The twenty-first tabletop happening of 5×7 UNDERGROUND occurred on Friday, October 23rd, 2020 from 5-7 p.m. “Illuminate” was the theme and chosen by member, Jeff Sharp, who also add a stipulation that work must light up.

Taking advantage of the mild fall weather, 5×7 UNDERGROUND met once again live and in person at Sterner Art Factory in Silver Run, Maryland. Thomas fired up the pizza oven and we were most grateful. I think this was a longest meeting to date, extending long into the evening.

Artists in attendance included: Jeff Sharp, Mary Beth Francis, Jim Roberts, Lauren Latané-Valis and Thomas Sterner.

Each artist presented their interpretation of Illuminate beginning with Jeff Sharp. After each 5×7 UNDERGROUND artist presented their work in rotation, the work was displayed for a gallery photograph. We hope you enjoy the art and will visit us again!

Feel free to leave some comments below and visit and/or join our Facebook group as we invite all interested artists to create an interpretation of the next theme, “Divided” (5″x7″ or smaller please) and post it to our Facebook group page. 5×7 UNDERGROUND will then post their artworks on the Facebook group page after the next happening on January 8th, 2020. We continue to grow our online community and encourage dedicated artists everywhere to participate!

The image below depicts 5×7 UNDERGROUND interpretations of the theme, “Illuminate” as displayed at Sterner Art Factory, Silver Run, MD.

5×7 UNDERGROUND Tabletop Gallery #21
"The Power of One (Vote)" Mixed media artwork
Jeff Sharp, “The Power of One (Vote)”, 2020, Screen Print on Aluminum with vintage control panel bulb, 8in x 6in x 2.25in.

With the 2020 presidential election coming up, this piece was created to reiterate the power of the single.  Every vote counts, despite what certain incumbent presidents think. Now on December 6th, the power of the single vote continues to hold true, despite countless lawsuits and recounts. 

"I'm not like them." acrylic and LED artwork
Lauren Latané-Valis, “I’m not like them.”, 2020, acrylic and LED lights, 5in x 7in.
"The Slap" mixed media artwork
Thomas Sterner, “The Slap”, 2020, direct exposure onto Kodachrome film using a 5×7 view camera, with two 12v relayed LED lights, in a cedar frame 7in x 5in x 5in.

Additional information:

The large format color slides are illuminated from the back with a flash of light.  The 2 identical relays which control the flash go out of synchronization over time, and move back into phase.  The glass reflects the opposing image, creating the slap instance, with hand striking cheek. 


I have been a lifelong fan of phasing music, which most people find annoying because of its repetition and layering.  The music of Philip Glass and Steve Reich in particular exemplifies this phasing effect.  Early experimental music by Steve Reich using 2 identical looped cassette tapes in identical tape players, started at the same time, will phase in and out, creating very interesting affects in music and spoken word in his 1965 recording “Its Gonna Rain”.  This new piece, “The Slap”, attempts to create this effect visually.

"collapsed hive (beginning of the end)" mixed media artwork
Jim Roberts, “collapsed hive (beginning of the end)”, 2020, mixed media (beeswax, steel, LED lights, glass, gesso on wood), 7in x 5in x 2in.

Pesticides and loss of habitat have endangered honeybee colonies across our nation. This in turn threatens the pollination of food crops and orchards. It’s wise to remember that as go the bees, we too could follow.

Mary Beth Francis, “”, 2020, cut paper and tissue paper with LED lighting, 5in x 5in.