Galleries gather pieces of life through sculpture, printmaking

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Elise Morris and Helen Dannelly at SLATE contemporary gallery

Combining layered, nature-based paintings with colorful, encaustic sculptures, SLATE contemporary introduces Elise Morris and Helen Dannelly, two Bay Area artists working in different media. Morris looks to light as a source of inspiration for her meditative and calming works. Her abstract paintings feature colorful acrylic splotches, recalling floating leaves on water. One of her pieces was recently featured on Pottery Barn’s website as a backdrop for its merchandise. On the other hand, Helen Dannelly works with encaustic sculptures, creating gorgeous porous, 3-D pieces. Her simple series of clustered structures deals with vulnerability, openness and self-protection.

‘Works on Paper’ at Mercury 20

Oakland-based artist Terryl Dunn’s semiabstract work, exhibited at Mercury 20, redefines the word “energy.” The rush created by color, motion and line is intoxicating. It is this type of art that produces feeling, despite the lack of concrete and recognizable forms. Dunn has rendered various places around the world, such as Lahore, Portland and Barcelona, with his dynamic style. In “Works on Paper,” he shows brand-new art that challenges physicality and the art-making process.

‘Authoring Evolution’ at Loakal

Floating brains, birds and bodies are only a few of the many strange objects featured in paintings at Loakal’s exhibit “Authoring Evolution.” The group art show tackles science fiction and technology, portraying tensions between the past and future through hybridized forms and folkloric structures from a bizarre alternate dimension. The artists — Robert Bowen, Lauren YS and Xiau-Fong Wee — all drew from different sources of inspiration for their group project. Bowen cited juvenile imagery, YS explored escapist dream worlds and Wee mentioned the beauty of the urban environment.

‘Connections’ at Transmission Gallery

Richard Downs’ “Connections,”displayed at Transmission Gallery, explores human relationships and interactions that shape lives. In his work, couples hold each other, faces touch and humanity prevails. His art, which, according to his website, “combines contemporary aesthetics with the rich history of printmaking,” indulges in personal bonds that weave individuals into a united community. Downs’ human forms are stylized and simplified with a restricted color palette, but they simultaneously delve into the complexity of intimate social relationships.

Addy Bhasin covers visual art. Contact her at [email protected].