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Take a stroll through local art galleries Friday

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By Kirsten Laskey

Great works of local art can be viewed at the Art Center at Fuller Lodge, Mesa Public Library and other venues. But if you have wondered just where these pieces are created, the pondering is over. A group of local artists are opening their studios and galleries to the public during the “Christmas Present” Arts Stroll.

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The stroll will occur from 5-8 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.Nov. 21. The participating locations are Karen Wray Fine Art-Gallery and Studio, 2101 Trinity Drive, Suite B-2; Fran Stoval Fine Art Gallery and Studio, 650 Canyon Road; and the studio of Ellen Randall, 380 Canyon Road.

The participating artists include Melissa Bartlett, a pastel artist; Allen Brown, a watercolor artist; Karen Wray, an oil painter; David Trujillo, a scrap metal and rock sculptor; Fran Stoval, a pastel, stained glass and mosaic artist; and Ellen Randall, a abstract expressionist.

According to a press release, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” inspired the theme, “Christmas Present.”

In the novel, the Ghost of Christmas Present takes the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, on  a tour of Christmas Day to see the holiday through fresh, empathetic eyes. Artists, the press release reports, strive to do the same thing. Artists try to slow down the world and show everyone the beauty that exists within it.

During the Arts Stroll, the participants are working to provide more opportunities for locals to experience the beauty of the world.

“We just want to bring art shows back to town,” Wray said.

She added they want to prove to people that “Los Alamos isn’t just about the lab or high-tech businesses. There’s an arts community here, too. (We) want to give the county more venues (to show art).”

Wray added, “In the past, we haven’t had much, just the Art Center – which is fine – but not enough for a town with this many artists.”

A broad range of work will be displayed including pastels, oil paintings, watercolors and sculptures.

Wray encourages the community to participate in the Arts Stroll “to show support for the artists in town. The economy is really difficult, especially for the arts and we have some nice new work that we are dying to share with everybody.”

Stoval added, “I want my friends, and neighbors and art lovers to see all the new work I’ve done this year and the new (art) I have created and sparked my imagination. And just have a fun day checking out all this great art.”