Thursday, April 2, 2009

First Friday Spotlight: The Infantree

by Cliff B. Lewis

(First in a series of "First Friday Spotlights")

Lancaster art is more than just flowers and barns, and spots like the Infantree gallery on the 4th floor of 21 N Prince St are a testament to that fact. The Infantree was founded by Lancastrian Tim Hoover in 2007 to create a space for genuine artistic quality and creative expression in Downtown Lancaster. Hoover was later joined by Ryan Martin and Ryan Smoker, making the Infantree a unified collective of artists sharing a special propensity toward graphic design.

The gallery at 211 N Prince exudes a delightfully urban atmosphere—being one of the few galleries as high as four stories up. Upon entering the forth-floor studio, even the initial hallway is dressed for the evening’s exhibit, bearing visual nods to an established theme. Typically, the exhibit itself is composed of work from several local artists, aligned with a common thematic strain. Last month, for instance, the exhibit featured vivid grid of nearly 100 small, square-shaped works (each 6” by 6”).

Much of the work displayed at the Infantree is oriented toward a collage-like design aesthetic, and almost none is immune to a certain hint of indie-quirk and irony. The Infantree displays art that isn’t merely “pretty” or “quaint”; it displays art that, although certainly pleasing in color and form, stretches the visual palate of the viewer by challenging their artistic assumptions. And just like good food, effective art will carry the recipient somewhere beyond familiarity to introduce new realms of enjoyment.

This First Friday, April 3, from 5-9pm, the Infantree will present “Out There,” and exhibit featuring the works of John Slaby, Keith Garcia, Christian Herr, and Kris Harzinski. For more information and a few samples from the featured artists, click here.