Monsters, an exhibition of 15 new paintings by artist Michele Mikesell, will be presented April 1 through 30 at the Altered Space Gallery in Venice.

An opening reception for the exhibit is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. April 1 at Altered Space Gallery, 1221 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. The gallery specializes in artist- and designer-made art and objects, a spokesman said.

In Monsters, “anthropomorphic birdlike creatures and mammalian distortions,” most marked with delicate human eyes or faces, peer out at the viewer from largely emptied space, the gallery spokesman said. While the creatures may look like monsters, Mikesell says she draws upon the human experience – her observations of the unique people she meets and their stories she collects – to bring these apparitions life.

“My parents raised me without a television, which gave me a lot of time as a child to have a quiet openness in my mind. It left a lot of room in there that I had to learn to fill myself,” the artist said.

As Mikesell applies gesso to board, she said she uncovers subtle forms that will dictate the subjects of the work to follow. Successive applications of oil paint, followed by anti-finish work such as sanding, scratching and peeling the paint, result in the Monsters creations, she says.

Mikesell earned her bachelor of arts degree in fine arts from Texas Women’s University and her master’s in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma. She lives and works near Dallas, TX.

Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Information, (310) 452-8121, or www.alteredspacegallery.com.

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