Just because you can doesn’t mean you should create. This is a lesson well-learned in flicks like Frankenstein and The Terminator. In both films, disaster strikes — a mad scientist stitches together a lumbering monster and artificially intelligent machines attempt to destroy the human race — all due to man’s longing to create. Luckily, the latest mechanical pieces assembled by folks at Davidson College are far less threatening. Even better, the works are a parody of Norman White’s “Helpless Robot,” which was incapable of movement. Parodic Machines will feature works by artists Nick Bontrager, David Bowen, Matt Kenyon, Hye Yeon Nam and Fernando Orellana, while Desiring Machines will feature works by Paula Gaetano Adi, curator for Parodic Machines and longtime creator of robotic artwork. Reception on Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Parodic Machines is held in Van Every Gallery. Desiring Machines is held in Smith Gallery.
Om! Playwright Mallery Avidon grew up in an ashram, and in O Guru Guru Guru, or Why I Don’t Want to go to Yoga Class with You, her heroine Lila will thoroughly explain to us why she has strayed from the path. It’s a three-part journey at CAST, including a PowerPoint presentation, a puppet show and a visit to the Eat Pray Love ashram, where we can expect a Julia Roberts sighting. Be prepared to take off your shoes, maybe sit yogi-style on a cushion, and drift off into meditation as Lila — actually the luminous Cody Harding — invites us to see things her way. If you’ve never entertained the notion that spirituality in America is overly commercialized, you will be shocked, shocked by Lila’s attitude in this comedy directed by CAST artistic director Michael R. Simmons. (Perry Tannenbaum) $18-$28
Shadows can be dark, mysterious, reflective and distorted. They are faceless, making up for lack of details by elongating forms. For Guyanese artist Stanley Greaves, they are “symbolic of the collective unconscious.” This can be gloomy or gracious, as expressed through the movements and poses of his figures. Greaves, better known for surreal paintings inspired by political turmoil in Guyana from the 1960s to the 1980s, has created this new series for UNC Charlotte’s Murmurs on the Other Side of the Light exhibit. It will also showcase some of his earlier Caribbean-influenced works. Come during the opening reception, when Greaves will lecture and local mime Hardin Minor will perform. Free admission. Reception on Nov. 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Anita Overcash) Free admission
Money. It’s the first thing you’ll probably think of when you read the title of this new exhibit at McColl Center for Visual Arts. If that’s the case, you’re partially right about the reference. This exhibit does feature what appears to be money, but also opens the doors to “creative” currency. Organized by Core Visual Art — a collective of six former McColl Center affiliate artists, including Daniel Allegrucci, Crista Camarroto, Diane Hughes, Ashley Lathe, Laura McCarthy and Felicia van Bork — the idea is to create dialogue around forms of exchange. A piece in the exhibit, inspired by the exchanging of ideas, is “State Currencies.” For it, artists came up with their own ideas of currency for all the states in the U.S., based on ongoing political drama. Folks attending the opening reception can add their two cents to an interactive work. Opening reception on Nov. 22. (Anita Overcash) Free admission
This exhibit exposes the greatness of photographer Sonia Handelman Meyer and works by other members of the long-defunct Photo League — a NYC photog group established in 1936 for budding young artists. Much of Meyer’s work focuses on social justice and presents individuals in a documentary style. From shoots at integrated hospitals to Harlem scenes, Meyer captures captivating portraits. After PL shut down in 1951, Meyer fell under the radar but her works resurfaced in Charlotte, where she moved later in her life. This showcase reminds us of photography’s ability to spur social change, a power that was very much opposed, and even dismantled, by the powers-that-be of Meyer’s time. (Anita Overcash) $5-$10; free for members and children 4 years old and under
In an effort to further explore African-American identity, The Gantt Center is unveiling three new exhibits. They’ll focus, more specifically, on black men through a variety of mediums. Question Bridge: Black Males, created by Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, is a video project based around San Diego’s African-American community. Later expanded, the project asks black men to express their views on a range of topics. There’s also New Mythologies, a multi-media exhibit of works by Brooklyn-based artist William Villalongo. He uses symbolism and intricate details to make his viewers dissect the meaning in his works — interwoven with aspects of race, identity and history. It’s a fun quest. Also on exhibit: African-American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center, comprised of works inspired by the social, cultural and political visions of its creators, both professional and budding African-American artists. $6-$8