"Vision Quest" by Matthew Bailey

On exhibit: Surreal Salon 8

“There is simply nothing like Surreal Salon,” says Baton Rouge Gallery Executive Director Jason Andreasen. “Locally, we are able to spotlight a movement rarely focused on in our area, and on a national level, we know of no other juried exhibition that focuses on pop-surrealism and lowbrow art.”

The eighth incarnation of this unique show drew submissions of nearly 700 works from across the country for possible inclusion; 64 were chosen by juror and renowned artist Elizabeth McGrath. They include paintings, photographs and clay and textile pieces that range from whimsical and playful to aggressive and disturbing.

“The show has grown by leaps and bounds, attracting some of the biggest names in pop-surrealism to select the works, submissions from thousands of American artists, and thousands of ridiculous costumes,” Andreasen says. “Every year we try to find ways to top ourselves.”

The popular Surreal Salon Soirée, set for Jan. 22, will welcome costumed guests to view the art in a party atmosphere while enjoying the music of Israeli husband-and-wife duo Hank & Cupcakes.

“This year’s exhibition offers plenty of opportunities for audiences to get lost in the concepts, the subjects and the technical skills of the artists featured,” Andreasen says. “I think it will be tough for anyone to view the exhibition and not have to take a deep breath.”