I liked this year's show much better than last. Maybe it was the sheer variety of work this time around or maybe it was the technical mastery exhibited in many of the juried works on display.
There's space here for a few highlights: Marna Shopoff's mixed media painting "Transcendental Cityscape," depicted a low-slung series of what appear to be dingy apartment blocks — a Warsaw Ghetto-like urban purgatory — in muted colors. I found this diptych oddly captivating.
Much brighter in palette and certainly more whimsical was Nick Cox's stop-motion animation video "On Planets" that showed a hunter chasing a fox while using a bow and arrow/rope to swing from planet to planet in order to chase this planet-hopping fox.
A standout from the "Design" side of the Herron School was, for me, the wall hanging "Cabinet For Which to Hold Harmonicas," by Matthew Osborn (cut from walnut), because of its compactness and sleek vertical tower shape.
This show wasn't without controversy: sometime in the afternoon on the day before I viewed it, someone erased an "X" into Michael Nannery's abstract graphite drawing on the gallery wall (entitled, appropriately enough,"28 Meets Wall"). This stupid act of defacement was the only thing I found particularly undergraduate about this show.