Friday night's Gallery Hop, the first of 2010, provides many reasons for Lexingtonians to get out and brave the cold. Some of the shows are familiar, having been open for a few weeks. Others will have their premiere at the Hop.
Transylvania University's Morlan Gallery will open an exhibit by Kentucky artist Zoé Strecker, the Kenan Visiting Artist at Transylvania.
In Auction Block, Strecker has created a choreographed installation piece that combines ceramics, audio recordings and 180 square feet of mirror in a humorous assessment of value.
"Zoé has been working in installation for the last seven years, and this new work takes the same approach, stretching our notion of what art should look like and how we can experience it," said Andrea Fisher, director of the Morlan Gallery.
Just a few blocks away, at ArtsPlace, the Bluegrass Printmakers' Co-op is showing a collection of its work, sharing the space with the dramatic work of multimedia artist Marjorie Guyon.
Guyon's work in Nation of Nations is filled with meaning, stemming from her background in poetry. It expresses her idea of America as a collection of many diverse nations, presented in a dramatic, abstract way on large canvases.
The Bluegrass Printmakers' Co-op is in the basement of ArtsPlace, but it has taken over the other half of the upstairs gallery for its show, The Process of Printing. "Process" is in the name because rather than stand alone, the prints are being displayed with their original plates.
The show was conceived "to enhance the educational aspect and to bring to light the process," said Nathan Zamarron, community arts manager of LexArts.
The various plates represent the array of techniques by printmakers, including tin plate etching, linoleum mono- printing and silk-screening. Artist Christina Igelmo is showing her work with solar plates, a process in which the etching is created using special plates that react to sunlight.
Visitors will be able to see the finished works upstairs, and they can watch artist demonstrations in the downstairs space — and possibly take part in the process.
The Sisohpromatem Art Foundation is a community and youth-oriented organization, and it is seizing the opportunity to interact with the Gallery Hop audience.
Its show, Kisses at the Gate, opens Friday at Heritage Art Center. The paintings in the show were created in response to the work of local poets. The selected poems were provided by the Holler Poets, and they will be read during Gallery Hop. There also will be an activity for children.
Christine Kuhn, the volunteer gallery director for Sisohpromatem (metamorphosis spelled backward), said she expects the works to vary from realism to abstraction and to reflect the poems in many ways.
"I really want it to be an interesting exhibit," Kuhn said, "and have a lot of different things to look at."