It's a series of questions that has riled the modern art community for decades: What is art? Who decides what art is and what it is not? Why? While the debate rages on in coffee shops, college dorm rooms, and at fabulous parties, artists continue to challenge the answers that critics and patrons come up with. At "Art?," the latest show at Altered Esthetics, visitors will be able to contemplate and reexamine their own personal definitions. For example, Dennis Church's photograph of a pair of mundane outdoor power boxes manages to be highly compelling; the greens of the boxes and grass contrast beautifully with the hot pink flowers on the bushes that threaten to engulf everything. Julie Ganser takes bubble wrap, something we generally toss (or gleefully pop and then toss), and fills each compartment with scraps of unique and eye-catching items, from petals to beads to paint to dirt. The resulting effort is a work that's delicate and intricate. Jennifer Weigel's dollar-store found art asks the viewer to reconsider the worth of creative work, consumerism, and the value we place on mass-produced art. The opening reception is from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 6. An artists' discussion will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. (Art by Amber Janey)
May 6-26, 2011

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