Inside Ironton, Mancarella's solo, Direction: Airships & Pictures, is on view. Like "Prairie Wings" and "Flight Ride," the sculptures here relate to aviation, but in this case, it's zeppelins that provide Mancarella with his inspiration. "I've always been fascinated by old aircraft, and I think of them as metaphors for people," he explains. "Like people, they come into — and go out of — our lives, and for me they symbolize experiences." Probably the most successful of the zeppelin-based sculptures is "Indecision," in which a three-dimensional outline of a zeppelin is perched on top of a hunk of stone that sits on the floor. But others are also compelling, like "Jury," where little linear renditions of zeppelins have been mounted on the wall as though they are flying through it. In "Influence," a facsimile of a wind vane is made by attaching a zeppelin-inspired skeletal form to a found rudder.

"Portent," by Linda Fleming, powder-coated steel.
"Portent," by Linda Fleming, powder-coated steel.
"Indecision," by Mike Mancarella, steel and stone.
"Indecision," by Mike Mancarella, steel and stone.

Details

Through June 19, Robischon Gallery, 1740 Wazee Street, 303-298-7788, www.robischongallery.com.Through June 26, Ironton Studios and Gallery, 3636 Chestnut Place, 303-296-5583, www.ironton-studios.com.

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In addition to the sculptures, Mancarella has included oversized black and white photos that are figure studies. The photos were taken in various spots, including Cuba, where Mancarella has traveled repeatedly. Though best known as a sculptor, Mancarella is chiefly interested in photography, and his degree from UCD is in that medium. When I first heard about this show, I assumed that it would be made up of installations that combined the zeppelin sculptures with the photos, but that's not the case. The photos are very nice, but, disappointingly, they have nothing to do with the sculptures. Despite the split personality in the work, there's definitely something about Mancarella's show at Ironton that makes it worth seeing.

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