Last Friday, a pre-rehabbed house in Franklinton held an all-too-brief, one-day-only reception/art gallery installation viewing for "Rooms to Let". Did you miss it? Well, lucky you, you undeserving slacker: With Franklinton's Go West community block party coming up this weekend, they've decided to open up the house to visitors again. I highly recommend you go.
First you'll encounter a stunner of an oddly undulating, floor-to-ceiling plaster sculpture by Candace Black-Housh; its scale and skewed perspective clue you in to the installation's intent -- to upend conventional views of the house as home, or as the artists' mission statement says: "to strip away the layers of design, charm, and purpose in an attempt to forge a new understanding of a dwelling as a window to an era."
Here's the kitchen, sealed off by a felt "door" with a diamond-shaped window to peer into.
Not pictured: Matt Flegle's "down the rabbit hole" fireplace -- a dark and sooty venture that requires participants to momentarily crawl on their hands and knees (not for the claustrophobic or white-clad). This was disorienting (as all the best art is) but paid off with an epiphanic and space-twisting camera obscura projection of a tree in the front yard.
Up a green stairway with a giggly, trompe l'oeil banister and toys, is my friend (and great local artist) Mary Jo Bole's bathroom. More accurately, it's a room that was once a bathroom but is now riffing on things you'd see in a bathroom (toilet paper cast in resin and emitting an ethereal amber glow). There's also enough toilet/bathroom information to keep you occupied in there for a less-than-healthy length of time. Love it!
I also absolutely loved Melissa Vogley Woods' trippy bedroom. Staring intensely at damaged walls causes wild images to emerge.
Undine Brod's playful purple stripe proliferation in the tiny closet was taken to a super-fun Yayoi Kusama (one of my favorite '60s artists) extreme. Figurines: painted. Plants: painted. Photo of grandparents: painted. And who knew there were that many different purple-striped shirts out there?
Elizabeth Gerdeman brought the outdoors indoors to dramatic and beautiful effect.
From this near-downtown perch, my band of ardent art-seekers and I (including G.A., whose great idea this next stop was) launched headfirst into M's fantastic half-priced sushi Friday happy hour.
Spicy Tuna, Spicy Scallop and Dragon rolls ($4-7)
Surf-N-Turf, an inspired coupling of carpaccio and tempura shrimp, was a showstopper.
(Or was this nutty guy the real showstopper?)
We adjourned to the Jury Room for even more Downtown fun -- to protect the innocent, no photos were taken at this point, but I can say we loved the new Cauliflower Fritters and I'm a huge fan of the new Minnehaha (saying it AND drinking it) -- a refreshing and strong mix of Tanqueray Ten, OJ, sweet + dry vermouths + bitters.
But neither the good times nor the evening ended there! After a brief layover at the homestead (if Flo doesn't get her daily quota of 4,000 pets, she starts pouting), I geared up for a rare-for-me third act: The Black Swans' CD release show at Rumba Cafe. Live, Jerry and company gave thrilling dimension to the moving, lovely and at-times-intense songs on their new album, "Don't Blame the Stars." A real treat and a fitting end to a busy, late, fun, Columbus-style Friday night.