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Rising Stars 

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If there was any question about how much the New Orleans art scene has grown in recent years, it was answered as December 2010 witnessed an art community in overdrive with overlapping major spectacles including PhotoNOLA, DesCours and Prospect.1.5. PhotoNOLA alone had shows at more than 50 venues, some extending into this month. Although more low-key than its stellar predecessor, Prospect.1.5 is still a big deal and incorporates local and big-city artists in displays of ambitious aesthetic cross-fertilization. New Orleans-born, New Haven, Conn., painter Max Toth and Bosnia-born New Orleans artist Lala Rascic (pictured) are at Good Children Gallery (4037 St. Claude Ave.). Galleries presenting their own shows along with similarly complementing P.1.5 artists include LeMieux— featuring the inspired juxtaposition of local painter Alan Gerson and Los Angeles photographer Brice Bischoff — and Heriard-Cimino — with the work of New York artist Margaret Evangeline and Baton Rouge sculptor Loren Schwerd.

  The Everyday Hybrid expo at Delgado is something of an oddity. The local and New York-based artists — Brad Benischek, Sesthasak Boonchai, Jennifer Odem, Alex Podesta, Regina Scully, Brian St. Cyr and Panacea Theriac — are all quite accomplished and stimulating, but so visually incongruous as a group that it can be hard to leave with a clear impression of what you saw. At Madame John's Legacy, Michael Pajon's cosmically kitschy, ethno-historical collages are so precise as to make many of the other artists' works look almost laissez faire despite being broadly interesting. Everything comes together cohesively in The Machine in the Garden expo at Octavia Art Gallery, as Brian Borrello, Ralph Bourque, Daphne Loney, Michel Varisco and Christy Speakman all provide poetic explorations of the dark side of Louisiana's carbon-based economy in contrast to the creative spirit of its people, and the incandescence of the sun, moon and stars. — D. Eric Bookhardt

Everyday Hybrid: Prospect.1.5 Group Exhibition

Through Jan. 27

Delgado Community College, Isaac Delgado Fine Art Gallery, 615 City Park Ave., third floor, 671-6377; www.dcc.edu

Fresh Off the Turnip Truck: Prospect.1.5 Group Exhibition

Through Jan. 20

Madame John's Legacy, 632 Dumaine St., 568- 6968; www.lsm.crt.state.la.us

The Machine in the Garden: Prospect.1.5 Group Exhibition

Through Jan. 8

Octavia Art Gallery, 4532 Magazine St., 309-4249; www.octaviaartgallery.com

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