From visual arts writer Nick Smith:

I trotted over to Piccolo’s Outdoor Juried art show in Marion Square expecting to find a preponderance of lame floral watercolors. To be sure, there were more than a bunch of those, but some pieces stood out amongst the duller stuff.

Ladson-based Dennis Clevenger has painted realistic collections of tools, nails, and other workaday doodads for his “Steel Strings Across America” series. With a predominance of red and wooden plank backgrounds, there was nothing else like his barbed wire studies in the show. He even adds a messy frame-within-a-frame for “Ode to his Three-Legged Horse,” which features three horse shoes. Clevenger doesn’t try to prettify his landscapes, either. “Birds of a Feather” depicts a cacophony of shaggy egrets with a dense, dark forest behind them. He captures the “wild” part of wildlife a lot better than most tarted-up tableaux.

Steven Jordan is a one-man franchise, selling cards, prints, books and “Piggolo Spoleto” T-shirts. His cheeky sense of humor is his best selling point. Puns are his thing – a “Draw Bridge” series shows a hand drawing a bridge – but he’s also an accomplished artist, mixing computer-manipulated photography with pastels and pencil strokes.

Scott Henderson drops little elements of color into his photographs, highlighting aspects with green or gold. He also uses clever low or canted angles to make familiar objects look more interesting (like a “French Huegenot” church still). Henderson shares fellow artist John Duckworth’s passion for blurry landscapes (the “Painting with Light” series).

Also in the show were Tyler Ann Blanton, monkeying around with religious iconography via a pair of stainedglass-style chimps; Jeannette Cooper Nicholson, who paints sumptuous orchids with oils (see left); Peggy Howe, painting lively nude figures, and Sherry Browne with a boothful of unique collages.

Those were just some of the many that caught my eye. Go see all the work for yourself – just give yourself plenty of time to do it. The exhibition will run until June 11.

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