Visual Arts

Halt Gallery Presents Work by Laura Spalding Best and Elysia Holland Michaelsen in Summer Exhibitions

After a successful debut last fall, Halt Gallery is back with a pair of summer exhibitions that will make you happy to have braved the higher temps of June's Third Friday.

The curating duo behind Halt Gallery, Julia Bruck and recent Big Brain Award Winner Becky Nahom, is bringing two solo exhibitions about urban landscape to Roosevelt Row: Laura Spalding Best's "7th Street to 7th Avenue" and Elysia Holland Michaelsen's "Replan Your Work, Rework Your Plan."

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Both shows are specifically suited to their respective locations. "7th Street to 7th Avenue" is in the Hot Box Gallery and "Replan Your Work, Rework Your Plan" is in the project room at Eye Lounge. This happy match-up of artists and art spaces is no coincidence. Bruck and Nahom say they have been planning this for some time.

And the evidence is in the exhibitions.

Best's "7th Street to 7th Avenue" is a series of portraits of the traffic poles and telephone lines located on the south side of Roosevelt between 7th Street and 7th Avenue. Best says she took pictures of the fixtures on a sunset walk, and then used those images to create the paintings, which are done on the back side of aluminum traffic signs. Her work is all about place and everything that supports a place, so the Hot Box, with its current home in the heart of Roosevelt Row, is an ideal venue. For the opening, Best also created a mural on one side of the Hot Box depicting an urban fantasy desert scene. From a distance, it looks like a mirage.

The second Halt Gallery exhibition, Michaelsen's "Replan Your Work, Rework Your Plan," is just across the street at Eye Lounge. This installation is a redux of Michaelsen's MFA thesis show, which depicted the cycle of deconstruction and reconstruction. (Michaelson says her parents remodeled their home 29 times when she was a child). In effect, the show at Eye Lounge just continues the construction cycle; Michaelson had to pick and choose elements from her thesis show to size it down for the smaller space, but her delicate collage work and sculptural pieces look right at home in the project room.

Halt Gallery's summer exhibitions run from Friday, June 20, through Sunday, July 13. An opening reception will take place on Friday, June 20, from 6 to 10 p.m., and a closing reception will take place on Friday, July 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. Best's show "7th Street to 7th Avenue" is on view at Hot Box Gallery, and Michaelsen's installation "Replan Your Work, Rework Your Plan" is on view in the Project Room at Eye Lounge. For more information, visit Halt Gallery's summer openings event page on Facebook or haltgallery.com.

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Katrina Montgomery