Arts exhibition preview: “Other Pirate Adventures” features semblances of zombie pirates

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From the January 16, 2014 edition

Angela Meleca Gallery has been open since September, and has already presented a couple of wildly unconventional and captivating exhibits.

The latest, “Other Pirate Adventures” by New York-based artist Dara Engler, is no exception. For her first solo exhibition in Ohio, Engler presents her recent work, portraying a sedentary, zombie-like female figure as it evolves into a more alert and ornery pirate-like character.

The female form conceptualized using zombie-turned-pirate aesthetics? Sounds delightfully eerie.

The series began as figures with emotionless, sluggish, even jaundiced individual portraits that lack muscle tone and defy anatomy, and became a more narrative collection of the figures transforming into energetic states, often scowling and/or struggling against their environs.

Engler’s series is inspired by the years she spent in Louisiana and Karen Russell’s collection of short stories “St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves.”

Those stories often take place near swamps and include untamed animals that are also an element of the paintings. An artist reception takes place from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16.