Imagination, ingenuity and an impassioned call to action animate beguiling mixed media sculptures and evocative drawings by Cynthia Minet. In Matter Studio Gallery’s ongoing thematic exhibition series, Minet’s solo exhibition Urgent Matter investigates the powerful conceptual foundation behind the confluence of materials and message in her work. Depicting animals from canine to feline, mammalian and aviary, using realistic anatomy but unconventional elements like recycled plastics, post-consumer packaging, motors and lights, Minet’s creatures show the eccentric scars of hand-made craftsmanship.

Contemplating the ironic connection between the petrochemical toxicity that threatens the entire natural and zoological world and the charming, witty spirit of these animals creates a sweet discomfort that hopefully gives way to a sense of urgency.

Matter Studio Gallery, 5080 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City; opening reception: Sun., Jan. 19, 4-7 p.m.; exhibition dates: Fri., 2-6 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., noon-6 p.m., through Feb. 29; free.

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