The strange ways in which we burden ourselves and the tug of war between freedom and confinement are two themes that emerge from the paintings of Buffalo artist Jason Seeley, the subject of an exhibit opening at 8 p.m. Friday in Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave.).

Seeley’s work, Hallwalls curator John Massier wrote in a release, “explores the nuances within this freedom and imprisonment dichotomy, and the struggle to survive within society.” His illustrative paintings depict such odd situations as one figure improbably carrying around two others on his back and a self-portrait of the artist wrapped in a four-armed embrace with himself.

Also opening at Hallwalls on Friday is an exhibition of the Brooklyn-based and Venezuela-born artist Esperanza Mayobre, whose “fictive laboratory spaces” explore the problems of cities like Caracas, the economically struggling Venezuelan capital, and New York. With simple tools, Massier wrote, “she creates structures that are in continuous construction and de-construction.”

“Jason Seeley: Piles” and “Esperanza Mayobre: Nada Se Trata De Nada, Todo Se Trata De Mucho” continue through June 28. Admission is free. Call 854-1694 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski