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Re-Emerge and Discoveries: Overlooked Beauty

To assemble the Studio Gallery exhibit Discoveries: Overlooked Beauty, photographer Jo Levine leveraged her happenstance encounters with bits of botanical detritus into still lifes with deep black backgrounds that suggest Dutch Golden Age paintings. It all began, Levine writes, “with a sweetgum tree ball and a dried magnolia fruit cone that I found on my path during a walk last fall.” Her approach is hardly groundbreaking; both botanical images and an unplanned method for stumbling across subject matter are staples of photography. What’s notable about Levine’s images are their formality and restraint; there are hardly any showy petals or leaves, just variations on beige, rust, maroon, and Dijon yellow—items that “most people would rake from their lawns and sidewalks without a second thought.” Removed from this humble context, her subjects are finally able to shine. Also showing is a group show titled Re-Emerge, featuring works by William Bowser (William Christenberry-style sculptures of rustic buildings), Bob Burgess (abstract photography), Kimberley Bursic (botanical collagraphs), Jennifer Duncan (paintings of abstract landscapes), Pam Frederick (occult themed collages), Jeremy Limerick (black-and-white photography), and Al Lipton (primary color infused oils on canvas). The exhibition runs through June 19 at Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW. Online exhibitions and coronavirus safety measures are available at studiogallerydc.com. Free.