Visual Arts

Arty Girl: "Love Bites" at MOCA in Tucson

By Lilia Menconi

A sample of poetry from Gregory Sale's ongoing Love Buttons project.

All right, chickens, I'm giving you five days notice for this one because it requires a little planning and a trip out of town. But it's worth it, I promise.

Gregory Sale, one of our most influential local artists, is continuing his Love Buttons project series with Love Bites. If you didn't catch this event/show/performance at either Scottsdale Center for the Arts this past April or at Lisa Sette Gallery in July, gas up your tank and check the air in your tires -- it's time to take a little road trip.

Sale uses snippets of poetry about love and posts the text on buttons and larger-scale drawings. Participants are welcome to interpret the poetic words among one another and wear whichever button(s) speak to them personally. It's interactive and it asks viewers to take a big personal risk. Displaying a button with words like "imagine your scent" can be exposing, if not racy.

Images of Love Buttons at Scottsdale Center for the Arts in April.

I know, I sounds terrifying, uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing. But if you have your doubts about the success of Sale's concept, read this review. I was certainly skeptical at first, but Sale won me over with his expert execution.

The show in Tucson opened October 4 with an interactive event in which buttons were dispersed and large-scale drawings were presented. The works have remained at both the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson and the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

This Saturday, at 4 p.m., Sale is giving an Artist Talk about his project. Always clever and engaging, Sale will surely offer an entertaining and enlightening discussion about this continuing art piece.

Gregory Sale's Artist Talk about "Love Buttons" takes place Saturday, December 6, at 4 p.m., at MOCA, 149 North Stone Avenue in Tucson, 520-624-5019,

The most recent installment of the project series, "Love Bites
", can be seen both at MOCA and The University of Arizona Poetry Center, 1508 East Helen Street in Tucson, 520-626-3765,

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Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi