Contemporary on the Cruise

A new gallery featuring "pop surrealist LA lowbrow" is featured on this year's Summer Art Cruise

Scott Baker and Mary Ann Hesseldenz are bringing a whole new genre to a corner of town where bathtubs once were sold.

"It will be pop surrealist LA lowbrow," says Hesseldenz of the paintings Baker + Hesseldenz Fine Art plan to exhibit. Located in the Tucson Warehouse and Transfer Co. building at Sixth Street and Seventh Avenue, the new gallery will alternate exhibitions of paintings with "edgier" photography.

The couple are partners in an interior design business, which often makes use of Baker's finely crafted wooden furniture in a sleekly modernist style. They've become so accustomed to buying cutting-edge art for their clients that they decided that they might as well go into the gallery biz.

This Saturday night's Summer Art Cruise will give locals the chance to check out the new gallery, which is co-located with their design business in the historic warehouse. The opening show focuses on two contemporary photographers. Jennifer Shaw of New Orleans makes color images drawn from her Hurricane Katrina experiences. Her photo "We Left in the Dark of Night" is a pop-colored picture of a shiny red pickup driving away into a blue light. "They're kind of fun," says Baker, who once ran Metroform Limited, an excellent small photography gallery up the street.

The second artist, Tobia Makover, from Savannah, does encaustic photography, layering waxy pigment over black-and-white photos. Her work "A Child's Room" is a dreamy light-filled image of a young woman in white, sitting in front of two windows framed by billowing white curtains.

Shaw will sign copies of her book Hurricane Story at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. 100 E. Sixth St. 760-0037.

The Summer Art Cruise always manages to lure art lubbers out on a hot summer Saturday evening, by staging simultaneous free openings of Central Tucson Gallery Association galleries. Membership is down, what with the loss of Sacred Machine, ATLAS and Obsidian, but there's still plenty to see.

Davis Dominguez Gallery is showing Small Things Considered - 22nd Small Works Invitational, which requires artists to compress their usual aesthetic into small packages. Eighty artists have taken on the challenge: Charlotte Bender has painted a teeny-tiny staircase; Barbara Brandel used flowery postage stamps to create a hand-sized (and hand-shaped) blossom. Reception 6 to 8 p.m. 154 E. Sixth St., 629-9759;

Next door, Contreras Gallery has Dogboy Trinity. Three Native American artists from Tucson, Jeremy Singer (Navajo), Dwayne Manuel (Tohono O'odham) and David Moreno (Yaqui), show contemporary art steeped in their own cultures. Check out Singer's moody monotype, "Three Navajo Ladies." 3 to 9 p.m., 110 E. Sixth St.; 398-6557;

Raices Taller celebrates Mujeres, Mujeres, Mujeres in its 10th annual all-women show. Fifty mujeres offer up traditional to cutting edge work. Carmen Sonnes does another of her radiant mixed-media paintings, "The Divine Feminine." 6 to 9 p.m.; 218 E. Sixth St. 881-5335.

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