Paseo holds 2009 container show 

A new kind of art show hits the metro this weekend, and the exhibit makes it hard to contain artistic appreciation.

"Hold It," the 2009 container show, challenges local artists to create a three-dimensional, mixed-media piece. The exhibit premieres 6 p.m. Friday at the Paseo Arts Space, 3022 Paseo, during the district's First Friday Gallery Walk.

Local artist Michi Susan suggested a box show to the Paseo Arts Association a couple years ago, and the juried event has since expanded into a container show in order to inspire fresh ideas and experimentation among the participating artists. Many artists look forward to the event and spend a whole year planning and working on their submissions, said Lori Oden, the association's executive director.

OUTSIDE THE BOX
The exhibiting artists are given a theme and asked to think outside the box to express their personal idea of containment, she said.

"That's the beauty of it: People come in and are like, 'Oh, I never would have thought of that,'" Oden said. "The ideas give a different perspective."

In past years, the art has remained on the more traditional side, but Oden said the new approach has inspired more conceptual pieces. From gourds and nests to purses and shoes, each artist embellishes the simple idea of a container in his or her own unique way, telling stories and expressing the abstract qualities that allow different interpretations to form.

"It's a challenge for the viewer, too, to figure out what the artist was thinking," she said.

"Hold It" debuts from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and will be displayed through Nov. 28. Regular gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.

"?Paige Lawler

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