Kristen Peterson goes gallery hopping

A brief trip through February’s Preview Thursday

An image from Brian Henry’s Machina Ex Machina

It’s Preview Thursday at Danielle Kelly’s exhibit, Be the Man You Want to Marry, and the artist is home sick, leaving us to peruse her large, soft sculptures, crafty and bulging and dangling from armatures wrapped in knitted sleeves. The organic and otherworldly shaped works, made of satin, beaded, textured or lamé fabrics, appear as if excreted from a suburban American dream—1970s suburban homes, romping up and down shag-carpeted stairs, sneaking cigarettes in grassy backyards. I think of Claes Oldenburg’s “Upside Down City,” though Kelly’s creation of a world in which nomadic tribal societies reuse remnants of 20th century consumer culture after technology’s collapse is (to me) more a personal narrative of an era.

At Trifecta Gallery, Brian Henry’s digital works Machina Ex Machina transform on different screens according to simple programming. Guests snatch up one-of-a-kind prints and gaze at vivid colors and alternating geometric shapes while others giggle about that crazy Lola, a darling miscreant, fond of glitter, nudity and property damage. She’s holding court in Jen Henry’s Oh Lola, Not Again in Trifecta’s nook.

Across the street in Brett Wesley Gallery’s Life and Times exhibit, two photographers present different eras, lands and contrasting styles. Diane Bush’s candid black-and-white images offer intimate and clever vignettes of life in gray 1970s English middle class. Curtis Walker shows glamorous youth in daytime settings, shot with multidimensional light sources, colors that pop and nightclub sensibilities, influenced by his time growing up in Las Vegas.

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