The good thing about co-op galleries that showcase every member is that you get to see small but interesting changes in artists from month to month. The bad thing is that you see mostly the same stuff time after time. The Grand Impromptu Gallery fits both of these truisms to a tee. The August show "View Points" highlights new work from printmaker Dorothy McCuistion and new member photographer Peter Serko, but not much else about it is fresh.
Of course, calling a visual art exhibit "View Points" is about as discerning as calling a symphony concert "Sounds," and that’s maybe where things could be improved at Impromptu. If a single artist is not going to set the voice for a show, at least a strong theme could streamline the constant mélange on show.
Meanwhile, Impromptu’s artists seem to have had fun picking their stuff for "View Points." In her Canard monotype series, McCuistion uses cut-out photographs of local ducks as the starting point, layering them over images of chateaux and Paris’ Musee d’Orsay. "Chateau Canard #1" (above) and its companion, double-ovals near the gallery’s window, are the most complex, layering not just images but ideas of light, movement and hiddenness, as the ducks float abstractly over etched color.
Photographer Peter Serko has just joined the Impromptu team, and his digital photos are mostly compelling. "Superfund Mist" frames the toxic Foss Waterway with an ominous overhang, wreathed in a nostalgic, fairytale cloud. "New York meadow" gives an almost sepia tint to the sky and blueish-gray to the reedy grasses. The Chihuly flowers at the Union Station courthouse, though, are bland, needing more cropping.
It’s mostly the usual stuff from the gallery’s other artists. Becky Frehse’s small landscape blocks aren’t as impressive as her larger scroll shapes. Trinda Love, interpreting the ‘viewpoints’ theme through an anthropomorphic lens, offers up some welcome irony in the bulging green bottles of "Glassworks Park." Chip van Gilder’s Tall Ships photos are crisp, and Bea Geller explores some gorgeous color fields in her sunset views of Tolmie State Park.
Impromptu Gallery is open 4-9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2-9 p.m. Saturdays, 2-6 p.m. Sundays. "View Points" runs through Aug. 30. 608 S. Fawcett St, Tacoma. 253-572-9232, www.impromptugallerytacoma.com.