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Playfully energetic

In 2010, as part of Beyond/In Western New York, Buffalo hosted a wide range of accomplished artists, many of whom hailed from outside the Buffalo Niagara region. One of them was the Toronto-based John Dickson, whose installation at Big Orbit gallery featured an intricate model of a cityscape periodically interrupted by puffs of smoke. In the Beyond/In catalog, Big Orbit director Sean Donaher wrote that Dickson's works "examine the complex relationships between the natural and constructed worlds in which we exist."

An exhibition of Dickson's work, "Big John and Other Small Works," goes on view today in the Indigo Art gallery (74 Allen St.). The show, which features work from an 18-year period of Dickson's career, is a promising sign of increased cultural interaction between Buffalo and Toronto.

"All the work is playful, especially in its use of material and process. Everyday materials are transformed from something static and lifeless into creations filled with energy and movement," Dickson wrote in a statement. "There is an interest in capturing and fixing the ephemeral and transitory: the dripping of a tear, the sinking of a ship, the passing of a cloud, or a moment in a film."

The exhibition remains on view through May 27. Call 984-9572.

-- Colin Dabkowski