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Artists Brittany Ham and Elise Thompson Investigate Nostalgia in 'Fun Baggage' at Mantle Art Space

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What's art if not a way for creators to deal with their emotional baggage?

Artists Brittany Ham of San Antonio and Elise Thompson of New York City make this explicit in their dual exhibition "Fun Baggage," which opens Saturday at Mantle Art Space.

Ham and Thompson each explore the inevitable bittersweetness of nostalgia — how a love and reverence for things past is both a source of joy and pain. The exhibition addresses "internal, abstract ideas concerning emotional connections to memory, which is often a mixed bag," and includes large paintings that seem to reach out at the viewer via vibrant color palettes and 3D textures.

With pieces that range "from blip-like representational narratives to abstract, roving textures exposed and hidden through gesture," this isn't yet another stereotypical, Americana-centric nostalgia fest. It's up to the viewers to bring their own baggage — and have fun with it.

Free, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, January 18, Mantle Art Space, 714 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 971-4740, mantleartspace.com.

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