Four Local (and Free) Art Galleries

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If you're lucky enough to have a significant other to impress this Valentine's Day, or if you simply need a break from the back-to-school rush, consider checking out an exhibit at one of the many art galleries around Boston and Cambridge. The Arts Blog has found four local galleries that are open to the public and free, so they're the perfect way to spend an afternoon if you've just dropped your last pennies on an Ec 10 book.

Maggie Tennesen at Mobilia Gallery

Maggie Tennesen's paintings are composed of straight lines and crosshatching in bold, complementary colors, with Asian symbols etched into the paint. Somewhat reminiscent of computer circuit boards or street maps, they inspire at once a sense of vibrant energy and inner peace. The gallery will be hosting a special reception with the artist on Saturday, February 16, from 3-5 p.m. On display until February 28; 358 Huron Avenue, Cambridge.

John Dempcy & Alicia Tormey at Chase Young Gallery

Both John Dempcy and Alicia Tormey use lively colors to blend science and nature in their paintings. While Dempcy's abstract pieces, composed of concentric drops of paint, evoke images of wildflowers, seashells, or even cells under a microscope, the networks of color in Tormey's landscapes and floral paintings are reminiscent of the nerves or capillaries in the human body. On display until February 24; 450 Harrison Avenue, No. 57, Boston.

Visible Merge at Barbara Krakow Gallery

This exhibit features portraits by Frank Egloff and John Stezaker, both of whom combine multiple photographs in their pieces. Egloff's pieces use printers to overlay images on top of one another, producing a ghostly photo-negative effect, and Stezaker's disconcerting collages splice separate portraits into single images. On display until March 9; 10 Newbury Street, Boston.

Winter Residency at Gallery 263

Gallery 263's Artists-in-Residency program allows emerging local artists to use the gallery as a shared studio for a period of six weeks. The work produced by the artists during their term is then placed on display in the gallery for two more weeks. The current roster for the winter residency comprises three painters—Stephen Hamilton, Sirarpi Heghinian-Walzer, and Youngsheen Jhe—and photographer Pia Ward. On display from February 28 until March 9; 263 Pearl Street, Cambridge.

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