Though it's the time of year for uneven group exhibitions, there's some satisfying work at Leedy Voulkos.

Group Think 

Though it's the time of year for uneven group exhibitions, there's some satisfying work at Leedy Voulkos.

While I don't want to see summer come to a close, I'll be glad to move beyond the summer group exhibition. Leedy Voulkos Art Center is no exception to the rule of summer, offering Seasons, a group exhibition that dominates most of the gigantic space. Like most of these kinds of shows, this one is a wildly uneven smorgasbord of sculpture, installation, painting and drawing. I'm not saying that you shouldn't see it, but you should know that a lot of the work is in way over its head, standing out for what it lacks rather than for what it offers.

Local sculptor and entrepreneur Stretch shows two of his glass-and-stainless-steel sculptures. One of them, Spring Float, satisfies with its elegance and balance (and stands in contrast to the other squat and compact sculpture installed on an overly tall pedestal). In Spring Float, Stretch has altered his standard repertoire of material — glass and stainless steel — by adding grass and paint. Large tufts of ornamental grass emerge from the red trough of an attenuated crescent; the grass and the red paint humanize, but don't detract from, the industrial and symmetrical aspects that identify Stretch's sculptures.

Several members of the Swangstu family show their work here. Holly Swangstu continues to examine fabric as paint. The velvety and soft aspect of her hand-colored textile surfaces, partially created by the thin strips of fabric she layers on and next to each other, creates a painterly effect, while the soft frayed edges give depth to the surface. Unfortunately, these works can be underserved by the framing — more specifically, the abrupt meeting of the fabric with the wood frame's edge — that tends to make the fabric look crafty when Swangstu's work is not about craft. Eric Swangstu's untitled paintings show an elegant handling of paint. These strangely compelling paintings of orbs — and nothing else — are exercises in light, shadow and shading. Janel Swangstu's untitled photograms are grids of colored squares. Each square suggests a liquidy presence, as if colored water were compressed under a slide. That laboratory effect provides the photograms with another visual and conceptual dimension.

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