"Visual Language," the annual juried show at Loading Dock Gallery, features the work of more than 20 New England artists and is on view through Oct. 28 in the Western Avenue Studios venue, 122 Western Ave., Lowell.

As visitors wander through the exhibit, they're asked to consider what kind of art speaks to them and think about why some art makes them stop and stare, while other art doesn't.

It has to do with the show's title. Visual language is a means of communication that uses visual elements such as imagery, color, words, symbols, shapes, and textures to draw viewers in.

The show features a variety of works in various media, both traditional and contemporary.

Chang Chia-Ming and one of his large-scale paintings currently on view at Contemporary Arts International.
Chang Chia-Ming and one of his large-scale paintings currently on view at Contemporary Arts International.

Visitors who attend "Visual Language" are invited to share their interpretations of the artwork by writing an anonymous note to the artists. Area poets will also view the exhibit, write poems that respond to each piece, and recite their poems at the Poetry Convergence following the reception for the artists on Saturday, Oct. 6, 4-6 p.m. The poetry segment takes place immediately after the reception.

The Loading Dock Gallery, a part of Loading Dock Arts, Inc., is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon- 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. For more information, call 978-596-1576 or visit www.theloadingdockgallery.com.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.


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ARTOBERFEST: Western Avenue Studios and Lofts, 122 and 160 Western Ave., Lowell, is abuzz with activity this weekend as its more than 300 artists host "ARToberfest," Oct. 6-7, noon-5 p.m. The weekend is a one-stop destination for art, poetry, food trucks and craft beer in the five-acre, five-story historic mill complex. Visitors can interact with artists as they demonstrate and participate in artist-sponsored, hands-on activities, including making felted soap, fusing glass, painting on tiles, creating collage cards and watching demonstrations. They are also encouraged to cast votes in the "Artful Pumpkin" contest, in which artists transform simple pumpkins into works of art to win a trophy. Participating visitors will be entered into a raffle for a $50 Western Avenue Studios gift certificate. Free and suitable for all ages. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/239287510108411/.

LOWELL OFFERINGS: Several art offerings take place in conjunction with this weekend's Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival. Barbara Gagel and Charles Gallagher have collaborated on an exhibit entitled "Obtaining Silence is Like Locating Nirvana" at Ayer Lofts Gallery, 172 Middle St. It opens with a wine and sushi reception Thursday, Oct. 4, 4-7 p.m. "In the Spirit of Lowell" is on view through Oct. 7 at Gallery Z, the artist co-op at 167 Market St., Lowell. For info, visit its Facebook page. For more information on LCK, visit www.lowellcelebrateskerouac.org. ... The exhibit "Totally 'Normal' & Stranger Than Fiction," featuring artwork by M.M.

Moyer, is on view at UnchARTed Gallery, 103 Market St., through Nov. 3. A reception and book signings take place on Thursday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 6, 4-8 p.m. Visit www.unchartedgallery.com. ... A reception for Blake Brasher will be held Thursday, Oct. 4, 6-8 p.m., at TreMonte Pizzeria Restaurant and Bar, 112 Middle St., where the art show continues through Dec. 31.

ON VIEW IN ACTON: Contemporary Arts International, a nonprofit art center located at 68 Quarry Road, Acton, presents "Flower and Stone" by Chang Chia-Ming. The exhibition features 19 large- and medium-scale paintings and 20 delicate granite sculptures. Chang was invited to participate in CAI's New Art Archeology program and carved a 10-foot tall, 6-ton granite sculpture during the three-week Stone Carving Symposium. Following that, he began painting flowers in reaction to the environment that surrounds the museum's sculpture grounds. He works on huge canvases next to the big stone pile, painting from dawn to dusk. A reception will be held Sunday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m. CAI is open to the public 2-5 p.m., daily, or by appointment. Call 617-699-6401 or visit www.contemporaryartsinternational.org for info. Students $5, adults $10.