Arts » Visual Arts

Review: 'Renovation' at Earth House


Dart's "to support" highlights the unique composition that permeates her work.
  • Dart's "to support" highlights the unique composition that permeates her work.

3.5 stars

Earth House Collective; through August 29.

Kathryn Dart moved to Indianapolis from Southern Indiana and discovered a love for urban community and recently, a penchant for encaustic painting. Renovation marks her first solo show. She uses the common house motif in multiple works. In "to support," two folded paper houses are spaced apart in a row and covered in red wax. They extend out in pop-up fashion from the alluring, abstract yellow to orange waxy and butter-like surface. White strings stretched from house-to-house suggest connecting with a neighbor. Connotations of neighborhoods and residents are obvious themes, but what carries Dart's message is sincerity plus good use of abstraction, color, repeating patterns and the seductive hardened ooziness of the encaustic surfaces.

"to shelter," successfully utilizes compositional thirds to create a landscape of three houses fit snuggly against horizontal bands of red, orange then yellow wax. Dirt applied towards the top creates an appealing textural cloud. All houses were folded from reused paper bulletins from Dart's church, Redeemer Presbyterian, which adjoins the Harrison Center for the Arts where she has her studio. Yet sometimes the religious tinges are diverting. There is one work unencumbered by a structural frame: "to embody." Its waxed paper circles strung in symmetrical rows of changing colors sway sweetly from a dowel rod. This more sculptural direction seems a good course for Dart, who is self-taught and has only been a full-time artist for two years, but is an emerging artist to watch.


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