The Buddy System

When you’re 6 years old and have an imaginary friend, you get a roll of the eyes and a pat on the head. If you’re 30, you get a rubber room and a dose of anti-psychotics.

Luckily for Neil Gillingham, artists get a free pass when it comes to having pretend pals at any age. After reading a few lines of a friend’s poem, the main character invaded Gillingham’s imagination. “I started to conjure a picture of a 30-40-year-old man with dark hair and glasses,” he explains. “From there, I had to construct an entire world for Henry.” The result is Gillingham’s new “Henry” exhibit, which features 20 sequential drawings of his two-dimensional buddy that alternate with Zachary Hollis’ text so visitors can read the story like a children’s book. What’s Henry like? “He’s a nutty guy who fiddles around with old tools while questioning his sanity,” says Gillingham. Oh, and he thinks there are birds in his head. Straitjacket, please!

Fridays, 5-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Starts: July 4. Continues through July 26, 2008
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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden