By Michael Eilers Arizona Daily Wildcat

After surviving the slings, arrows, and axes of the budget-cutting administrators, the Union Gallery in the Student Union is open once again, displaying works by UA alumni.

A series of utterly unique and abstract glass sculptures by renowned local artist and gallery owner Tom Philabaum dominates the gallery.

Philabaum's mastery of glass art is evident in these colorful, somewhat bizarre pieces. He manages to wrestle white-hot molten material into delicate, organic shapes and structures that seem made more of air than glass.

Also on display are several pastel-on-paper pieces by Phil Lichtenhan, depicting studies of the human form. His color choices are very unusual, ranging from ruddy earthtones to hints of bright green and blue, and his sketchy, minimalist lines describe movement rather than standard static models.

On the west wall are several oil paintings by Charles Pique, full of neon colors and loaded with detail. The word "whimsical" is extremely overused, but it is the only way to describe the carnival, Mardi Gras atmosphere of these paintings. Menacing shapes lurk behind all the bright, playful patterns and caricatures.

Alumna DeAnn Melton contributed several large oil paintings. Technically superb, the colors and shapes of these paintings seem like Renaissance paintings done in impressionist style in fact, she cites Classical art as one of her main influences. Yet the symbolic logic is a bit vague and introverted; contrasting a portrait of "Gail Wimmer" with graphically depicted cataract surgery seems purposefully obscure.

Also contributing are Bobbette Gilliard and Albert Kogel. The Gallery is on the first floor of the Student Union, between the main entrance and the Gallagher Theater.

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