Women Who Work, Care and Create

That a Zenith Gallery show titled “Women Who Work, Care and Create” would include Elissa Farrow-Savos’s “Nasty Woman” was almost certain. But the artist’s 3-D depiction of a seemingly impatient creature atop a ring of spikes is not specifically polemical. As with much of the other work in this nine-woman show, programmed by Zenith at Eleven Eleven Sculpture Space, the piece is notable for its balance of brawn and delicacy.

One of the more pointed entries is Paula Stern’s “Fanfare for the Working Man,” which stacks a partial ceramic head of an overworked man atop an open briefcase. Stern’s other sculptures celebrate motion, especially dancing. Several of the artists portray the female body or its apparel: Jacqui Crocetta outlines a dress form in twigs and wire, while Susan Freda constructs frocks and shoes in wire, resin and glimmering metal powders.

Farrow-Savos’s gown of clay butterflies links to another frequent theme, threatened nature. Emily Tucci’s “trophies” memorialize endangered African fauna, mostly in wood, clay and paint. Lynda Smith-Bugge sculpts seed pods in poplar, then paints them in vivid hues. The same artist’s “Extrusion” coils serpentine ceramic twists in and around a length of hewed wood. In this array, women’s work is nurturing but rarely gentle.

Women Who Work, Care and Create Through April 27 at Eleven Eleven Sculpture Space, 1111 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.