In the galleries: Last chance to see Light Factory Annuale, work by Charlotte’s Anna Kenar

By Barbara Schreiber

Detail from Anna Kenar’s “Omniformity of Vice” on view at @809, 809 W. Hill Street.
Detail from Anna Kenar’s “Omniformity of Vice” on view at @809, 809 W. Hill Street. Courtesy of HappeningsCLT

Seventh Juried Annuale

Juried exhibitions are often big, sloppy affairs. But the Light Factory’s Seventh Annuale, juried by its former chief curator, Dennis Kiel, is small and focused, with only six photographers: Diana Bloomfield (Raleigh), Micah Cash (Charlotte), Michael Joseph (Boston), Beth Lilly (Atlanta), Jeremy Underwood (Warrensburg, Mo.) and Carl R. Wilson (Belmont).

Underwood’s beautiful, frightening images feature large sculptures he made from debris and then photographed along Houston’s industrial waterways. The effect is that of mutant sea creatures emerging from a chemical soup.

Primarily a painter, Cash is represented here by photographs of Tennessee Valley Authority dams – the imposing structures and the people enjoying the recreational opportunities they provide. These photos capture the contradictions of this massive rural electrification project – an environmental nightmare or economic savior, depending on your point of view.

Lilly’s photographs of people whizzing by in their cars are rich depictions of the American experience, hinting at both the illusion and the reality of freedom. The titles, taken from fortune cookies, accentuate the simplicity and escape we seek in travel.

The Light Factory, lightfactory.org, 704-333-9755, through June 6.

Anna Kenar

With insufficient gallery space, artists need alternatives. One of the newest alternatives is @809, a shared working space at 809 W. Hill St. in Third Ward. It’s not a perfect environment, but it’s pretty good – modern and sparsely furnished – and the work is carefully installed.

Currently on view are drawings and prints by Charlotte artist Anna Kenar, curated by the good folks at HappeningsCLT, in cooperation with #WeLoveCLT.

This exhibition is a great opportunity to see the rapid development of a young artist’s work. There are lovely intaglio prints dating from 2009 that are clearly based on landscapes and figures.

Later works are more ambiguous, but also more emotionally rich and engaging. These include “Omniformity of Vice,” a set of three mixed-media drawings on rice paper.

Dominating the exhibition is a 30-foot-long drawing, “Vision of Power,” a tangle of bones, sinew, nests and vines. It hints at a narrative but is shrouded in mystery.

This is a new informal space, so for now it does not have its own website. Current exhibition hours are 2-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday or by appointment.

@809, at809.com, happeningsclt@gmail.com; closing reception June 18, 6:30 p.m.

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