Unleash the Beast, an art exhibition exploring contemporary animal-themed work, including drawing, photography, sculpture, and painting, will be presented at Arena 1 gallery in Santa Monica from Saturday, Sept. 4 through Oct. 2.

The opening reception is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 at the gallery, 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica.

Featured artists are: Lisa Adams, Nancy Baker Cahill, Oksana Badrak, Grand Ole Bestiary, Laurie Hogin, Seonna Hong, Joshua Levine, Max Miceli, Cynthia Minet, Sharon Montrose, Fred Stonehouse, and Peter Zokosky.

Unleash the Beast is curated by Jennifer Eckstein and A. McLean Emenegger.

Animals have been potent symbols since the beginning of recorded history, a gallery spokesperson notes. In art animals have been found to play multiple characters from humorous to hellish, benign to bizarre, maudlin to mundane, the spokesperson continues.

As an alternative to focusing on the conquering of animals and people’s (imposed) interdependence on them, Unleash the Beast aims to allow the animals to reign supreme, according to the spokesperson.

A portion of sale proceeds will benefit the Wildlife Waystation.

Arena 1 is an exhibition space founded by Santa Monica Art Studios directors Yossi Govrin and Sherry Frumkin. Based in an historic hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, Arena 1 invites internationally known as well as newly established curators to develop innovative and compelling exhibitions.