When paying tribute to an inimitable illustrator and rhyming virtuoso responsible for inspiring millions of children to read, there’s plenty to work with. After all, this is the guy who’d tirelessly spin gleeful whimsy and turn the world upside down just for fun.
Not surprisingly, fun is what to expect at Blackbird Studio’s Dr. Seuss, A Tribute, where artists pay respect to the late Theodor Seuss Geisel. Keeping with the tradition of Blackbird’s themed group exhibits—Pee-wee Herman, Brothers Grimm and atomic testing, to name a few—Blackbird owner Gina Quaranto opened the door and let come what may.
Among portraits of the white-haired and bearded Geisel in glasses are renderings and takeoffs from his numerous children’s books, with some artists merging their own world with Seuss’ fictional plane. There’s a surrealist-tinged Alice in Wonderland-style subterranean landscape blended with a Seussian world, a traditional portrait of the Cat in the Hat in a gilded frame and fantastic construction of Lisa Dittrich’s mounted “WhoDeer” head.
Among the nice surprises is Christel Polkowski’s “Happy Fingers Academy,” a painting featuring Bart Collins, the boy character from the Suess-written fantasy film, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.—a commercial and critical failure, but a Seussical project nonetheless.
Dr. Seuss, A Tribute Through January 26. Blackbird Studios, 1551 S. Commerce St., 782-0319.