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The Sharper Image

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Fern Valfer curated the show of selected paintings by Chicago artist Lorraine Peltz for Riverside Arts Center's Freeark Gallery. "As an artist myself, my choices are influenced by things I struggle with in my own work," Valfer says. "When I look at imagery, I look for intensity." Peltz's work "stays with the viewer because of the juxtapositions, the way realistic images float on a sort of atmospheric space. There's a dreamlike quality about the background and then a hard-edged clear area that's often the focal point. The central image may be familiar"--red roses past their prime, high-heeled shoes, a silver spoon--"but the situations are unusual, enigmatic." The show of ten oil paintings continues through October 14 at the gallery, 32 E. Quincy in Riverside (708-442-6400). Hours are Wednesday and Saturday 11 to 5; Thursday and Friday 11 to 7. It's free.

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