Just when you thought you knew what to expect from Gallery Hop, things are getting a little more unpredictable.
Some of the university galleries are closed for the summer, but other venues — including Zag's Boutique and Gallery, relatively new to the Hop — will be open.
Zag's will be showing the work of Paula Zaglul, who works in fiber, drawing and a various other techniques to create unique pieces. In comparison to traditional galleries, Zag's is looser, exploring all sorts of art forms, ensuring that it will be a fun place to visit during the Hop.
Also breaking with tradition are some venues showing the progressive work that has come from an increasingly conscientious society and some generous public funding.
The introduction of the city's EcoArt grant is continuing to affect the local arts scene, with ArtsPlace and SKO City Gallery showing environmentally conscious art.
ArtsPlace is exhibiting Shaped by Water, an annual exhibit by Kentucky Riverkeeper, a group that works to restore the Kentucky River watershed. This year's collection continues in the group's tradition but benefits from the EcoArt grant for the first time.
The work is diverse, featuring several artists showing paintings, recycled glass mobiles, quilting and ceramics in addition to other mediums. But the superficial quality is secondary to the commentary of the pieces, which is about raising awareness of water quality.
The theme is fitting for the EcoArt grant, which LexArts community arts manager Nathan Zamarron says "has helped the environmental arts in the community pick up steam."
Now, more galleries are showing eco art at the Hop.
At SKO City Gallery, the work of Murray Dwertman takes center stage. Dwertman is a Brooklyn, N.Y., artist who derives inspiration from one of the most prominent natural elements in the city: the street trees.
Dwertman's trees are re-created in miniature from Styrofoam packing peanuts, a decidedly non-compostable and wasteful material. The trees are displayed on corrugated cardboard shelves and are so delicate that they move under the slightest draft.
In comparison, the tree in the center of the room is startlingly large, reaching up to brush the high ceiling. The tree was removed from Lexington's streets during a replanting before Dwertman swathed it in Styrofoam peanuts. The careful packaging of the tree is worthy of the exhibit's title: ProtectUs.
Alongside Dwertman's work is a large piece by Hui Chi Lee, in collaboration with her advanced- drawing students at UK. The piece is called Go Green Be Clean and is a complex network of lines created though layering a painted mirror under vertically stretched threads.
"They were both kind of comments on consumerism," Zamarron said of the connection between Lee's and Dwertman's work. He said that if you study the painted lines of Go Green Be Clean enough, you will see the forms of mannequins in the painted lines, and maybe spot yourself in the mirror.
Possibly the most unique quality of this Hop is that, if you decide you've had enough of the art, Institute 193 and Land of Tomorrow offer alternative options.
Institute 193 will end its week of lunch-hour sandwich-making with a night of sandwiches.
Johnny Shipley, a Lexington chef and friend of Institute 193 owner Phillip March Jones, will be making Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches during the Hop, one by one, under the glare of the gallery spotlights.
"It's really glorifying this process," Jones said.
The sandwiches are $5, with the proceeds going to the Institute, which has enjoyed a steady sandwich business this week.
"The sandwich show is not an art show; it's a project," Jones said. "All of the projects we do are to demonstrate the versatility of the space."
Land of Tomorrow also will show some versatility. During Gallery Hop, LOT is hosting Get Some, a night of music featuring three DJs: Midnight Conspiracy, The Chaotic Good and Midnight Diggers. The space, usually a stage for contemporary art, will be transformed into a club for the one night.
In the summer, because the LOT building lacks central air-conditioning, "it's hard for us to do normal hung shows," said Drura Parrish of the gallery. For that reason, he is trying to fill in with music when it isn't possible to have an exhibit.
Parrish said, "I like the idea that shortcomings in funding give rise to a new medium."