Numerous receptions planned for First Friday of new year

Friday, January 4, 2008
Artist Steven Hager hung some of his hardwood wall graphics Thursday at the arts council galleries in downtown Cape Girardeau in preparation for First Friday openings. (Kit Doyle)

Art lovers have several viewing options tonight when local art galleries and studios host their first First Friday receptions of the new year.

Receptions will take place at the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri's galleries (including the Visual Arts Cooperative gallery), Craig Thomas' Black Door Gallery, the Community Counseling Center, the Edward Bernard Gallery, Garden Gallery, the Untitled Gallery and the Westray gallery that features the work of the Cat Ranch Art Guild members.

Two galleries will feature art that creates a whole out of pieces -- the glass and mosaic work of Cat Ranch Art Guild members Marti Wingo and Leslie Compass at Westray and the wood graphics of Steven Hager at the arts council galleries.

Wingo and Compass team up under the name Soul Reflections, making functional pieces like tables as well as purely decorative items out of colored glass.

Hager's work doesn't have much functionality, but his hardwood graphics make an interesting departure from paintings and sculptures. Using domestic woods and woods imported from places like Africa, Australia and South America, Hager makes multi-colored wall hangings.

Sometimes they're representational, like the face of a Mardi Gras dancer. Other times they're purely abstract, like the swooshes and circles that make up the three panels of "Outer Limits." Hager said he uses only the natural colors of the wood, no stains, to create his spectrum of color. Hager has about 90 pieces in the show, most made in 2007.

Accompanying Hager at the arts council will be an exhibit of art from the Wednesday night drawing group that meets weekly at the arts council. Group members contributed one of their drawings for display and another piece of art they created outside the class, said local artist Craig Thomas, who organizes the drawing group.

The Community Counseling Center will again host an art exhibit and reception from 5 to 8 p.m. today at its location on Silver Springs Road. The organization first exhibited the artwork of its clients in October as a way of bringing awareness of mental illness to the local community. About 25 pieces will be on display.

The Garden Gallery will feature a variety of functional and decorative pottery from Spector Studios in Fairport, N.Y.

The Black Door Gallery will show the work of owners Craig and Elizabeth Thomas.

The Edward Bernard Gallery will feature oil paintings by Lynn Hamman of Jonesboro, Ark., who prefers landscapes and animals in his oil paintings.

Untitled Gallery will feature work by Southeast Missouri State University art students.

Most gallery receptions last until 9 p.m. The River Campus Art Gallery and Crisp Museum are open until 5 p.m.

335-6611, extension 182

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