Nature in all its glory takes center stage in Woodland and Homestead, the latest exhibition at the Loading Dock Gallery at Lowell's Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave. It is on view June 1-26, with an opening reception Saturday, June 4, 5-7 p.m.
The show juxtaposes two visions of our world, as seen in the pastels of Nita Leger Casey and oil paintings by Gwen Cory.
Casey records traditional New England architecture and scenery from towns to farms to countryside in her work. She prefers working outdoors whenever possible. Born and raised in France, she feels lucky to have settled in New England. It is here, she says, that "beauty is all around me, from mountains to the seashore."
Cory examines nature and explores forests threatened by climate change in her bold, colorful oil paintings. Her trees and forests rise against stormy skies, and she paints trees' relationships to themselves and to the earth and feels they help fight climate change.
"My work is about observing nature and intuitively painting," she says.
The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5:30 p.m.; Thursday evenings to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m., and will also be open for this Saturday's reception 5-7 p.m. Visit www.theloadingdockgallery.com or call 978-656-1687.
- FIRST THURSDAY FUN: Downtown Lowell First Thursdays returns on Thursday, June 2, with an array of arts and other activities to get folks out into downtown, 5-8:30 p.m., to experience all that it offers. Pick up maps and other info at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market St. On tap here is a screening of the film Cats Don't Have Vertigo at 6:30 p.m. Also Industrial Canyon tours at 5 and 6 p.m. $6 at Visitor Center, kids under 5, free.
- GOOD CAUSE: Western Avenue Studios artist Don Sullivan will donate 50 percent of proceeds from sales of his artwork priced at $200 or less to St. Jude Hospital for Children during his summer art sale this Saturday, June 4, noon-5 p.m. The sale takes place in Sullivan's Studio A 509 during the monthly First Saturdays Open Studios at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Avenue, Lowell.
- BLUE STAR MUSEUMS: Acton's Discovery Museums is one of more than 2,000 museums across America offering free admission to military personnel and their families this summer. The program runs Memorial Day through Labor Day and is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense. Other local participating local museums include Fruitlands in Harvard, Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton and the Fitchburg Art Museum. Visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums for all museums.
- SCULPTURE STUFF: Tusks, Horns....Tales: Endangered Africa is on view through Sunday, June 4, at Lacoste Gallery, 25 Main St., Concord, and 10 percent of sales from this show will be donated to the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. Next up is Koichiro Isezaki: Material and Serendipity, a showcase of ceramic art by a master, June 11-July 9. Opening reception with artist is on Saturday, June 11, 3-5 p.m. with an artist talk on Sunday, June 12, at 2 p.m. Visit www.lacostegallery.com.
- AWARD-WINNER: Lowell digital artist Garry D. Harley recently won honorable mention in State of Unions, a national open juried show at the WCA Colorado Gallery in Denver. His entry, "They Came for My Brother and I Turned Away -- Then They Came for Me On A Sunny Day" was selected from 250 entries from 23 states for display in the show, which is on view through June 12. Harley works at Western Avenue Studios and is a member of the Loading Dock Gallery and the Arts League of Lowell.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is email@example.com.