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"Beach Music," acrylic over textured finish by Jennie Kirkpatrick
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Poppy Jasper pendant, sterling silver and copper, by Barbara Murnan

If you go

› What: “Hot Stuff,” themed exhibit featuring works by gallery member-artists

› Where: In-Town Gallery, 26A Frazier Ave.

› When: Aug. 1-30.

› Gallery hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

› Admission: Free

› Phone: 267-9214

› Website: www.intowngallery.com

Open House

To celebrate the launch of the “Hot Stuff” exhibit, In-Town Gallery will host an open house event at the gallery, 26A Frazier Ave., on Aug. 5. Guests can meet the member artists and view the exhibited works between 5 and 8 p.m.

Front wall artists

› June Teuscher — oil painting

› Sandra Paynter-Washburn — acrylic painting

› Roger Harvey — salt-glazed ceramics

› Spears McAllister — photography

› Poppy Jasper — jewelry

* Jennie Kirkpatrick — photography

In the midst of a brutally hot summer that has thermometers crying out in mortal anguish, the artists of In-Town Gallery have determined the best way to survive the swelter is to face it head-on with brushes and palettes in hand.

On Aug. 5, the artist-run gallery on Frazier Avenue will launch an exhibit featuring works by many of its 34 members, who were tasked with creating pieces embodying the theme "Hot Stuff."

"I think that it's a reflection of the reality of the season," says Jennie Kirkpatrick, a painter and the gallery's director of publicity. "We could say, 'Winter Wonderland' or something, but I think this theme is more an interpretation of what everybody already knows: It's hot out there."

Two weeks prior to the exhibit's opening, selections for "Hot Stuff" were still incoming, but the submissions represent a broad range of media, from acrylic and oil painting to sculpture and photography.

With the exception of all-member shows that double as gallery refreshes in April and November, In-Town Gallery's front wall displays are reserved for shows depicting works by one or two artists. Themed exhibits such as "Hot Stuff' offer a chance to showcase the diversity of the gallery membership and are a welcome challenge to present in a way that is organic and engaging, says Gay Arthur, the gallery's chairman of hanging and display.

"It's always fun to watch how they come together like puzzle pieces. I never know how I'll display them until I have them sitting in front of me," Arthur says. "Each time renders its own challenges."

For "Hot Stuff," artists were free to interpret the theme broadly, Kirkpatrick says. Some of the pieces, which will be hung on and around the gallery's front wall, include works that exhibit warmth in a more literal sense, such as "What's Cooking," an oil painting by June Teuscher featuring a chef working amid steam rising off a grill. Other selections feature a warm color palette or used heat in their creation, such as the plasma-cut metal sculptures of Denice Bizot and the salt-glazed, kiln-fired pottery of Roger Harvey.

"It's sort of like a challenge to see what variety we get. We're all about creativity," Kirkpatrick says. "Really, there are no boundaries. It's just about any way you can interpret it and still be within our parameters."

Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.

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