Since its inception in 1998, ART 180 has evolved into the city's most visible collection of art activists. The results of its programs, which pair artists with local inner-city youth, include murals, set design for public access television and a variety of musical performances in the metro area.
This summer ART 180 joins forces with Main Art Gallery and about 40 artists for a benefit show. All proceeds from sales of the donated work go to the organization. What's more, the show offers an interesting variety of local talent from some recognizable names to up-and-coming artists.
Most benefit shows emphasize accessibility and affordability, and this show is no exception. Made up entirely of two-dimensional work, it's heavily weighted toward works on paper: monotypes, laser prints and graphite, to name a few media of choice.
Janet DeCover's monotype "Woodso" is a standout. Its muted palette, layering and texture create an atmospheric abstraction with a strong reference to landscape. On either side of DeCover's work are the striking narrative series of Joan Gaustad and the small, understated linocut of Andrew Kozlowski titled "Flags."
Well-known artists such as Matt Lively, Sandra Luckett and Heide Trepanier contribute works that are instantly recognizable. There are also a few surprises: Nicole Andreoni's figurative intaglio/monoprints "Eve" and "Melon," Lindsey Gerner's oil on wood panel "Horizon Landscape" and Mary Melton's comical encaustic/collage piece "You're in the Navy Now."
One of the things that even a small show like this reminds us of is that Richmond has a staggering number of excellent artists. Organizations such as ART 180 recognize this resource and remind us that art doesn't always have to be created for its own sake.
ART 180 Benefit Show at Main Art Gallery, 1537 W. Main St., runs through Aug. 28. Call 355-6151 for information.