Lofts Lend Luxury to Women with Figures Art Exhibition

You never know just where you'll find an art gallery: stacked into a Midtown mid-rise, tucked away in a suburban community -- maybe even held upstairs at a loft-style apartment building just miles outside downtown.

Last Saturday, art-loving couple Terrence and Susan Boggs hosted "Women with Figures" at their new home, Sawyer Heights Lofts. The pair previously spent the last five years hosting gallery openings and exhibitions of local artists as and at Elder Street Gallery in Sixth Ward. Since moving in last November, their "gallery" has become the book-lined second-story common room that overlooks a dreamy blue swimming pool and other neighbors' lofts. Their name? S&T Art and Design.

According to Terrence, "Women with Figures" is not a cheeky title for a group of paintings of busty women (as we previously thought) but instead a cheeky play on words that describes figurative female art by artists Kelley Devine, Olga Galindo, Lynet McDonald and Julie Zarate -- four women who just happen to be attractive, he said.

"They're all women, and they're cute," he added amidst a frenzied run-around of setting up paintings and greeting guests.

Lynet McDonald's one-name pieces are based on other people -- but she uses her own face as the subject. She takes a photograph of herself, then paints what she has captured and alters each in accordance with the person or feeling of the piece she is trying to represent. "Deception," she said, was made for a former coworker, who appeared to be nice at first but really was not. The woman's necklace is festooned with the beaded letters H, D, F and A, which stand for Hypocrisy, Deceit, Fraud and Abuse.

"It's kind of like a diary," McDonald said about her works. "It reflects how I feel at that time."

By far the most stunning piece in the room was Kelley Devine's Mona Lisa-like self-portrait painting. The Boggs must have known this was the showpiece, also; the painting is the very first one you see when you walk into the exhibition. Like a stunning woman grown weary of the usual looks cast her way when she walks into a room, the subject's kohl-lined eyes, thin, Cruella de Vil brows and pink, pouting lips display the haughtiest of expressions. "Why are you staring at me?" her face seems to ask. "Don't you have better things to do?"

Devine is one of John Palmer's 2010 Escapists, and rightly so: Even in her absence (she arrived to the opening later), her piece was magnetic.

"Women with Figures" will be showing at Sawyer Heights Lofts, 2424 Spring St. For more information, visit the couple's Web site.

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