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First Friday roundup

<p>&amp;#8220;Yeti&amp;#8221; by JD Caldwell</p>Buy Photo

&#8220;Yeti&#8221; by JD Caldwell

<p>Work by Gail Brito Watson</p>

Work by Gail Brito Watson

<p>&amp;#8220;Medusa&amp;#8221; by Peter Mengert</p>

&#8220;Medusa&#8221; by Peter Mengert

<p>Work by Lincoln Maynard</p>Buy Photo

Work by Lincoln Maynard

JW Caldwell

Reading Between the Lines

Iconic phrases shimmer in the background while cowboys saddled upon sharks or dinosaurs ride past. Beasts pair up with classic clichés. Somewhere, in the collision of text and animals, darkly humorous subtextual connections playfully surface.

Caldwell: “I just thought it was funny to put cowboys on dinosaurs. It’s like two kinds of antiquated things that are sorta badass that work well together, and I hadn’t seen a whole lot of that done, so I was like, well, I’m gonna do it, then.

“Maybe a month and a half ago, a friend of mine, Derek Burford Hall, crashed his motorcycle and passed away. That phrase ‘never regret’ sort of summed up the way he lived his life. Like he just went and did crazy stuff all the time, and he was just an ambassador for living life to the fullest. So, I was like, oh, this works! Figuratively, he kind of embodied what a cowboy riding a dinosaur would be.”

Through Oct. 25, Trifecta Gallery, in the Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., www.trifectagallery.com

Peter Mengert

Sin City Exiles

In Sin City Exiles, characters from opposing tales collide in a provocative remix of Greek mythology and Biblical figures.

Mengert: “This series explores the tension between the façade of myth and its backstage psychological truth [mixing] myth and religion, like a hyped up publicity poster for a carnival freak show. …

“My Medusa is presented in the format of a theatrical poster as a figure of glamour. Las Vegas is the land of façade, but that is not the exclusive reason why the show is named Sin City Exiles. The larger works in this show were originally to be part of a three-man show at Sin City Gallery. That show was canceled and my title is a little inside joke.

Through October, Statement Art Gallery, in the Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., www.statementartgallery.com

Gail Brito Watson

Windows

Strangers met while traveling are usually forgotten once we resume our daily routine. With a conversation, a photograph and gently bleeding watercolors, artist Gail Brito Watson imbues these brief encounters with soulful poignancy and commits them to paper memory.

Watson: “On a flight to our nation’s capitol, I spotted a woman I knew I wanted to paint. I was immediately drawn to the classically native cheekbones and the character in her face. She had a story to share, I could tell. As I looked for my seat, I was excited to find she would be my seatmate for the five-hour flight. We were immediately drawn to each other, and as we talked, we realized our Native-American kinship; she Navajo and I Lenni-Lenape. She described her life on the reservation, and I found a gentleness in her spirit that I wanted to reveal in my painting of her. I did many sketches with and without her glasses, some with typical Native-American adornment, but in the end I chose to give her a gentle spirit with a knowing past.”

Through October, Joseph Watson Gallery, in the Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., www.josephwatsoncollection.com

Lincoln Maynard

New Work

Flags and symbols that are usually bright and crisp get a little frayed as Lincoln Maynard digests their meaning through a visceral, organic painting process.

Maynard: “The show is my interpretation of symbols and flags, [which are] sacred cows to some. Building the painting ‘Dichotomy,’ I wanted all of it to show the movement, tension and interrelations of the colors and forms. I began by limiting the background colors to two and breaking up these colors into a chaotic pattern, emphasizing the randomness by making the paint transparent in areas and opaque in others. The intent was to reinforce the significance of the absolute interconnection of the black-and-white solid color shapes of the yin and yang. Chaos cannot be understood without order.”

Through October 28, 303 North Studio, in the Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., www.facebook.com/303NorthStudio