By Raymundo Muñoz

Closing this week is “Muses of Mt. Helikon II,” perhaps the most impressive group show Helikon Gallery has hosted since its inception last fall. Culling figurative works from over two dozen national and local artists, “Muses” is an open-themed and eclectic exhibition with a strong leaning towards contemporary illustration. That last part is particularly important because it reveals the curatorial direction Helikon’s Director Cayce Goldberg sees the gallery moving towards in the coming year. What exactly that will consist of remains to be seen, but if the quality and variety of “Muses” is any indication, we can expect an exciting year for Helikon. “Muses of Mt. Helikon II” features the inspiring works of Edward KinsellaSergio LopezMichael ReedyTran NguyenChris BuzelliJim SalvatiJoanne NamBuddy NestorYana PayusovaRyan LeeRebecca GreenZoë Williams, Michael Gallegos, Elena GundersonValeriya VolkovaKaitlin ZiesmerEmily J. MooreSierra BarelaMarc ScheffJanelle W. AndersonSara WilsonRachel FagianoHollie ChastainJennifer DavisDelton DemarestJoan KresekMike Fudge, and Leon Loucheur. Photos are from the Nov. 1 opening reception. The show wraps up Dec. 20.

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“Youth” by Janelle W. Anderson

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“Sam” and “Suzy” by Kaitlin Ziesmer

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 By Mike Fudge

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 “Melancholia” by Emily J. Moore

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“Maria” by Yana Payusova

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“Through and Through” by Ryan Lee

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 “Cat” by Jennifer Davis

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 “Pink Head” by Michael Gallegos

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 “Oceanman” by Valeriya Volkova

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“GOODNbumps” by Sierra Barela

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“Anthony” by Hollie Chastain

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 “Earl” and “Roach” by Leon Leoucheur

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Miniature props from “Hortense and the Leaf Bug” by Rebecca Green

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“Into the Abyss, Part III” by Zoe Williams

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By Edward Kinsella

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 “The Real Pink One with Raggedy Ann” by Joan Kresek

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Raymundo Muñoz with Elena Gunderson