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Free Press

The terms “SMUD” and “art” seem like they should be mutually exclusive. The former is an acronym for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, after all, a.k.a. the agency that keeps your house powered.

Well, check your preconceptions: The East Sacramento-based SMUD headquarters houses an art gallery, in association with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission's Art in Public Places program, and regularly puts the spotlight on regional creative types.

This month's exhibit, Free Press, is a group show highlighting fine-art prints by area artists.

Participating artists include Carol Abbe, Sandra Beard, Sally Bullock, Joanna Kidd, Dixie Laws, Christine Meighan, Barbara Nilsson, Manuel Fernando Rios, Susan J. Silvester and Katherine Venturelli.

The entirety of the program highlights established and emerging printmakers, and the range of work is vast. Kidd's “What Are You Looking At,” for example, seems abstract until a closer look reveals finely detailed faces and bodies.

And “Contact #1” by Silvester (pictured) is a sweet yet spooky depiction of two young friends in a forest.

The artists' reception is on Friday, March 21, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. SMUD Art Gallery, 6301 S Street;