"Jerry Jeanmard: Collages" Jerry Jeanmard has an eye. The longtime Houston resident has worked as an interior designer for nearly 30 years for the firm Wells Design/Jerry Jeanmard. He's also made his name as an illustrator; his claim to fame is one of his earliest jobs — the Blue Bell Ice Cream logo (you know the one — the silhouette of a little girl leading a cow for milking). For the past five years, Jeanmard has turned his eye to a less public endeavor — creating collages out of envelopes, bills and other scraps of paper. These pieces usually didn't see the light of day, going into storage upon completion or being sold to select clients. But lucky for us, the artist has his first solo show in an exhibition of 17 collages currently up at Moody Gallery. The collages were born out of Jeanmard's fascination with paper, and he's not discriminating. What would normally be seen by most as pieces of garbage are treasured items to Jeanmard. Once they're combined, the resulting conglomerations are clean and sharp, even where the paper is uneven, torn or creased. There's a nice continuity to the show, too — all of the works are done on the same size paper, and all of the collages are enveloped by a significant amount of white space, which helps the somewhat muted colors stand out. It's tempting to try to draw some sort of meaning out of the items used in the collages, from text to recognizable forms such as stamps and maps. But as the phrase goes, they are what they are. In fact, none of the pieces on display are even titled. (Broken Hearted, the lone titled work, sold and has since been replaced by an untitled piece.) If anything, these pieces are mostly about the appreciation of the paper. There can be beauty (or, more so the case here, a strong pleasantness) even in the most unlikely places, a lesson which can always bear repeating. Through January 5. 2815 Colquitt, 713-526-9911. — MD

"Jonathan Faber: Surface" Looking at Jonathan Faber's new work up at David Shelton Gallery, I see faces looking back at me. As with some Rorschach test that replaces black and white for neon colors and blots for primal geometric shapes, I can't help but see faces. In Surface, there are sleepy, swollen eyes; a light black stroke for a nose; and a thin zigzag for a mouth. In Broadcast, the image of a face is less apparent, but there appear to be the makings of a green skull with jagged lines for teeth. Whether or not you see faces, you'll surely be striving to find something familiar in these abstract pieces. (Is that a sail in Blanket?) The Austin artist has a history of creating works that are intentionally ambiguous, based off of slippery memories of boating trips, his childhood home, Vermont stays and whatever else is buried there. Several of the works, in fact, seem indicative of a place. Wake looks like some sort of marshland, inhabited by an ominous aqua-blue specter waiting in the reeds. Segment is surprisingly restrained compared to Faber's busier works. There's what appears to be a sewage pipe spouting toxic water, and black blobs that look like scrambled Mickey Mouse ears. The painting has an unfinished quality, with black marks floating off into the distance. It's open-ended. The majority of these works are oil paintings, though Faber also has little studies in pastels. These seem less indicative of a certain place or landscape, as in Bouquet. As the name promises, there are images of flowers, however faint. They are floating, delicate imprints surrounded by harsh, crude lines of stripes and triangles. The bouquet is almost an afterthought. With this latest work, Faber continues to toe the line between figurative and abstract art, though it's one that's increasingly getting blurred. There's more guesswork involved and not knowing. That can be challenging, but Faber leaves just enough clues to keep you in the game. Through January 5. 3909 Main, 832-538-0924. — MD

"Laura Nicole Kante: Fibers of Being" Putting it mildly, fiber is a big source of inspiration for Laura Nicole Kante. The artist, who's based out of McKinney, has three distinct works, all involving and experimenting widely with woven forms, currently up at Lawndale Art Center's Cecily E. Horton Gallery. The most prominent piece spreads through the upstairs gallery like a doily virus. Crochet lace takes over the walls, bending around corners and stretching above typically off-limits areas, like the elevator, where you don't usually expect to see work. It's an organic piece not unlike what the artist displayed recently on a major wall in the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft's "CraftTexas 2012" show. But I like how this technique works in a smaller space; the woven piece is able to interact with the architecture of the room and really encompass you. In another work, Kante's wall pieces take on more of a hard, sculptural form as handwoven copper, linen and silk interact to form alternately pointy and slithery beings. These project from the wall like horizontal stalactites or creep up it like snakes. They're pretty creepy, to say the least, which is not a feeling you usually associate with cloth. Lastly, Kante has created multiple wall slabs composed of drywall, wood, nails, and crocheted linen and doilies — beautiful and harsh at the same time. They hang on the wall as if cut and pasted from a previous exhibition of her crochet installations. Combined, these are all subtle, quiet works. There isn't a lot of color, which doesn't have a big impact at first. But once you spend some time with them, they all take on a life of their own. Through January 12. 4912 Main, 713-528-5858. — MD

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