Soul Food

By Stacy Davies

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Posted February 25, 2010 in Arts & Culture

Whenever venturing into an establishment bearing the “All You Can Eat” banner, one can be sure to find a host of unusual fare: meaty things drowning in mysterious sauces, deep-fried finger items you never imagined could be deep-fried or fingered, and lots of pitchfork-sized utensils and giant ladles caked with biohazard handles from your less-than-hygienic co-foodies. And that’s why we go, after all. 

Of course, when run through the artistic processing plant, “all you can eat” can turn organic once again—healthy, energizing and yes, lovely to look at. The Bunny Gunner gallery and frame shop is such a magical factory and their annual showcase of over 100 artists from around the globe—each allowed up to five submissions—serves up a plethora of texture, color and style that’s all hearty food for the soul.

Rolo Castillo and Kyle McCullogh’s cross-sections of tree trunks adorned with images of Rockwellian folks at the dentist having a less than idyllic time are a riot—especially because it’s not you who has a mouthful of black rubber gloves and pliers; likewise, Anne Seltzer yanks the past into the present using her pastel paintbrush to smartly tinker sepia-toned photos of a somber cat lady, yipping pooch and a cake-headed cake-eater into flashes from a trip down the rabbit hole.

Jophen Stein gets fanciful with animals in his stoic series of regal foxes as chess pieces, and the ever-twisty mind of A.S. Ashley decided to use actual dead creatures (pre-flattened by boot or tire, but not by Ashley, himself) cemented onto wire mesh blocks in morbidly lovely reminders of where all living things end up eventually (as art, we hope). If not, perhaps we can just be idealistically immortalized as both four-legged and two legged creatures by Molly Schulps, whose golden skulls with rabbit ears scream Donnie Darko—and might make us seriously consider having our heads bronzed once we’ve don’t need them anymore.

Cherie Savoie’s bird’s-eye snaps of Jell-O molds and drinks—some with a critter or two trapped within—sitting atop fancy flower tablecloths harken back to picnic-y summer days, and one can only hope to catch a glimpse of Sally Egan’s horsehead girl (in red boots and Pizza Hut satin jacket) meandering through your rose garden or mulling across your porch—she does exist, as these pics prove. Max Gerber’s shots of pickled bats and boys in jammies remind us of the extraordinary in our ordinary, and his angst-ridden Norma is exceptionally honest and human. Marco Zamora takes a look at the underbelly that isn’t so under with his stenciled photos of a homeless man sleeping on a bus bench (beneath a watercolor rainbow) and a grocery cart filled with the sole contents of some poor sod’s life.

Crafty artist Amy Caterina presents a delectable array of crocheted donuts (with jelly filling spilling, of course), and Amy Maloof once again exhibits her prowess for transforming found needlepoint from saccharine to sassy with her Bluebirds of Crappiness and Owl Right—two once peppy little birdy scenes that will now resonate with the over-tween crowd. Richard Nunez’s wood sandwich (complete with meat, lettuce and pickle slices) is better than any play food you ever had growing up, and Nollan Obena’s brilliant Chinese take-out containers muralized with felt-tipped sketches of China Town city streets are a coup of ingenuity and imagination.

Going into the abstract and fantastic are—no surprise—Kimber Berry’s dripping, neon-esque panels, and Marcella Swett’s lovely, cocoony branches once again offer a gorgeous and intimate reflection of nature. Rebecca Hamm’s psychedelic forest scenes also highlight the beauty of the untamed wilds and if only she’d put some of these out in a paint-by-numbers format we could all pretend to be that damn talented.

And there’s much more to see—including ceramics and mosaics (Michael Aschenbrenner and Cathy Garcia), lovely little nature scenes (Denise Kraemer and Jan Wheatcroft) and a host of portraits and abstractions. It’s a feast for the eyes and there’s something for every artistic taste—so what are you waiting for? Come and get it.

“All You Can Eat” at Bunny Gunner, 266 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 868-2808; www.bunnygunner.com. Thru March 9. Free.


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