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OpticalReverb artist pulls from classics, current events

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D.K. McDonalds Cold and Broken Hallelujah, on display - with other works at Phantom Canyon.
  • D.K. McDonalds Cold and Broken Hallelujah, on display with other works at Phantom Canyon.

For artist D.K. McDonald, creating artwork involves speaking not only to the viewer's eye, but also to her intellectual inspirations.

Acrylic paints and collage are just a couple of McDonald's many mastered media. Focusing on figural and abstract motifs, McDonald creates delicate but striking pieces with muses from a multitude of sources, including what she reads.

And pairing words with pictures is natural for McDonald. The poem "The Shield of Achilles" by W.H. Auden (notable in part for its "no sign of neighborhood" and its "bored officials") inspired a painting she did after Hurricane Katrina titled, "For the City of New Orleans."

"My own work focuses on the emotional landscape," says the artist, who also does photos and illustration for experimental literature Web site Mad Hatters' Review (madhattersreview.com).

Philosophy stirs McDonald into visual translations of complex subjects, lending to a Surrealist flavor in her works.

In "Mi Tema, Mi Temor" ("My Theme, My Fear"), McDonald synthesized photographs of pre-Columbian masks with an acrid wash of dark background color. She then split them to reveal a strange image of a pair of backward hands between the masks, which act as gates. The result is a bewildering mixture of unease and intrigue.

McDonald has now teamed up with OpticalReverb director Jason Zacharias for his latest show, Jedi Suggestions, along with numerous other artists creating in 2D and 3D realms. Joining her are Michael Garman (of Magic Town), Jennifer Newman, Warren Arcila, Kevin Williams, Joey Gudenas and Tina and Amanda Cross.

OpticalReverb presents Jedi Suggestions
Phantom Canyon, 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
Running through Oct. 4
Call 387-7212 or visit opticalreverb.com for details.

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