Much like assembling the individual pieces of a puzzle to complete a picture, viewing the Union Galleries’ Late Winter Exhibits in succession provides a true celebration of art by combining the distinct elements of form, tone, color and the unconventional. The work of Elizabeth Karpov depicts the design element of form. In her most recent show “Wool Unbound,” Karpov created sculptures made from beeswax, twine and sheep’s wool. Karpov began working with wool five years ago and was inspired by the animals beneath it. “As I started to make the pieces, they started to make themselves wool bodies,” Karpov said. Karpov’s work embraces simplicity. “Wool is a very simple material. I love the touch, texture, smell and color,” Karpov smiled. For many, the motivations behind the exhibit exceed the complexity of the art. At times, it takes an organic eye to recognize the ethereal inspiration behind the beeswax, twine and wool, but Karpov explained that “possibilities develop out of simple materials.” To harness the possibilities of wool, Karpov sought to create a unique “environment” for the art. Karpov applies her rendition of the famous Einstein quote, “The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know,” to explain how she conceptualizes her work. “My work is to get myself ready not to know. It is in the making of the art that I begin to know,” Karpov said. Karpov and the team of volunteers from the WUD Art Committee embraced the unknown and the serendipity in rendering the exhibit. “The actual installation was a team effort particular to this time, this day, this space,” Karpov said. “It would never be the same again. What you see here is the influence of the moment.” While the work of Karpov focuses on form, Steven Poster’s photography exhibit titled, “Around the Edges,” curated by Peter Frank, highlights tone and similarly puts the creativity in the hands of the group hanging it. “We did the general layout and it grew organically,” said Art Director for the Wisconsin Union Galleries Art Committee Nicole Rodriguez. “The show was designed to let people have fun with it. There was no curatorial direction. The group hanging it always shows me new connections within the work,” Poster said. One such notable connection might be the pairing of the photograph “Help the Ugly 1993” with “Bicycle Dream 1971.” In “Help the Ugly 1993,” a homeless man sits on a bench beside an alms cup. The sign he holds bears the phrase, “Please Help the Ugly.” The picture, which causes a simultaneous response of humor and pity, hangs next to the photo of a boy making such an adorably grotesque face that the mother’s adage, “Your face will free that way,” invariably comes to mind. This connection between these two photographs supersedes any generational or class differences between the subjects of the pieces and instead brings an element of lightness to weighty issues of the world. The show captures what Rodriguez deems “moments in time” expressed completely through black and white tones. Poster spent what he calls a “lifetime in the motion picture business.” His work ranges from the cult-classic thriller “Donnie Darko,” to “Rocky V,” to “Strange Brew.” It is obvious that Poster’s work reflects generations of experience and travel. “I’ve been doing this since I was fourteen or fifteen years old. The show is part of a 40-45 year retrospective.” Poster only began to show his work in the past decade to heighten the impact of his retrospective and distinguish his work from that of the flood of energetic art school grads. “That was my deliberate decision I made when I was 27,” Poster said. “I decided I wouldn’t show my work until I was over 60. I kept shooting and let it age, like wine.” Poster explains his work as “storytelling.” His photos have drawn inspiration from the likes of great street photographers like Walter Evans. “I tell stories that don’t exploit people,” Poster said. “It’s a way of looking at life where they can make fun of themselves. It’s a quirky sense of humor.” The influence of emotion is evident in Poster’s work. Whether viewing the animalistic and tribal “Living Theater 1969” or observing the juxtaposition between the static and the living in “Two Statues 1965,” Poster’s work assumes the quintessential charisma of the films he has spent his life crafting. “Interestingly enough when I started showing the prints around to dealers, each spent a lot of time with them,” Poster said. “They said, ‘Each is like a little movie.'” The large size of the photographs plays an important role in the presentation of Poster’s work. “I consider myself a muralist in a sense.” Poster’s work spans the globe. “They’re from all over: Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo. With this kind of work … it’s an observation of life,” Poster said. The other two exhibits “Cosmic Metal: Alchemic Tantrism” by Logu Ramasamy and “EarthCurve” by Bobette Rose and Katherine Steichen Rosing bring spirits of energy and sensuality to the Late Winter Exhibitions. Ramasamy’s work focuses on the portrayal of South Indian spirituality. The copper work stitched onto the vibrant watercolor canvas is visually intriguing and suggests a dreamlike quality. The most successful pieces contain the interplay between warm and cool colors. Through EarthCurve, Rose and Rosing portray the sensuality of nature. The talent of Rosing is evident through her ability to maintain the iridescence of the paint while using it to sculpt 3-D projections from the canvas. Meanwhile, Rose worked with more muted tones. Her encaustic wax working on a panel “Reaping” is easily the most successful and abstract element of EarthCurve. Karpov, Poster, Ramasamy, Rose and Rosing’s work embody a complete picture of the talents present in today’s art world.