Art note: Choose your own SooVAC adventure

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1. Your friend tells you there are two great new shows at the SooVAC. If you say, “Let’s go!”, skip to 7. If you say, “I already have an Oreck,” skip to 3.

2. Your friend says, “What?! You haven’t heard of Jennifer Davis? She’s the Girl of the Now, the Best and the Brightest, the Most Mostest! Her work inspired the brilliantly minimal set for Jon Ferguson’s You’re My Favorite Kind of Pretty at the Southern Theater last fall! Come on, check out her stuff, you’ll love it!” Skip to 4.

3. Start counting down the days until October 17th, when the Federal Duck Stamp Contest comes to the Bloomington Art Center. The end.

4. You enjoy a delightful ten minutes perusing the Davis exhibit, Through the Looking Glass. You comment on the vivid palate of saturated pastels, the evocative details, and the compelling intersection of whimsy and angst. Or maybe you just say, “These are real cool. Good call, friend.” Then, you go check out the drawing exhibit. Skip to 5.

5. You walk around the perimeter of the main gallery, past the ironic appropriations and fragmented figures floating asymmetrically in expanses of blank space. You and your friend sit down on the round couch in the gallery’s center and have a long, involved discussion about whether art history really did end with Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. You disagree on the subject of whether Matthew Barney’s beeswax-and-Vaseline sculptures could be considered “combines,” and you punch your friend right in the mouth. The volunteer who’s pricing screen-printed knit body warmers for pet snakes threatens to call the cops, and you bolt out the door, cut right, and hide in the Intermedia Arts bathroom. Someone left a copy of ARP! lying on the floor, and you peruse the listings to see what shows are coming up. Skip to 3.

6. If you gravitated toward the drawing exhibit because you’ve never heard of Jennifer Davis, skip to 2. If you’ve heard of Jennifer Davis but don’t care for her work, skip to 3. If you just really have a thing for drawing, skip to 5.

7. You stop into the Sunnyside Up Café and have a delicious omelet, then stroll over to the gallery. Entering the space, you see that the main gallery houses Draw Too, a curated exhibit of drawings, while the adjacent Toomer Gallery is featuring several new pieces by Jennifer Davis. If you enter the main gallery first, skip to 6. If you enter the Toomer Gallery first, skip to 4.


Jay Gabler is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.

Image, courtesy Soo Visual Arts Center: fun by Jennifer Davis. 13×24″, acrylic/graphite.