Contrary to its tag, the Little Gallery in Benson will feature the versatile and prolific Omaha artist Courtney Kenny Porto in its next exhibit, Switch it Up, which opens this Friday, June 2, from 6-9 p.m.
Eschewing her more familiar exotic and figurative work, for the past several months Porto has been painting hundreds of light switch covers for her upcoming show during this month’s Benson First Friday.
She originally decided to use light switch covers as her canvas as a less expensive way for viewers to buy an original piece of art. Porto was also interested in the idea that these pieces can be used functionally, as true light-switch covers, or displayed in groups as a multi-paneled painting.
“As I began to dive deeper into this idea and its potential,” she said, “I realized that I wanted to cover an entire wall in light switch covers.”
To that end, the ambitious Porto has painted about 450 covers in order to cover a 19-ft wall in the Little Gallery. Her intention is for the viewer to be completely engulfed in hundreds of small pieces of art.
The majority of Porto’s covers are abstract pieces, utilizing design, texture and composition; some are representational, one group makes up a larger recognizable image and a few depict small segments from other larger paintings.
Though the work in Switch It Up may appear at first glance to be only decorative and industrial, Porto raises the bar with her knack for clever composition, graphic design and gestural mark-making.
The wall light covers and other related paintings in Switch It Up will open June 2 at the Little Gallery in Benson from 6-9 p.m. and continue until June. 30.