Gallery Hop preview: Three exhibits not to miss

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From the February 27, 2014 edition

The Short North mural project “Viewpoints” is a wonderful way to experience public art, but there are some great exhibits opening indoors as well. The “Defining Presence” reception is Friday and “White Lines” and “Secrets of the Cosmos” are Saturday. Check the websites for details.

“White Lines”

This is a case where the picture above says it all — Pee Wee! All right, there’s much more behind Juan Lara III’s first solo exhibit, “White Lines” at Rivet Gallery, but his Pee Wee piece deserves credit for being absolutely awesome.

Lara is an ’80s kid — like the coolest of us — and thought it was the perfect inspiration for this exhibit.

“I love the ’80s. I was a kid in the ’80s, and I think all that magic made me who I am,” Lara said.

That magic has resulted in a technique that’s as splendid as the choice of theme for “White Lines.” Lara covers wood canvases with blackboard paint and goes to work on ’80s icons first with white outlines, and then the color pops.

“Everything starts, on these pieces, with white lines as reference points it goes with the whole motif of chalkboard, blackboard. And then anything else, [what] anyone else wants to think of when they hear white lines from the ’80s, that’s on them,” Lara said with a chuckle.

So if you’re not a Pee Wee fanatic — uh, why?! — don’t worry, he’ll have a dozen-plus more ’80s-inspired chalk works on display for March. Expect fantastic portraits of Christopher Walken, Raphael (the Ninja Turtle, not the painter), RoboCop, etc.

Rivet Gallery

March 1-31

1200 N. High St., Short North

614-294-8697

rivetgallery.com

“Secrets of the Cosmos”

It’s not often that high school artists are exhibiting in the Short North, so it’s cool that ROY G BIV is engaging with the Project Pivot collective, a group of high school students creating “a participatory, mythical environment with art installations, live performances, recorded soundscapes and sculptures, both strange and beautiful,” according to the press release. The exhibit’s title refers to the group’s aim of breaking everyday routines and expanding consciousness.

ROY G BIV Gallery

March 1-29

997 N. High St., Short North

614-297-7694

roygbivgallery.org

“Defining Presence”

Two emerging painters, Indonesian artist Winnie Sidharta Ambron based in Columbus and Rob Anderson from Cincinnati, present an exhibit worth seeing. Both explore the human form; Ambron with an abstract, densely saturated exploration and Anderson by examining the way a figure moves within an interior space. The two artists’ works serve as complementary, yet distinctly impressive, pairing.

Brandt-Roberts Galleries

Feb. 28-March 21

642 N. High St., Short North

614-223-1655

brandtrobertsgalleries.com