Abandoned buildings are eyesores to some -- but not to Western Avenue Studios artist Sue Iserbyt.
Such structures inspire her and are featured in her new show, Essence of Space, on view Sept. 4-29 at Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave., Lowell.
"They are not supposed to be beautiful," she said. "But if you look beyond the dirt, you can see the play of light and layers of colors."
She paints their desolation with simplified figures standing or moving through courtyards and up stairs. Her images create a sense of meditation and reflection.
Iserbyt focuses on perspective in her work. When figures appear, they are but a slip of color against vast spaces. Shadow, line and space are her true subjects.
"Perspective or the lack of it is less about solitude and more about our collective experiences and dreams," she said.
Her paintings, done in acrylic with a palette knife, all begin with a red canvas.
"It's like the blood under your skin -- it gives the layers on top a warm glow," she said.
Art is in her blood, she says, with several artists in her family. She began drawing and painting as a child in Belgium, where she took classes at the Royal Academy of Art. Now she loves the interaction she shares with her fellow artists at Western Avenue Studios.
"Being surrounded by artists helps me to create and be inspired," she said.
An opening reception is on Saturday, Sept. 7, 5-7 p.m.
WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE: Peggy Brewster captures the exquisite beauty of nature in her award-winning photography. Her latest work, focusing on water, is featured in Visions of Water, on view through September at the Art on Main Gallery, 40 Main St., Westford, near the town common. The artist's reception is Thursday, Sept. 5, 5-8 p.m.
Brewster's dramatic images are both realistic and abstract. "I love the challenge of bringing out new perspectives in familiar scenes," she says.
A professional photographer for 40 years, she now concentrates on artistic photography in her travels. She shows her work throughout New England and is a member of several photography organizations. Visit www.ArtonMainWestford.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for info.
A STITCH IN TIME: The Lowell Quilt Festival is over, but two exhibits that were a part of it are still on view. At Whistler House Museum of Art, the show Art Quilts: What My Line? is on through Sept. 14 and features quilts that explore the concept of lines, whether a stitched line, a line of work or a line in a poem or song. Visit www.whistlerhouse.org for info. At the New England Quilt Museum, A Slice of Cheddar: Antique Pennsylvania Quilts, a collection of bold and colorful antique quilts from the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, runs through Oct. 6. Visit www.nequiltmuseum.org.
AFRICAN ART AND DRUMMING: The Gallery of African Art, 62 High St., Clinton, partners with the Polus Center's Coffeelands World Gifts Espresso Café for a free event celebrating music, community and culture on Thursday, Sept. 5, beginning at 4 p.m. Activities include drumming for kids and adults, gallery tours, ethnic food, African hair-braiding, kids crafts and a concert at 7 p.m. with Crocodile River Music. Visit www.galleryofafricanart.org for details.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is email@example.com.