PORTSMOUTH — What do pizza, music and Pennsylvania bluestone have in common?
They’re all inspirations for a trio of exhibitions opening Friday at 3S Artspace Gallery, 319 Vaughan St.
The showcase includes the series “Every Other Line” by Jim Zingarelli, “Ordinary, Elusive” by Steve Novick and “Off-Color” by Cody Mack.
Visitors can see the exhibits in person from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays through April 25. Up to 10 people are allowed in at a time.
There’s also an option to reserve private visits on Saturdays and Sundays, or visit the virtual gallery at galleryat3s.org.
Novic, from Somerville, Mass., works from a studio crammed with stuff from thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets.
There are seven works in his “Ordinary, Elusive” series. Their forms tend to be simple, surrealistic and often playful, as if uncovering an “alter ego” for found objects.
“We’re akin to characters in a Superman’ comic: The hero is right there, but you don’t recognize him until Clark Kent takes off his glasses — or, in this instance, until the assembler reveals his secrets,” Novick said.
Take the two pizza-related pieces: the pristine shape of “Slice” and the whimsical “Slice (Leftover),” which is made up of a part of a wooden cheese-utensil container and two red pepperoni-looking wheels from a pull toy. There are some stains on the wood, and the tip of the slice is missing.
Zingarelli, who created 50 new paintings for “Every Other Line,” was inspired by the improvisational tones of jazz and the way musicians feed off each other’s riffs as if having a conversation.
The Amesbury, Mass., artist begins each piece with a series of sketchbook drawings, all stemming from the point of a single line. Later, he transfers the patterns onto a canvas, like the notes on a musical bar.
The effect is both measured and free flowing.
“It all becomes less predictable as the process continues … new color choices, line thickness and balance, value adjustments and contrast,” Zingarelli said.
Mack, a Lowell, Mass., painter, printmaker and sculptor, earned a bachelor of fine art degree in 2014 from what today is the Institute of Art and Design at New England College.
He uses Pennsylvania bluestone for his creations in the exhibit “Off-Color.”
“I hand-picked each stone, created pigments to simplify the color and matched the pigment with latex paint. Some objects were outsourced and made with industrial processes. Others were less calculated and developed by chance systems,” Mack said.
The 3S Artspace gallery also has scheduled a virtual Q&A session with the artists via Zoom on March 31 to give the public a chance to ask about their work, creative processes and backgrounds.