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'All Media Exhibition' at Detroit Artists Market through Feb. 15

Michael H. Hodges
The Detroit News

Kresge Artist Fellow Hubert Massey curated this year's "All Media Exhibition" at Detroit Artists Market, and he's done a bang-up job. 

Chief among the pleasures in this sprawling show are Carole Morisseau's best-in-show "Baber," Jackie Rybinski's "Woodward Nights" diptych, and the serious and silly "He Is Curious About You" from Took Gallagher. 

DAM Executive Director Matt Fry is delighted by the exhibition's variety. "And I know the submissions Hubert didn't pick," he said, "and how hard his decisions had to have been."

Detail from Carole Morisseau's charcoal-and-dirt portrait, "Baber," one of three "Best in Show" winners in DAM's "All Media Exhibition," up through Feb. 15.

An extraordinarily gifted portraitist, Morisseau --another Kresge Artist Fellow -- gives us a thoughtful, bearded fellow in "Baber," rendered in charcoal and Brazilian dirt. Sketched in a highly muted palette, the man's eyes seem to reveal his inner self. It's a work to come back to time and again while you're walking around the gallery.

At the opposite extreme in the portrait department is Took Gallagher's green-faced fox,  "He Is Curious About You," who's quite dapper, in a patterned blue shirt and orange tie. The piece manages to be absurd and intriguing at the same time, and is characterized by some lovely details -- not least the handsome wallpaper behind the Mr. Fox. 

"He Is Curious About You" by Took Gallagher at Detroit Artists Market.

Shawn Renee Forman has two intimate photographs of African children, one of which, "Ebony Girl," was also awarded Best in Show. (The third Best in Show went to painter Matt Lewis.)

Shooting kids and getting a meaningful picture isn't always walk in the woods, as many parents will attest. But Forman clearly won surprising trust and intimacy with her subjects.

Two other portraits -- both of automobiles -- deserve mention, including Robert Beras' "Dream 40" and Bruce Giffin's "Black Caddy." Both photos are shot in low light, and composed in a way that lends the cars in question unexpected grandeur, giving them an almost sacred vibe. 

Several gifted landscape painters have works in the show, including Steve Miller with his acrylic-on-canvas "snapshot" of what appears to be the West Vernor culvert running under the train tracks, Fran Seikaly's essay in shades of gray "Spy in the Sky," and Donald Cronkhite's equally monochromatic and moving "Nankin Lake, After the Storm." 

A photographic landscape worth seeking out is Leslie Cieplechowicz's "Southside Detroit at Dawn," an affecting river view with a particularly delicate color palette. 

Also worth notice is the tiny solo show right by DAM's entrance by Jackie Rybinski -- a lovely series of oil images of the Detroit's streets on rainy nights. Fry notes that Rybinsky's work calls to mind the somewhat similar urban landscapes of Darcel Deneau, but the former's view -- often through a rainy windshield -- is looser and more soft-focused. 

"Morning Commute" by Jackie Rybinski, in a small show its own at the front of the gallery.

(313) 222-6021

Twitter: @mhodgesartguy

'All Media Exhibition'

Through Feb. 15

Detroit Artists Market, 4719 Woodward, Detroit

11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tues.-Sat.

(313) 832-8540