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Published: Saturday, 7/20/2002

Salon des Refuses will entertain


Expect the wild, wacky, strange, fine, fun, and awful, executed at every level of skill, training, and taste, at the 11th annual Salon des Refuses Show Friday night. Even if you can't make the serious show on Monroe Street, check out this little parade. It's essential Toledo.

The Toledo Museum of Art might be The Big Time for local artists, but if past experience is any measure, The Good Times will roll downtown, at 20 North Gallery on North St. Clair Street, a spot known for its opening-night parties.

This year's show of pictures, sculptures, and indescribable light-up doodads not chosen for the Toledo Area Artists show uptown is coordinated by Spectrum: Friends of Fine Art. It's patterned after the exhibition put on by Impressionist painters in Paris, back when their masterworks were rejected from the ultra-respectable Academy Salon Show.

Reviewing this show was a physical impossibility last week, as most of the 113 works were displayed but not identified. Kate Killoway, gallery coordinator at Spectrum, said all will be put in order by Friday night's big bash. The opening begins at 9:30 p.m., after the museum show closes; it continues until 1 a.m. Saturday. The show will run through Aug. 25.

Behold the spectrum:

  • Jacki Way's photo of a budding tree against a ruined wall is fine enough for any gallery, and Dad, a nice portrait by painter Jim Rich of Maumee, looks dejected from a huge canvas facing St. Clair. There are remarkably good paintings here, as well as, well ... refuses.

  • Panda bears, asparagus, the Blessed Virgin, and nudes make repeated appearances, done in beads, glass, and oil paints. Technically fine drawings and prints suffer from overdone themes: Angst-Ridden Young Artist, Old Glory, and Planet Earth Seen from Space are all trotted out. Here are student works, pages taken from Life Drawing Class notebooks; and drawings by talented people who need only a bit of classroom study to really take off. There are derivatives, from people over-awed by what they've learned: the influence of sculptor Louise Nevelson and Robert Rauschenberg are all too apparent. Don't miss the stuffed animals, or the elaborate wires-and-circuit-boards wall sculpture, or the spiky metallic human head.

    Ghastly, yes. But wonderfully so. Don't miss it.

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