Naomi Clark (image courtesy of Cooler Gallery)

Milk Curd and Cherry Pits: Color Stories by Naomi Clark
Opening Tuesday, August 8 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through August 25.

Not everyone has a favorite color, but surely there is a shade that reminds you of a specific time, place, person, or feeling. For those with conditions like synesthesia, colors can take on an even more tangible role in memories and associations. To others, they can just look nice, without being imbued with any sort of deep meaning.

In Milk Curd and Cherry Pits, her exhibition at Cooler Gallery, painter and textile artist Naomi Clark connects color with her childhood. Even the title itself conjures a simpler, more rustic time, when everyday items like the pits within cherries were new and surprising. She’s particularly drawn to yellows and blues, creating simple shapes on small canvases. To Clark, these works are associated with relaxed, childlike creativity. To you, perhaps something else entirely.

(image via Eventbrite)

Mirror Mirror
Opening Wednesday, August 9 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through August 11.

At the start of this exhibition’s description lies a quote from the artist Francis Bacon: “I loathe my own face, and I’ve done self-portraits because I’ve had nobody else to do.” Brief research reveals this to be a condensed version of the quote; The Met publishes it as “I loathe my own face. . . . I’ve done a lot of self-portraits, really because people have been dying around me like flies and I’ve nobody else left to paint but myself.” While some may conceive of self-portraits as a selfish endeavor, this peek into Bacon’s reasoning frames it as a last resort for someone who feels an unending drive to make art.

I’m not sure if the artists partaking in Con Artist Collective’s show of self-portraits feel a similar desperation or self-hatred. If they do, it might bleed into their work, as Bacon’s self-portraiture depicts a man with twisted, disproportionate facial features, and sometimes with barely any visible face at all. However, much of his other work has these qualities as well. Perhaps a better thing to keep in mind is how these artists’s work changes (or stays the same) when they turn the canvas on their own being.

Annie Briard, Constructions 5 – Ruby’s Mirages, Anaglyph 3D glasses with inkjet print on rag paper, 2016, 28″ x 28″

Wave Pool
Opening Thursday, August 10 at Field Projects, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 26.

This group exhibition, curated by the gallery’s intern Katrina Slavik, features the work of eight artists. Judging from the image accompanying the exhibition, I am getting some vaporwave-esque vibes from this whole thing. To find out if this aesthetic is contained to this piece by Annie Briard or spread throughout the whole show, stop by Field Projects.

While the gallery’s website doesn’t have a wealth of information on this specific group show, the artist-run space does have an interesting spread of demographic data, with a wide range of graphs showing the gender and ethnicity spread of every artist that has exhibited with them since 2011. It’s an interesting display of transparency, particularly for the art world.

(image via Disclaimer Gallery)

She Tells Me…
Opening Saturday, August 12 at Disclaimer Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 31.

Disclaimer Gallery, a space within Silent Barn, is dedicated to showing work by women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, low-income individuals, and anyone else who might fall under the category of “marginalized.” Their latest exhibition is an interactive installation by Francena Ottley singing the praises of natural black hair.

Through sculpture, embroidery, video, photography, and more, Ottley articulates the struggle that many black women and femmes have faced about the perceived “acceptability” of their hair when it exists in a form outside of the Eurocentric styles commonly found on a white woman. When hair does not adhere to this standard, it is deemed unkempt or unacceptable. For a time in 2014, many popular black hairstyles were banned in the military. However, it’s common for a white woman to receive praise for being creative and edgy when she dons a hairstyle like cornrows, while the very same braids on a black woman might be met with negative attitudes. If you’ve ever wondered what all the hubbub is about hair, it could behoove you to step into Ottley’s world and learn a thing or two.