Preview: February Gallery Hop

Jackie Mantey, Columbus Alive

As far as insiders in outsider art go, Sanford L. Smith & Associates is a gatekeeper. Exciting then that the group, which hosts the prestigious Outsider Art Fair in New York, recognized local artist Amber Groome as a "best of show" during the fair last week.

"I am in tears!" Groome said in an email when she heard the news.

Groome's art, on view throughout February at Lindsay Gallery, is polymer clay dolls dressed, altered and placed in unsettling poses. Making the dolls is "a catharsis for me," Groome said. "An act of purging." They represent Groome dealing with bipolar disorder.

Recurring items amid her dolls' boxes symbolize different parts of her personal struggle - doilies and lace for femininity, exposed hearts for vulnerability, antlers for dreams, eggs for birth and rebirth - but Groome hopes her art speaks to more than just her own situation.

"There is pain in life. That is a reality," Groom said. "Do good and inspiring things with it and you'll help to make it a little easier for all of us. There is no denying it's there, or to not speak of it. Honor it. Everyone deserves to find personal happiness and expression, just some people were dealt the more trying hand, genetically. And for that, it is not defeat, so let's move beyond it."

Also showing in this Lindsay Gallery exhibit is illustrator Morris Jackson, who uses Rapidograph pens to create child-like scenes swarming with black, detailed patterns. His work has messages that echo Groome's.

"It's the little things that make it seem real. The more detail I add, the more real it is. There's a pattern in everything, and I want to make my illustrations as dense as the real world," Jackson said. "That can convey some humanist idea. Every figure and situation has its own humanity."

Sean Christopher Gallery Ohio

Select Columbus College of Art & Design studentscreated works under the theme "the color of love." Journey through the display for fresh takes on what it is like to be young and in love, or, in some cases, young and in lovesickness.

Marcia Evans Gallery

See what well-known Columbus photographer Larry Hamill can do beyond the scope of corporate and portraiture lenses. In "So Different," Hamill and fellow artist Scott Galloway display photographic results of experimental digital manipulation and unexpected collages.

Gallery Hop

4-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4

Short North

"Morris Jackson and Amber Groome"

Feb. 3-29 at Lindsay Gallery

"Young Hearts"

Feb. 4-25 at Sean Christopher Gallery Ohio

"So Different"

Feb. 3-March 31 at Marcia Evans Gallery