One of the most anticipated art shows in the area, the annual Member Artists' Exhibition, opens today at Progress Energy Art Gallery on Main Street in downtown New Port Richey.
This year's show features seven of the 49 members listed on its Web site, each with a unique perspective and style.
Among the works on display are:
• Cheryl Molennor's photo of a large, wispy white bird against a stark black background.
• Michelle Astuto Collin's acrylic painting with a religious theme and a mosaic style that looks much like a stained glass window found in a medieval church.
• Dawn Marmaduke's playful painting in stark primary and secondary colors suggesting a smiling man in the moon.
• Paula Showen's soft-focused, stylistic photo of an embracing couple, the texture manipulated to look like a parched earth.
• Fran Durler's Impressionistic painting of a sunset (sunrise?) over a lake in shades of orange.
• John Durler's intensely colored figures suggesting Fauvism, Expressionism and abstract art, with overtones of surrealism.
• Bill Clark's semirepresentational mosaic of wine bottles in their natural setting glimpsed through an opening in the background.
The gallery has been holding several exhibits a year since it opened in 2003 with a grant from Progress Energy.
It is housed in what was until then the offices of Greater New Port Richey Main Street, which moved its offices to the rear of the space to make room to display paintings, sculpture, jewelry and other art objects, as well as CDs of art-related music.
The gallery founders wanted to increase the presence of the arts in the core area of the original downtown area, which also has the completely refurbished Richey Suncoast Theatre and several individually owned and unique restaurants.
Since its opening, the gallery has held a seminar on the arts on the third Wednesday of each month, art classes for children, fundraisers for the arts, and an annual poetry contest.
The gallery often has a special event or show in conjunction with Greater New Port Richey events.
About 3,000 people visit the gallery every year.
It offers memberships at various financial levels for artists and supporters.