Lovers of the visual arts have a glorious opportunity to experience ''Comfort Zones: Places of Joy and Solitude,'' through May 22 at Jamestown's 3rd on 3rd Gallery.
Westfield resident Audrey Kay Dowling is showing an exhibit of paintings, mixed media and claywork, with a focus on landscape and land features. The exhibit includes more than 40 hanging works, and two sculptural pieces.
Most of the works are fairly large, and commonly represent a wooded landscape representation inside which a rectangle or other shape brings into closer focus, some element of the general landscape. A representation of a forest scene may feature a bird on a branch within the magic focus square, for example. A background portrayal of a stream is punctuated by an enlarged sailboat in the focus area.
Paintings are usually in color, although intense colors are not an element of the show. Large amounts of a subtle, natural shade are most frequently employed. Some are done in black-and-white. The gallery has large windows, and admits a great deal of natural light.
Subject matters run to waterlillies, reeds, shadows on snow, waterfalls and other elements of nature. The general sensation of the show is restful, cheerful and calm.
My personal favorite from the exhibit is a representation of nature's four seasons in our part of the country. At first glance, it looks like a normal image, but on closer examination, there are elements of each of the four seasons, made into a pleasing whole, which is the story of our natural landscape.
Dowling is owner and operator of the Portage Hill Gallery, located on Portage Road, between Mayville and Westfield. A native of Chautauqua County, she has spent most of her life in our area.
The 3rd on 3rd Gallery is located in the same building as the offices of the Arts Council for Chautauqua County, at 116 East Third St., in Jamestown. To view the gallery, enter the double doors, located to the right of the entrance to the Reg Lenna Civic Center. Directly across from the doors is an elevator.
Take the elevator to the third floor. As you exit the elevator, the gallery is through a door to your left. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments for viewing at other times may be possible. Phone 664-2465. There is no admission charge during regular gallery hours.
Should you arrive during regular hours and find the gallery locked, as I did, go to the second floor of the building, to the offices of the Arts Council. They will open the gallery.