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First Friday at Haw Contemporary: Eric Sall and the inspirations of New Mexico

Eric Sall’s exhibit of paintings will open Friday at Haw Contemporary.
Eric Sall’s exhibit of paintings will open Friday at Haw Contemporary.

Artist Eric Sall has been painting under the influence of New Mexico for the past several months. He and his wife, Rachel Hayes, also an artist, are participants in the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program.

He’ll show his 17-piece collection, “Full Phase,” at Haw Contemporary from Friday through Dec. 31.

This collection couldn’t have been painted anywhere else in the world, he said.

“The residency is located on the edge of town on a fairly remote 40-acre piece of land that is mostly desert brush,” Sall, 38, explained. “You can see the horizon all around you, and the sky is amazing.”

Sparse, linear visuals have frequently informed his work, though he views “Full Phase” as a departure from past pieces that don’t have as many commonalities.

“Something that united this group of paintings was a desire to switch up the figure/ground formula that was also common in past works. Instead of forcing the paintings to contain a certain form within the picture plane, I wanted to create paintings that had more of an all-over field of shapes and marks, which pushes the painting as an object and not just an image,” he said.

The concept of a painting as an object is important — think rugs. He collects rugs and tribal weavings from Morocco, Turkey, Bolivia and the United States.

“I love how they have both a design that is image-based and optical but also a function. They are tactile and take up physical space and are meant to be walked and sat on.

“Now, I don't want my paintings to be walked on, but I am inspired by the directness in which these textiles are made and the presence and power they can have as objects.”

This particular residency has given Sall a freedom that feels exciting and different to him.

His studio is in his home, which affords him large stretches of work time. It also feels like a safe place to take risks and try new techniques. He’s trying to intuit more and edit a little less, acknowledging that at times he has almost overworked his paintings.

Sall, who is from South Dakota and is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, began showing with Dolphin gallery in 2005. When Bill Haw bought Dolphin two years ago, Haw asked Sall to participate in group shows. This exhibition will be his first solo show with the gallery.

Though Sall, Hayes and their two children have been following residency opportunities around the country — they’ve moved nine times since 2002 — they think of Kansas City, where his wife’s family lives, as home.

Haw Contemporary’s upstairs gallery is now showing “Current Works 2015” by the Kansas City Society for Contemporary Photography. Works of 33 photographers will be included, each striving to answer the question, “What does it mean to stop time in an expanding, whirling universe?”

The show’s juror, Jan Schall, will speak about her selection process at 7 p.m. Friday. Schall is the Sanders Sosland curator of modern art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

First Fridays openings

Apex Art Space

What: “Full Palette” by Melanie Nolker, Pam Peffer, Sheryl Levene and Ellen Sweeney. 4-6 p.m. Nov. 6.

Info: 1819 Wyandotte.

ArtsTech Center

What: Empty Bowls Kansas City. Benefits Harvesters and other charities. 6 p.m. Nov. 6.

Info: 1522 Holmes. emptybowlkc.com

Beco Gallery

What: “A Unique Lens” by Julie Shields. First Friday opening reception, 6-9 p.m. Nov. 6; runs through Nov. 27.

Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Info: 1922 Baltimore. 816.472.4242

Belger Arts Center

What: “People in the Belger Collection” and “Expanding the Perimeter” (through Dec. 5).

Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. First Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Info: 2100 Walnut. redstarstudios.org, 816.474.7316

Belger Crane Yard Studios

What: “Peregrine Honig: Suites” (through Dec. 19), “Orchards” by Christopher Kurtz (through Jan. 23) and “Schema: A Journey Through Traditional Patterns and Imagery” by Melanie Sherman (through Jan. 23).

Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. First Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Info: 2011 Tracy. redstarstudios.org, 816.474.7316

Blue Gallery

What: “Balance” by Rich Bowman. Preview and artist’s talk, 6-9 p.m. Nov. 5; First Friday opening reception, 6-9 p.m. Nov. 6; runs through Nov. 30.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. First Fridays, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

Info: 118 Southwest Blvd. bluegalleryonline.com, 816.527.0823

Haw Contemporary

What: “Current Works 2015” by Kansas City Society for Contemporary Photography and “Full Phase” by Eric Sall. Opening reception, 6-9 p.m. Nov. 6; run through Dec. 31.

Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday. 1600 Liberty.

Info: hawcontemporary.com, 816.842.5877

Jones Gallery

What: “Fluttering Autumn” by Nancy Morrison, Gary Rockhold and artists of Anathema Art. First Friday opening show, 6-9 p.m. Nov. 6; runs through Nov. 27.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7-10 p.m. Friday.

Info: 1717 Walnut. 816.421.2111

The Late Show Gallery

What: “Sideshow” by Nora Othic. First Friday reception, 6-10 p.m. Nov. 6; runs through Nov. 28.

Gallery hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

Info: 1600 Cherry. 816.516.6749

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

What: “Sense of Place” by Jeff Burk (runs Nov. 6-Dec. 19) and “KCAI: Undergrads Underground” (runs Nov. 6-28). Also, “Recent Allegories and Nudes” by Jessie Fisher (through Nov. 28), “Paintings: 2005-2015” by Scott Seebart (through Nov. 28) and “Recent Figure Paintings” by Richard Mattsson (through Dec. 19).

Gallery hours: 6-9 p.m. First Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.

Info: 2012 Baltimore. leedy-voulkos.com, 816.474.1919

Mid-America Arts Alliance

What: “Sign of the Times: The Great American Political Poster 1844-2012.” First Friday opening reception, 6-8 p.m. Nov. 6; runs through Dec. 16.

Gallery hours: 6-9 p.m. First Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday-Friday.

Info: 2018 Baltimore. maaa.org, 816.421.1388

Snapshot Gallery

What: “Eggs and Nests” by Rosamond Purcell and “Harvest” by Larry Gawel (run through Nov. 6).

Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. First Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday.

Info: 1724 Main. snapshotgallerykc.com, 913.515.9305

Todd Weiner Gallery

What: “Current Best.” First Friday opening reception, 5-9:30 p.m. Nov. 6; runs through Dec. 6.

Gallery hours: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

Info: 115 W. 18th. toddweinergallery.com, 816.984.8538

At Haw Contemporary

“Full Phase” by Eric Sall will run through Dec. 31. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Opening First Friday reception 5-9 p.m. 1600 Liberty St.

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