Four and a half stars

Ruschman Art Gallery

Malcolm Mobutu Smith takes the forms of everyday objects and re-imagines them. He might, for example, begin with a lump of clay on a potter's wheel and fashion a simple cup from it. Then he'll rework that cup by hand so that the end product looks like nothing in your kitchen cabinet. "Konscript Cloud Cup" is actually closed off at the top with a glazed blue surface, depicting the liquid "Konscript" within the cup, as it were. An oblong protrusion of said cup is marked with perpendicular lines that resemble longitudes and latitudes. "Taggist Bottle" is tagged by graffiti as advertised. So how, you may ask, does this piece come off looking like an ancient Babylonian flask mutated with a seashell? Other works abandon references to drinking objects altogether. "Slump Tripod," for example, hints at eroticism with its legs that resemble Hershey's Kisses. Smith's cutting-edge ceramic sculptures contain amalgams of contemporary American associations and references - Rorschach tests for the early 21st century. Through Jan. 3; 317-634-3114,

Managing Editor

Having lived and worked in Indy on and off since 1977, and currently living in Carmel, I've seen the city change a great deal. I love covering the arts in all its forms, and the places where the arts and broader cultural issues intersect.