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'Aroid Arum Art by Kevin Firme' to have opening reception Saturday

A painting by artist Kevin Firme will be displayed in an exhibit at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts through Jan. 6. 

An opening reception will take place Saturday evening for “Aroid Arum Art by Kevin Firme” exhibit at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts in Gary's lakefront Miller neighborhood.

Firme, a graduate of DePaul and Notre Dame universities whose family owns and operates Glenn L. Firme & Associates in Beverly Shores and Michigan City, is exhibiting 38 drawings and 28 sculptures that study water plants at the gallery at 540 S. Lake St. in Miller's downtown commercial district through Jan. 6. He will appear at the opening reception from 6  to 9 p.m. Saturday. 

“I like the leaves and their relationship to the stems,” he said. “The leaves are not perfect, they are flawed. Like us, with our imperfections, they make beautiful compositions.”

Firme teaches at Valparaiso University and creates varied artwork.

“My works are about the search for shape,” he said. “I am trying to get abstract compositions in a shallow space, which allows for more variety. I have been drawing (water plants) for years. I am interested in their shape, gesture, and pictorial space on a reflective surface.”

The forged steel structures on display were inspired by his drawings of the aquatic plants in marshes.

“They are abstract in nature and draw on the plants for their inspiration," he said. "The pieces start with straight rods and are formed by heat into many curves and bends. Every inch of material is worked.”

The gallery is open from noon. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, from 6  to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1  to 4 p.m. Sundays.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.