Paul’s last day and Ben’s ongoing

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Joy Feasley wrote to remind us that today is the last day to see her partner, Paul Swenbeck‘s witchy, Night on Bald Mountain installation, “Specter of the Brocken” at PAFA‘s Morris Gallery. Next up in the Morris, opening Dec. 11, is an exhibit of work by Quentin Morris, known for his black-themed works.

What would Ben do?

That’s not the exact question posed by the nice Kip Deeds-organized Ben Franklin theme exhibit at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ, but the group show has local and non-local artists ruminating on all things Franklin, and the works are serious and some of them, seriously funny.

The show has an online presence and while it’s a little too much reading and the images are a little small, there are a few treats. I laughed at first at Elijah Gowin‘s invention — a self-baptism machine — (shown) which the artist conjures as a possible Franklin item had the great inventor been born in the south. It’s an interesting idea to regionalize the great inventor and speculate on the way environmental, cultural and other things drove his mind.

When I checked out Gowin’s website, I found a wonderful spread of photographs by the artist of works by self-taught Birmingham artist Lonnie Hawley. These are documentary photos of Hawley’s fabulous clutter art (some built up over 20 years) before they were bulldozed for an airport expansion. Gowin also had another body of work represented on the website that had a poetic, Victorian affect. I highly recommend a visit.

The Lawrenceville exhibit runs through December 14th with a break over Thanksgiving.

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