The Dairy Center for the Arts (2590 Walnut Street, Boulder, 303-440-7826, www.thedairy.org) is an impressive facility, but the building definitely needs some work to make it more appealing and less gloomy. Maybe now that Judy Hussie-Taylor, the former deputy director of the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver, has taken over as the director of the Dairy, things will start to improve there.
Among the shows on display now is A Source to Consider, in the McMahon Gallery, which combines the efforts of three area artists who all work with found photos — an entry qualification that's suggested in the exhibit's title.
First up is Leslee Broersma, who uses video and found photos. Her most impressive piece is "The Woman Behind the Freedom Curtain," in which a mid-century candid view of a woman caught in a contemplative mood has been cut up into a good-looking grid of six images.
A Source to Consider
Beyond are several pieces by Gary Emrich. One of Emrich's specialties is using photo emulsion on surfaces other than paper. In two interesting examples, he has transferred shots of airplanes taken by passengers to the surfaces of old home-movie projection screens (one of which is pictured).
The last of the group is Clare Cornell, who uses thrift-shop baby pictures accented by dime-store toy fighter planes to create his "Formation: Rocket Turtle" series. The references to unnamed wars and the babies who will grow up to fight in them seems obvious.
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Around the corner is Roadsides, featuring black-and-white photos taken by Richard Van Pelt of pockets of nature glimpsed along the highway. You might think these pieces would fit easily into Weather Report at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (see review). But they don't, because Van Pelt tends to find more or less unmolested views of trees, creeks and hillsides, capturing the beauty of our Western scenery rather than indicting humanity for destroying it. Both shows run through December 21.