Mechanical Sculptures In An Unusual Gallery

Apr 2, 2014

On Commerce Street, you can find a number of art galleries, but there is one that I would even hesitate to call a “gallery.” It’s really a restoration workshop with a space for art up front.

The garage-slash-art space seems an unlikely pairing, but every time I walk into Go Away Garage, I’m impressed by either the quality of craftsmanship in the art or the quality of the presentation. Last Final Friday, I was impressed by both.

For March, they featured the sculptures of Ariana and Billy Powell, who, for this show, call themselves "The Collectic Couple." They make striking, well crafted work out of found mechanical parts.

Sometimes the parts are fashioned into a figure, like in Sentinel or Mosquito. Other times, they are abstract constructions, many of which are kinetic.

A real crowd-pleaser is the floor-standing work Tiepoe. It’s a skeleton of a typewriter on long, spindly legs with one red toggle switch. Flip that switch and the whole thing vibrates as if it’s going to shake to pieces – but, with a dangling typeball flailing about, it seems like it already has. The Powells’ art is not without a sense of humor.

Each work is lit with a tight spotlight, which makes the metal gleam in the darkness, creating a dramatic presentation that compels us to look closely. The beautifully crafted wood pedestals are stained a warm honey tone, which gives an earthy counterbalance to the mechanical sculptures resting on top.