What do antique circus posters, Italian wrapping paper, geological survey maps and a Canaletto print have in common? Nothing, unless you’re collagist Sara Pearce. Perhaps best known as a veteran arts reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer, Pearce has spent the past year and a half garnering a sterling reputation for fashioning meticulous collages packed with intrepid heroines and a wry sense of humor. In Expecting to Fly, on view at 5th Street Gallery downtown, Pearce’s whimsical worlds do not disappoint. The mischievous characters that inhabit her small-scale works are always clever but never cloying. In addition to the many series’ curious juxtapositions and sheer visual delight, Pearce’s labels catalog the intriguing origins of her disparate source materials, a herculean task in its own right.
Through April 7. 55 W. 5th St., downtown. 5thstreetgallery.com, 513-570-9333.