If it’s ever been in a Happy Meal, piñata, or an arcade’s giant-claw machine, chances are you’ll see it in Shawne Major’s art. Inspired by tapestries and folk art quilting traditions, Major fills her cloth with sewn-on plastic knickknacks, including green Army men, Lego pieces, stuffed animals, tiaras, rubber duckies, and tiny traffic cones. These items make the intricately patterned wall hangings of Love Calls Us to the Things of This World both a celebration and an indictment of consumerism. Major’s assortment of Made-in-China plastic items brings to mind the vast landfills of America, teeming with so many of these unnecessary, unbiodegradable items. Environmentalism isn’t what calls Major to her toys, though, as the title of the show explains. She takes the man-made and makes it hand-made.
THE EXHIBITIONS ARE ON VIEW FROM 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M. TUESDAY–SATURDAY TO MAY 16 AT IRVINE CONTEMPORARY, 11412 14TH ST. N.W. FREE. (202) 332-8767.