First-Friday Hit list

• From 7 to 9 p.m., Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art (2004 Baltimore, 816-221-2626) features two landscape exhibitions with markedly different strategies. Jeff Aeling’s Looking West is a series of oil landscapes documenting the artist’s travels across America. Seeking unpopulated expanses and open vistas with a wide-angle perspective, Aeling illuminates the scale of American spaces and the color, light and beauty of nature. By contrast, Wisconsin photographer Carl Corey takes a smaller-scale approach, photographing various American habitats, public spaces and buildings during periods of vacancy. Corey’s photos explore the implications of the spaces and their missing occupants. Both exhibits run through January 2.

The Late Show Gallery (1600 Cherry, 816-474-1300) mounts its annual Naughty Elves group exhibition, anchored this year by Lori Raye Erickson. “She’s the main naughty elf,” gallery owner Tom Deatherage says. “She did the gay takeoff before, about gays in the Boy Scouts. She does a lot of political work. She uses a lot of soft lead, rubber and plastics in a lot of her work. She has graphic drawings, and she does these little beat-up stuffed animals, addressing child abuse.” The exhibit runs through December; tonight’s opening is from 7 to 9.

• Apryl McAnerney, owner of the Slap-n-Tickle Gallery (504 East 18th Street, 816-716-5940) has also mounted a Christmas show. “I’ve called it Bang Bang Christmas — it’s our third-annual Christmas show. I can’t believe we’ve been here for three years. We’re trying to keep it small and affordable — T-shirts, scarves, jewelry, art. The only direction I gave was to include small and affordable things. There are some 30-odd artists in the show.” Molly Gene One Whoaman Band plays the opening party. “Molly’s phenomenal,” McAnerney says. “She’s in her early 20s. She plays harp, foot drum and guitar. She has this really folksy, raspy voice, and she plays some old-time rock and roll.” Tonight’s opening is from 6 to 11 p.m., with a $5 donation at the door. “That’s for Molly,” McAnerney says. “She needs to pay for gas to get home.” After tonight, the show runs through Christmas by appointment only.