from "Performance" to "Minimalist" has been seen before, but it never fails to raise a smile.
Of the two works employing neon, Quentin Moseley's "Two Together," with its smooth facades and deco-looking angles, is as "cool" as David Yocum's "Turns and Teases" -- with its scrunched up clay forms -- is "hot." Paul Glasgow's "Stele XXXI," a semi-architectural structure in wood, has a quiet dignity. Patrick F. McGuire's "The Letter E" is a beguiling carving in wood based on Irish Celtic culture. Nicole Fall's painted steel "Embrace" looks like some prehistoric, multilegged creature trying to pull itself together -- it's creepy and funny at the same time.
Among works that are not primarily sculptural, Barry Nemett's "An Owl's Tale," done in collaboration with Richard Kalter, Laini Nemett and Adam Nemett, is an attractive blend of painting and words that evokes thoughts of nature and romance. Joe Giordano's "Dreams of Snow," in collaboration with a poem by Joe Cardarelli, evokes nostalgia for one's own childhood. Pamela Phillips' "Red Bartlett Pear" has a commanding presence, thanks to its size and its color.
Gallery hours are Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Mondays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.