LOWELL -- Almost-human winged creatures and other fantastical beings inhabit the floors and walls of the Brush Gallery in the show On and Off the Wall: The Colors of Imagination, Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings by Gay Tracy and David Barton.
It opens on Saturday and runs through June 9. An artists' reception takes place on Sunday, May 6, 2-4 p.m.
Tracy, an Andover artist who has studios at the Brush and Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, and Barton, a Lowell artist, hold nothing back in either color or creativity in this show.
The artists are longtime friends, which has influenced their work for this show. They work in different media and color palettes, yet the strange beauty and unusual subject matter of their work creates cohesiveness in the exhibition.
Tracy paints ambiguous, human-like beings yet with canine features. She loves using bright splashes of color and encourages viewers to enjoy the work with her.
"It's for people to imagine and discover and I want viewers to have fun with my work," she says in a press release.
Nearly losing a battle with cancer has had a profound effect on Barton's work. His large, sculptural, figurative work is made of found and created objects.
He combines human and animal forms to invent mythical creatures. On the surface, they are fantastical, but there is a deeper meaning to them and reflect his compassion, empathy and recognition of the fragility of life.
"I embrace life and death, for one has no meaning without the other. My winged creatures are personal guardians protecting me," he says in the release.
The Brush Gallery is located at 256 Market St., Lowell. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. 978-459-7819 or www.thebrush.org.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEXTILE TREAT: The American Textile History Museum, 491 Dutton St., Lowell, invites the public to take flight this Saturday with free admission all day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and a variety of fun, educational, hands-on activities that celebrate the world of flight. A hot air balloon will float above ground outdoors and visitors can create miniature kites and participate in a paper airplane competition. There will be a scavenger hunt, photos with Lulu the Lamb and free guided tour through the special exhibit Aloft! The Wonder of Kites. Visit www.athm.org for more info.
HISTORIC TREASURES: The Concord Museum taps into the treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society with its exhibit The Object of History: Colonial Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society. On view through June 17, featured objects include a letter that John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail in 1780 that provides the framework for the exhibit. He wrote that he must study "Politicks and War" so that his sons might study "Mathematicks and Philosophy," enabling their children to study "Painting, Poetry, Musick and Architecture." The 70 objects on view include portraits, needlework, maps, firearms, swords, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments and silver from the MHS. The museum is located at the intersection of Lexington Road and Cambridge Turnpike, near Concord Center. Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 978-369-9763 or www.concordmuseum.org.
KID STUFF: The Discovery Museums, Main St., Acton, host a free evening for families with children with hearing loss this Saturday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. While free, registration is required. Visit http://tinyurl.com/EspeciallyforMe2012-3 to register. The museum also has a Messy Masterpiece workshop on Sunday at 10 a.m. where kids can paint like artist Wassily Kandinsky and a visit from magician Rupayan Neogy at noon. Visit www.discoverymuseums.org for info.