VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND : Art Highlights Plight of African Elephant

Mason Sica's current exhibition at the Ventura County Government Center is, without apology or particular subtlety, art with a cause. The subject of her concern here is the African elephant, imperiled by the ivory trade.

Sica, based in Westlake Village, states her case with titles alone, rallying her various graphite drawings and bronze relief pieces under the series headings of "Vanishing" and "Projected Extinction Via Man." Sica's show is an exercise in variations on a theme, in two and three dimensions.

She reshuffles recurring motifs--the physiognomy and coarse skin of pachyderms, intermingled with representations of the African continent. If this scheme sometimes risks suggesting the shrill literalness of agitprop and graphic art, Sica keeps interest up thanks to her obvious compassion for the subject, as well as her sharp drafting skills.

* Mason Sica's graphite drawings and bronze bas relief works, showing through Nov. 1 at the Ventura County Government Center, Administration Building Atrium, 800 S. Victoria Ave. in Ventura; 654-3963.

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