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May’s art walk isn’t the biggest of the year, but that didn’t stop plenty of downtown galleries from launching high-quality shows last weekend. We’ve listed just a handful of the dozens of galleries that welcomed walkers during last week’s walk, either as part of the 32-member French Quarter Gallery Association or as unofficial fringe shows.

Two quibbles: a few of the galleries did little to publicize their shows before the night. The walk itself isn’t enough to draw attention to an artist’s reception — it’s tough to get around to all the galleries in one evening. The artists deserve a little PR for their receptions. And the smaller galleries need to remember that sometimes, less is more — on a busy night, if a space is crammed with art as well as people, it’s easy for collectors to miss a gem.

Eye Level Art, 50 Queen St.

Featured artist: Carolyn Francis

Mike Elder has packed his minute gallery with eclectic art, including Kevin Harrison’s warped street scenes and Francis’ plush landscapes. Easels on the street outside the gallery deservedly stopped traffic.

Expanding Boundaries

Vickery’s Bar & Grill, 15 Beaufain St.

Artists include: Sarah Goldman, Jessica Grossman, Donna Jones, Steven McCabe, Lauren Puller

On view through May 31

Local artist Phillip Hyman’s been facilitating imaginative monthly shows here for a while now. This predominantly B&W photography show includes strong work by Nancy Santos and Madeleine De Nitto.

Gestures and Sculptures

The John M. Dunnan Gallery, 131 King St.

Artist: John Dunnan

Dunnan uses minimal charcoal lines to suggest lively, moving “Gesture Nudes.” Similar-looking sculptures fill the rest of the space and add some 3-D cohesion.

50 Years of Friendship

Eva Carter Gallery, 132 East Bay St.Artists: John Steele and Eva Carter

On view through June 30

John Steele mentored Eva Carter back in her university days. His work doesn’t necessarily inform hers, but their use of colors helps match up their styles.

Trees

RLS, 151 E. Bay St.

Featured artist: JB BoydOn view through May 28

In Boyd’s hands, bark is always beautiful. Stripped of their leaves, jutting from snowbanks, some of his trees could be escapees from one of Caspar Friedrich’s sweetest dreams.

Support American Fishermen

Fraser Fox Fine Art, 12 Queen St.Featured artist: West Fraser

A hook for West Fraser’s new focus on fishing woes, kicking off a series of exhibitions running into 2008. Like his Charleston streetscapes, these paintings have a nostalgic edge.

Go Figure

Nina Liu and Friends, 24 State St.

Artists include: Eric Longo, Suzanne Longo, Janet Kozacheck, Carol Pittman, Jeri Burdick, Britta Cruz, Priscilla Hollingsworth

On view through June 30

Not for claustrophobics. More of a mob than a group show, Liu’s figurative exhibition has work by over a dozen participants squeezed into her three-story gallery.

Largely Florence

Coleman Fine Art, 79 Church St.On view through June 2Impressionist Joseph Paquet’s solo show of Italian landscapes is influenced by the Old Masters as well as the landscapes he saw. If only everybody’s vacation pics were this rich and interesting.

Flight of Fancy

Birds I View Gallery, 119-A Church St.

Anne Worsham Richardson exhibits her originals and prints of regional flowers and bird life … lots of ’em. The humble gallery belies the artist’s highly respected status.

Keeping House

Corrigan Gallery, 62 Queen St.

Featured artist: Kristi Ryba

On view through May 30

Childhood nostalgia, religious iconography, housewives’ syndrome, race, and regret are all packed into Kristi Ryba’s doll paintings. NB: The original mid-20th-century doll’s house is not for sale, ladies. Get over it.

Internal Journey

City Gallery at Dock St. Theatre, 133 Church St.

Featured artist: Sally Boone

On view through May 11

Dark heavy abstracts. Thick white portraits. Touches of Van Gogh and Edvard Munch. Sally Boone’s acrylic paintings are packed with depressed emotion.

Lime Blue, 62B Queen St.

Even with the power lines and cracked facades, Colleen Terrell’s painted streetscapes are striking. A request: less ceramic curios, more of Lucy Hunnicutt’s outsider art.

Margaret Petterson Gallery, 125 Church St.

Like Miles Davis, Petterson is almost too prolific for her own good — her body of passionate, flamboyantly colorful work’s so large it’s hard to keep track of it all.

SC Bank & Trust, 46 Broad St.

Artists include: Seth Curcio, Julie Henson, Kevin Hoth, Toby Penney, and Nathan Durfee

Avondale fixture Modernisme’s contemporary art met conservative architecture, but for shame, it was one night only. More illustrative art, laser prints, video clips, and abstracts to shake up the staid banking blues, please.