Exhibition: April Showers at Rivet

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Rivet Gallery's April show grew from owner/curator Laura Kuenzli's wish to present a small group of artists working in different media and a thought that's bound to get an "amen" from Central Ohioans: "I'm sure a lot of people are tired of winter."

For "April Showers," Kuenzli invited three artists - including two who are new to the gallery - to conjure a few works around a loose theme of springtime. Similarities between them begin and end with the appearance of umbrellas.

Jeannie Lynn Paske, a Portland, Oregon-based painter making her second appearance at Rivet, gives a red umbrella to a slumped, fuzzy creature that could be Bigfoot's emo little brother in "There Were a Great Many Things Which He Could Not Remember."

In "Tranquil Restoration," a towering banana sprouts fur and examines the flowering tree it dwarfs.

Each of Paske's objects emerges from a mottled watercolor horizon. Their forms betray the influence of "larger Muppets," but there's a surprising delicacy of line and contour given the artist's choice of blunt materials like charcoal and pastel.

Newcomer Cory Benhatzel, who is from upstate New York, uses umbrellas like crossbones beneath a highly detailed animal skull with teary eye sockets in "Tarer Som Regn (Tears Like Rain)."

Each of her acrylic works features a similar skull on an Easter egg-colored background that overtakes the picture frame. They're juxtaposed with birds and flowers for a minimalist view of the full cycle of life.

Jacqueline Myers-Cho, a Los Angeles artist and crafter whom Kuenzli connected with through Flickr, contributes a trio of ladies with stick figures and oversized heads that would create a weight distribution challenge in the real world. One of the three, "Anna," looks like she'd barely have the strength to lift the wide parasol open at her side.

Above the subjects' kewpie doll lips are eyes half-lidded by dreaminess, or in the case of "Sarah," a clear sense of serenity. Sarah connects with nature through ground-sweeping blond braids that grow directly into the trees standing beside her.

Rivet Gallery

Through April 30

1200 N. High St., Short North