'Glow' warms up winter

The Baltimore Sun

Artist Sophia Dixon wanted to ward off the dreary days of January.

So when the Baltimore native learned that Current Gallery would be closed this month, she decided to curate an exhibition that would battle winter's bleakness. Glow Worms, which opens Saturday, is designed to do just that.

Works in the exhibit are meant to generate light and warmth, Dixon said. Some actually do light up or glow.

"I conceived of this show as something that would bring a lot of people together and be focused on work that was somehow just, I guess, sort of in opposition to the weather, in certain ways," she said.

Other pieces in Glow Worms are meant to engage viewers on a more intimate level. A graphic drawing of a tree trunk by Alice Valenti is about four square inches, and you need to be about a foot away from it to get the full effect, Dixon said.

"You have to get close up ... and engaged in a personal way," Dixon said. "That became an important strand for this show."

A tent made by Haley O'Connor will sit on the floor in the center of the gallery. It's only big enough to accommodate two people, and meant to create warmth when the viewers are inside and so close to each other.

There are more than a dozen artists all told, hailing from Baltimore, New York City and Providence, R.I. - three cities where Dixon has ties to the artistic communities. Next month, Glow Worms will move to O'Conner's Stairwell Gallery in Providence.

The opening party at Current Gallery starts at 8 p.m. Saturday and features live music, videos and performance art. The Lexie Mountain Boys will form a pyramid performance piece similar to the one they did at the Baltimore Museum of Art earlier this year. The bands Rubbed Raw and Fancy Feast will play live, and the opening will turn into a dance party as the night goes on, she said.

"It will be a late-night event for sure," Dixon said.

The exhibit serves two purposes for Dixon, who temporarily moved back to Baltimore from New York City a couple of months ago.

"I decided for this show to keep myself engaged with other people and to keep from becoming reclusive as the days are short and cold," Dixon said.

"This has actually been really great for me in the last couple of months to be in constant contact with artists that I know and with the gallery. I sort of conceived it as a project to ward off seasonal depression in a personal way, too."

Glow Worms opens Saturday and runs through Jan. 26 at Current Gallery, 30 S. Calvert St. The gallery will be open 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays during the exhibition. For more information, go to currentspace.com.


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