Sincerity in Provincial

Abhorring an artistic vacuum, five emerging Northeast Ohio artists pool their diverse talents to provoke reaction -- or at least attention. Something, anything. They may or may not get it. Take a cue from the ungrammatical title; this is a mixed bag at best. Clevelander Jerry Schmidt's voice is the most developed, and his anthropomorphic steel sculptures are particularly memorable. "Debonair" is a column of three black-metal diamonds encased by a smooth black curve. Slick and graceful, the structure embodies its human characteristic almost perfectly. "Reunion," meanwhile, is actually touching: A silver curve embraces and lifts another, as if one had jumped into the other's arms. Many of Jennifer Toronski's painterly experiments are similarly successful. In "Layers," swooshes and dashes in light, translucent hues evoke three-dimensionality, each swirl occupying a distinct region of space in foreground or background. With "Bathtub," Toronski frolics with a drip-and-faucet motif confidently and imaginatively, without devolving into pattern, sacrificing looseness of gesture, or even departing from abstraction. Cleveland Institute of Art student Jordan Perme leaves the freshest impression. She repeatedly ventures into conceptual territory, but strikes real meaning with "Jane Doe." Twenty pairs of fake pink tennis shorts serve as frames to old-style photos of regular women. Like Britney, though, these ladies aren't that innocent. Mix-and-match cards reveal their various secrets, from faking orgasms to cheating on recipe contests. But they're heroes nonetheless, taking stands within domestic confines. Through March 3 at Asterisk Gallery, 2393 Professor Ave., 330-304-8528, -- Lewis