In the process of developing an aesthetic that’s easily recognizable as her very own, artist Sara Frantz has accomplished other difficult feats — giving landscape painting a fascinating remix, evoking collage without cutting or pasting, and making architectural relics appear lonely — even alienated — despite prismatic interventions.
A Chicago native who taught at the University of Texas at Austin and UTSA from 2007 to 2014 and currently teaches at California Polytechnic State University, Frantz fuses three classic concepts (travel, landscape and nature — both real and imagined) in works that place multicolored structures (rendered in gouache) in bleak-looking black-and-white environments (rendered in graphite).
Exhibition-ready following a fire in May and closure for repairs, Sala Diaz plays host to Frantz’s tellingly titled “Vacancy,” with an opening reception this Saturday. Nodding to the absence of people — and sometimes life in general — in her work, the solo show sees Frantz acting as “the architect of a fake utopian commune of trailer homes” custom-crafted for such characters as “a willing victim of wanderlust, a doctor of philosophy, an aeronautical engineer and an entrepreneur/mother.”
Free, 6-9pm, Sala Diaz, 517 Stieren St., (972) 900-0047, saladiazart.org.