El Mercado Lest we forget, galleries exist to sell art. Is the art often well-curated and are the artists often hand selected? Yes, of course. But they are shops, nonetheless. And in the spirit of the shopping season, Erin Cluley Gallery (414 Fabrication St.) presents El Mercado. It's inspired by concept spaces like Collette in Paris and Dover Street Market, which has locations in London and New York. El Mercado will combine the market and the art exhibition experience with art, design, music and artistic food. The nine participating artists include Dallas-based Zeke Williams and Rob Wilson. Stop by the opening from 1-8 p.m. Saturday, or through December 27. More information at erincluley.com.
Holiday Presence Tracking down the perfect gift for the ungiftable is difficult. What do you get a sister whose taste in music and books is beyond obscure? Or the brother-in-law who buys himself everything he wants? Lord knows you can't keep buying your cousin a tin of popcorn year after year. Which is why you'll want to head to Kettle Art Gallery (2650-B Main St.) this holiday season. The 10th annual Holiday Presence group show is the perfect place to check off your list of loved ones. The artists presenting work have such varied styles that you're sure to find something for everyone. Whether it's the breathtaking photography of Richard Sharum or the eerie drawings of Larry Carrey, there will be color, abstraction and design galore. The opening reception takes place from 7-10 p.m. Thursday, and the show runs through Christmas with extended gallery hours. More information at kettleart.com.
Crappity Elves The holidays engulfed us quickly. Everything is red and green, and Santa is suddenly everywhere. Doesn't it feel like it was just October? If you're looking for something a bit more offbeat but still festive, RO2 Art presents artist Brian Keith Jones and his Crappity Elves, a playful series of Santa's helpers at their worst. Oh, this solo show won't be in the gallery space (where you can currently see the group show, On Paper). Nope, you'll have to excuse yourself to the little girl's room to see this series of works. The opening reception is from 8-11 p.m. Friday.
Kai Peter Martin, Oblivion Moves Cohn Drennan Contemporary presents a solo exhibition of Kai Peter Martin, whose work combines drawing and painting in a compelling study of people and their surroundings. His pieces contain narratives and landscapes in dreamlike display. See the work from 6-9 p.m. Saturday or through January 10.
co|action & Michelle Thomas In most walks of life, having a mentor makes things easier. They're there with advice when you ask for it, criticism when you're ready for it, and a kick in the pants when you need it most. The relationship between mentor/mentee is one of support and inspiration, especially in the art world. It's this special bond that will be on display at 500X (500 Exposition Ave.) in the newest exhibition, co|action. In it, you will see the work of five pairs of mentor/mentees, including Darryl Lauster/Jeff Gibbons, and Margaret Meehan/Devon Nowlin. Concurrently, there will be two other exhibitions in the upstairs spaces: Soft Space by Michelle Thomas and a collaboration between Kate Colin and Lauren Kirchner. The opening reception will be from 7-10 p.m. Saturday. More information at 500x.com