Two modern storytellers offer shows that amuse and intrigue. San Francisco-based artist Eric Joyner’s “Tarsus Bondon Dot” places brightly colored robots and large-scale donuts in a variety of realistic, relatable landscapes. The playful, fanciful series leads viewers through a world inhabited by robots and/or donuts. “Special Delivery” depicts a robot driving an ice cream truck off a precipice. “All Systems Go” launches a subtly flummoxed cat into space. In “Escape Velocity,” an X-12 hurtles through gilded clouds while giant donuts rise like an alien planet behind them. “Rockin’ at Sharkeys” brings a crowd of robots to a robot boxing ring. There’s a poignant undercurrent to each of these images that at first glance draw a smile.
Pop-art storyteller Lori Nelson offers a series of works that nicely complement Joyner’s. Titled “Cryptotweens: Find My Friends,” her witty magical realism merges lush, fairytale-like illustration with a spooky yet endearing cast of creatures alternatively avoiding or co-existing with a world driven by technology. Her primarily blue palette adds a mysterious, nighttime tone, as in the titular diptych “Find My Friends,” featuring two almost-tweens using hand-held computers emanating beams of light to search in a dark forest. Accompanying them are a red-eyed raccoon, owl and bunny. A squirrel holds a satellite dish aloft. Behind the figures other satellite dishes float on a river or inhabit a suburban backyard. “Opt Out IV” features a cryptotween nestled with bunnies beneath the roots of a tree, while above ground satellite dishes and scanners multiply.