Boys-will-be-boysMost of us have them: a box in the attic of loose baby photos. (Or, if we’re in our teens, perhaps such ephemera exists only as a folder on a parental hard drive, which will make them much harder to find years later when we’re artists and want to recontextualize our childhoods.) I’m interested in what Marilyn Prescott McGrady did with baby photos for a new exhibition that opens at Jewel fm Gallery as part of ArtHop. The monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods will be held 5-8 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at most venues.

I offer some good ArtHop bets in Thursday’s Life section, including shows by photographer Jeff Hill at Spectrum Art Gallery and a four-person show titled “The Children’s Book Exhibit” at Gallery 25.

For my online pick: Themes of memory, loss and the nature of childhood resonate in “Family Secrets, Telling Dreams,” McGrady’s new series of paintings. McGrady transformed black and white baby photos with garish colors, fantastic animals and changes in scale. From her artist’s statement:

Issues of control, manipulation and domination are explored. The construction of identity and especially gender roles is a special concern of mine, as the waste of human potential and diversity that flows from strict gender role construction is very often one of the tragic stories of our time.

In “The Dream Series,” a second series represented in the show, McGrady explores her intense, complex and vividly colored dreams.

Donald Munro

Donald Munro

Donald Munro is The Bee's arts and culture critic. He currently has the opening song to "Galavant" stuck in his head and doesn't know if he can ever get it out.
Donald Munro

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