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In the arts: Fridgeworthy art stretches limits and imagination

They told me I was in the Rice Gallery, but they were wrong. I was somewhere through the looking glass. There was color everywhere, and motion, soundtracks and video. Surprising forms burst around every corner, pinwheels found imaginary breezes. There were windows out of walls, wheels without skates, light bulbs reflecting watery insides. This was "Fridgeworthy," McDaniel senior studio artists stretching the limits big time.

Nick Turrisi painted a very large tree branch in muted glittery mauve, blue and green, placing hand-folded origami "Birds of a Color" on all its branches as if they had just alighted, cranes in rainbow hues. Among the branching twigs and free flying birds, the only blackbird, softly beautiful, is caged. The work is breathtakingly powerful.

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Lindsay Riordon explores the culture of extreme sports with her art. Clay waves break, surfers balance almost Escher-like, and in "Rotations," paradoxically one of the most motion filled works in the show, boardless wheels are stacked, intermixed with wheels of cement.

Working in ink and charcoal, Jordan Beans is more representative, catching folks in a moment. His portrait of "JoAnna" captures the energy of one such time, the emotion, and its transitory nature. Art imitates art as Lee Wallick places her mosaic "Ocean" next to "Hibiscus," a painting so mosaic in style I had to go back to make sure it really was a painting.

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Jessica Oros twists concepts together with completely unexpected materials, creating fanciful works that make you look below the surface. Torn paper scraps, "to-do" lists, class notes, letters, reminders, Post-its, nice stationery are carefully pieced, sewn together in a "Comfort Quilt," hanging on a wall like its fabric cousins might, telling a life from bits of everyday.

An i-Pad plays the sounds of dancing without any music, introducing Kara Owens' focus on the work of ballet to life both in atmospheric photographs and abstracted drawings suggesting the muscle movements behind the beauty. The contradiction of quiet contemplation and strenuous exertion play out perfectly.

Hannah Matthews has two striking installation works which relate to each other and the space around them. Unified in tone and color, "Fate Foretold?," a wall of muslin strips ink-dyed, pinned through curling edges, and "Stained Glass" are nonetheless distinct. In the latter, old windows are held in stands, glass irregularly screen printed with blues, whites, taupes, like clouds in a blue sky, nearby objects visible through clear patches. The viewer becomes a part of this work, and the view changes with every move.

Conceptualizations of water underlie Lauren Scarborough's installations, each more intriguing than the next. Her mixed media installation "Waves: Toys from God" was inspired by a surfer with autism who saw the curling water that way. Scarborough's giant wave is made of blue wrapped boxes, toys, games, curling ribbon, every kid's party come true, Hokusai on Christmas morning.

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The art in this show is fun, profound and worth a trip back through the glass to find a giant fridge.

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