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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Simplicity strikes a chord among chaos

    A piece titled God Bless Junk Yard Dogs by artist Patrick McArdle adorns one of the walls in the Central Arts Gallery.
    A piece titled “”God Bless Junk Yard Dogs”” by artist Patrick McArdle adorns one of the walls in the Central Arts Gallery.

    The construction in downtown Tucson has created some complexity for businesses and visitors. Likewise, the upcoming midterms and landslide between now and finals give UA students plenty to be frantic about. The Central Art Gallery’s current exhibition, “”Basically Simple,”” is a welcome respite from the hectic sentiments expressed by city dwellers and students.

    The artists of the co-op’s core membership, who come from all walks of life, bring together a show exemplifying simplicity and a back-to-basics ideal. The works are much larger in scale than those of previous exhibitions, and the overall effect is clean and cohesive. The range of media, from paintings to jewelry to glasswork, all reflect this overarching idea.

    One particularly eye-catching piece by Patrick McArdle depicts the lazy summer simplicity of the life of a junkyard dog in an innovative way.

    “”This is a great place to try things out,”” he said.

    McArdle’s piece recounts a run-in with a scrounging dog during his youth, scavenging for parts for a project car. The lucky photograph he managed to snap of the standoff with this dog is the basis for his contribution to “”Basically Simple,”” which is sizable both physically and in impact. McArdle applied the image to the hood of a car, evoking the emotion behind the “”dog days of summer.””

    The doctorate in hydrology with an emphasis in environmental chemistry, that artist John Villinski received from the UA in 2001, is apparent in the piece he included in this exhibition. An abstract and blindingly blue close-up of the side of a fishing vessel is nearly unrecognizable, especially since the subject matter isn’t remotely related to Tucson.

    “”I do a lot of abstract work,”” Villinski said, “”but I’m working for simplicity at the same time in what I find.””

    The life of a fisherman, perceived by some to be a simple existence, is apparent in the weathered and peeling paint in the photograph.

    “”Basically Simple”” is neither overpowering nor underwhelming. The Central Art Gallery’s attempt to curb the chaos in the surrounding city is well-received this time around.

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