Alchemy in a mix of mediums

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GALLERIES | Cate McQuaid GLOBE CORRESPONDENT  JANUARY 07, 2015

Lisa Sibley, Reflective, Color Photograph 30"x20"

Lisa Sibley, Reflective, Color Photograph 30"x20"

“Visual Alchemy: Tangible Evidence of Experimentation, Discovery, and Transformation,” a juried show at Fountain Street Fine Art, suffers the curse of most juried shows. The topic is too wide open, and in this case could represent all art, so it’s hard to build a show that has any conceptual meat.

Still, juror Elizabeth Devlin, an art blogger and independent curator, has a fresh eye. The photography-based work is the strongest. Lisa Sibley’s moody color photo “Reflective” depicts a black-and-white projection of a child on a swing onto a white house at dusk, and hints at loss and nostalgia.

Nina Earley, for “The Errand and the Epiphany,” altered a paper negative, scratching a white line several times over a dark grid, from bottom to top. It’s the repeated pathway of a remembered journey, with qualities of obsession and fondness. Marie Craig’s photo “Refraction (Beijing)” captures the scrawling reflection of an autumn-yellow tree; the reach and thrust of the branches has more momentum than on any tree in real life.

Nina Earley, The Errand and the Epiphany, Archival print of a unique silver gelatin print made with a paper negative, 44"x60"

Nina Earley, The Errand and the Epiphany, Archival print of a unique silver gelatin print made with a paper negative, 44"x60"

Hilary Zelson, Fox Fur Nebula, Colored glitter and acrylic gel medium on stretched canvas, 46"x42"

Hilary Zelson, Fox Fur Nebula, Colored glitter and acrylic gel medium on stretched canvas, 46"x42"

Hilary Zelson’s piece “Fox Fur Nebula” is one I keep turning over in my mind, not sure whether I love it or hate it. Depicting a fox in a whirl of glitter, it’s sweet, gaudy, and playful — a Devlin trademark. The glitter is magnificent, but the fox is too broad-faced and cheekily cartoonish. If you’re going to “paint” in glitter, balance the over-the-top material with understated imagery.