Axis Gallery’s first annual paper competition enticed artists from across the continent to hang their work at 1517 19th Street until August 27. Naturally, the Westerners stand out. Reno artist Nolan Preece’s photographic “Simple Systems #4R” consists of two golden, page-sized shapes hanging in a pitch-dark void. They’re curious, luring you to look for the hidden light that must illuminate the shapes from within—but there isn’t one. San Rafael artist Annette Tosti’s “Ideal Island,” in ink on paper, also draws you in to really see hundreds of minute squares, like mutated computer bits and bytes living in light blue, red and yellow fields. The haunting eyes of the talented but short-lived artist “Egon Schiele” are compelling in the almost-life-sized woodcut portrait by Dirk Hagner of San Juan Capistrano. Marc Leone from Mesa, Ariz., takes you out of this world with his moon-like graphite “Crater.” For more information, call (916) 443-9900.