Perhaps the most striking aspect of this exhibit at Mount Dora Center for the Arts is its stark contrasts. Upon entering the gallery, one notices the intriguing complexity of Trent Manning's mixed media sculptures and the simple, yet sophisticated, presentation of Amy Palmer's compelling illustrative works. This juxtaposition provides the perfect balance to the space. Not coincidental, the individual artist's pieces present that same balance of light and dark.
Manning's sculptural images of childhood are textural, nostalgic and whimsical, as well as shadowy and disturbing. You'll find yourself unable to turn away as more unexpected elements come into focus like rusted nails, door knobs, wheels, screws and other discarded objects that create the textural depth of his work.
The luring depictions of women in boxes by Palmer are done in varying shades of gray colored pencils and graphite. Each contemporary piece features an individual woman with large, expressive eyes that relate a tired bewilderment. The women are in darkly familiar settings that depict both levity and desperation.
The exhibit was curated and installed with a clear appreciation of balancing the work of the two artists without diminishing or distracting from the individual weight of each piece. "Disturbingly Beautiful" is a must-see exhibit for discerning Central Florida art enthusiasts.
Dates: Now through Feb. 27 Location: Mount Dora Center for the Arts. 138 E. 5th Avenue, downtown Mount Dora, 352-383-0880 For more events go to www.MountDoraBuzz.com/calendar