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Free Arts Month: Going Pop – or “Post Pop” – at the Gallery at Tacoma Community College

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Jan. 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
January 27, 2011 11:37 am
Bret Lyon, "Excess." Courtesy photo.

I finally made it! The Gallery at TCC is another college-based art gallery that’s free and often open when others aren’t, and today it was definitely open, showing the latest exhibit “Post Pop Art.” It’s a big exhibition with a multitude of artists (including community members like you and me), and not highly organized. But in a way, that’s fine with pop-based art – the whole thing is a jumble of vivid color and in-your-face aesthetics, which only underlines the anarchic pop-art idea.

Taking their cue from the bright colors and popular-object images of Warhol, followed by the flat, cartoonish designs of Japanese neo-pop, local artists have merged pop design with more contemporary objects and ideas. There’s Jeanette Otis’ nest of cellphones, a tangle of wires atop a model phone tower.  There’s Bret Lyon’s take on upsizing food, a giant six-foot metal fork with a basketball-size cherry perched on top; or, equally disturbing, his calorie-laden dessert spoon jutting out from the wall at mouth-height.

Following Jeff Koons there’s a slew of ordinary objects made out of sculptural substances: ceramic Tootsie Pops (Erica Kreamer) and skate shoe (Young You), and giant lettering paintings from C.J. Swanson (riffing on BOGO advertising in eye-popping lime and yellow) and Frank Dippolito (a rather disgusting ingredients list.)

Lavonne Hoivik, Campbell's soup cans. Courtesy photo.

In the entry there’s a two-wall montage of community entries to the show: squares of white paper with interpretations of the post-pop theme from five-year-old scribbles to ironic Pokemon.

There’s a fair bit of mundane work, but mostly this is a show worth seeing, with lots of clever stuff. Cleverest of all is an installation of Campbell’s soup cans (Andy Warhol in 3D) by Lavonne Hoivik, with a two-headed bronze gremlin bursting out of the top as the can approaches 300 days past the use-by date. Post pop, indeed.

“Post Pop Art” is up through May 3, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Gallery at Tacoma Community College, South 12th and South Mildred Streets, Tacoma. 253-460-4306, www.tacomacc.edu/thegallery

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