In 2010, researchers discovered bone fragments in Siberia’s Denisova Cave; these fragments were identified as the remains of a young girl of a previously unknown Homo sapiens subspecies.
Heather Freeman, a UNC Charlotte art professor, used this discovery as the jumping-off point for her interactive book “Denisovan.” You can (and should) download the app at denisovan.blogspot.com, but at Pease Gallery you can view the project in the form of large-scale digital prints.
These prints underscore that “Denisovan” is not dependent on technology – it is, at its core, a story. Whether experienced as an app, a physical book or an exhibition, “Denisovan” is quiet and intense. Filled with contradictory emotions, it includes observations on maternal exhaustion, cruelty and love.
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“Denisovan” is a complex journey through the idea of what it means to be human. It is deeply researched and deeply felt. Freeman has the confidence not to let her research override her project’s emotional power.
Central Piedmont Community College; blogs.cpcc.edu/cpccartgalleries; 704-330-6211; through Sept 4.
This exhibition by Leandro Manzo includes many colorful paintings, but the most engaging pieces are from his monochromatic “Requiem in White and Black” series.
Many of these paintings are about transition and uncertainty. Manzo is from Argentina; while his work is not explicitly political, you can see how his country’s political and economic unrest affects him. And he is restless; he arrived in Charlotte in 2003 and has shuttled among Buenos Aires, here, and other U.S. cities.
Manzo’s best paintings teem with figures and symbols in ambiguous, turbulent environments. There is a lot of fire and smoke that, rather than representing destruction, symbolizes rebirth.
The huge, ambitious painting “Eternal” depicts the past, present and future of Manzo’s soul as an artist. As in many of his other paintings, here Manzo approaches the unknown with wonder, not fear.
LaCa Projects; lacaprojects.com; 704-837-1688; through Sept 5.
Yard Art Day
Now in its third year, Yard Art Day (Sept. 1) attracts working artists, hobbyists, businesses, families and even a belly dancer. So far, the head count (yard count?) for this year is 115 – and growing quickly. See yardartday.org to find yards you can visit or to register your own yard.
Yard Art Day 2014, various locations, yardartday.org, Sept 1.
Projective Eye Gallery is best known for large-scale installations and issue-oriented art. But this exhibition of abstract paintings and ceramics by Charlotte-area artists demonstrates that the gallery also welcomes work that revels in beauty.
Energetic paintings by Marge Loudon Moody and Linda Luise Brown dominate the main gallery. Brown’s luminous oils often seem like portals to mysterious spaces. Moody’s crisp acrylics and collages alternately evoke aerial views and architecture.
In the window gallery facing Ninth Street, Greg Scott displays ceramic pots, a platter and a pitcher not on pedestals, but within mixed media constructions – clever efforts to erase the dividing line between art and craft.
Projective Eye Gallery, UNC Charlotte Center City; centercity.uncc.edu/projective-eye-art-gallery; 704-687-0833; through Sept 24.
This documentary film about New York street photographers – including such luminaries as Bruce Davidson, Mary Ellen Mark and Elliott Erwitt – will have its first South Carolina screening on Sept 3 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill. Director Cheryl Dunn will be on hand. This event is free; check it out.
Dina’s Place, DiGrigorio Campus Center, Winthrop University; winthrop.edu/news-events; 803-323-2653; Sept 3, 8 p.m.