Exhibit: Outside the Transmogrifier

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

An improvised jam of textures and shiny tones fills Clayspace Gallery 831 this month, in the second half of a two-part collaboration between painter Juan Carrera and ceramic artist and instructor Todd Hickerson.

About this time last year, Carrera and Hickerson teamed up for their first two-man show, "Outside the Box." "Outside the Transmogrifier" offers new works from both, as well as a title inspired by a cardboard box in the "Calvin & Hobbes" comic strip with the imaginary power to transform whatever goes inside.

Hickerson's collection of functional ceramic boxes is so fresh, most were still warm from the kiln on opening night. In each piece, he tries out different glaze effects and textures created entirely with objects found at his job as a janitor at an elementary school.

"I try not to ever do the same effect twice," Hickerson said. "It's the experimental process that I enjoy."

His works combine a shoeprint with a gorgeous crackle effect, a section of metal grill with a fiery shade of orange, or in the case of "Piss Pot," a urinal block with deep auburn and black. In some works, Hickerson's finds are incorporated into the piece or hidden inside the box; make of them what you will.

Carrera picks up on Hickerson's textural experiments in the series "Uselessly Idiosyncratic Title." Each canvas holds an abstract expressionist collection of drips, spatters, drags and swirls, thickly applied over translucent fields of color.

The metallic sheen and anything-goes approach Hickerson displays in his glazing is reflected in Carrera's color usage, which covers the spectrum from black to DayGlo. Bright sea colors fill one work; thick reds and gold cover another.

In naming the series, Carrera explained, "It was brought to my attention that my titles were 'uselessly idiosyncratic.' It was such a funny thing, I decided to use it."

Outside the Transmogrifier

Through March 31

Clayspace Gallery 831

831 S. Front St., Brewery District