For its inaugural exhibition last year, Gallery Imperato put on a strong two-man show featuring artists who had studied under renowned Baltimore painter Grace Hartigan at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
For a follow-up, gallery director Jordan Faye Block has put together an intriguing group show, Fantastic Flights, a concoction of images celebrating the exhilaration of those who in one way or another cast off the surly bonds of Earth.
Though the flying in this show is mostly metaphorical, the artists broach the theme in ways so varied and unexpected that most viewers will have no trouble relating image to idea.
Jarrett M. Davis' painting, Green Pride, for example, depicts a bird flying through gothic ruins painted a ghostly green against a confused background of thick black smoke and explosions that evoke the wanton destruction of World War II -- perhaps a reference to the long-suffering dove of peace?
Kandice Levero's clever sculpture in the shape of a Ferris-wheel chair is made of steel and auto body paint, velvet and porcelain. Titled With Plenty of Money & You, it's accompanied by tape-recorded carousel music that provides sound for the installation.
"In Greek, phantastikos means `able to create mental images,'" says Block. "In this small group of seven artists, it describes their ability to take these mental images and translate them into their medium of choice, be it oil on canvas, steel and velvet or silver gelatin on paper."
The show also includes works by Amparo Carvajal-Hufschmid, Suzanne M. Martucci, Thomas Joseph Smith, Brent A. Web and Laura Vernon-Russell.
"Fantastic Flights" runs through Feb. 27. The gallery is at 921 E. Fort Ave., Suite 120, in Locust Point. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 443-257-4166
For more arts events, see Page 40.