During Last Fridays Art Walk at Thomas Stevens gallery, intricate architecture and ocular designs were the focus of both exhibits.

On Friday, Feb. 22, downtown Hillsborough was bustling with Last Fridays regulars and tourists alike, despite rainy weather.

Mayor Tom Stevens, owner of the gallery, displayed his full “Stickwork Homage” exhibition, which celebrates the bygone stickwork sculpture that once sat on Hillsborough’s Riverwalk. The exhibit was complete with five new paintings to total fourteen ‘Oculus’ paintings plus a large oil painting of the ‘A Sight to Behold’ sculpture. Stevens hosted special guest Sia Yazdanfar, a recent Hillsborough resident and partner with Gallery Parsa in Teheran, Iran.

Yazdanfar, who moved to America from Iran as a teenager, returned to his home country in 2018 after three decades away. He toured the country with a camera in hand, capturing the life of Iranian and awe-inspiring Persian art and landscapes.

“In a sneak peek of his wonderful photos, I was struck by how many showed architectural features, like the dome and oculus so delightfully captured in our local stickwork sculpture,” Stevens said in a release from the gallery.

Yazdanfar showed his work, “Persia Sublime,” at the entrance to Thomas Stevens Gallery. Many who stopped in spend extra time looking at images of mosques, temples and festivals, and flipping through pages in books of calligraphy that were unfamiliar and offered new perspective.

“After three decades of living in the States, I decided to leave behind life as I had come to know it, and move back to my motherland,” Yazdanfar described in the gallery description. “A year and a half of journeys and experiences in the Middle East has resulted in over forty thousand photos and the recent publication of two books of original Persian miniature paintings and calligraphy which I have returned to share with an audience mostly unfamiliar with the beauty and tradition that is Persia.”

Alongside giclée prints of his photography, he presented these limited quantities of the works of Rumi and Hafiz.

Last Fridays occurred from 6 to 9 p.m. and included many more gallery stops.

The Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery and Gift Shop at 102 N. Churton St. presented two shows by Cedar Ridge High School International Baccalaureate Senior Art students Miranda Brown, Joanna Cannone, Cameron Koehler and Colin Boyette.

The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts at 121 N. Churton St. showed “Other Dimensions.” This was a group show, highlighting different works in different mediums from the collection of 22 artists own the gallery.

The Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce presented “Triangle Visual Artists on the Move,” while Eno Gallery at 100 S. Churton St. showed their Winter Group Exhibition that featured gallery artists.

The Hillsborough Artists Cooperative and The Skylight Gallery on King Street showed their exhibition “Textures of Nature & Resistance,” which featured selected photography by local artists and artwork by studio artists Jayne Bomberg, Tom Guthrie, Jennifer E. Miller, Andrea DeGette, Jacquelin Liggins, Roberta Wallace and Nan Kuney.

Violin tunes emanated from King Street Bar, as a crowd under warmly-lit chandeliers admired the featured paintings of Marcela Slade.

Margaret Lane Gallery at 121 W. Margaret Ln. presented “Horse of a Different Color,” featuring the acrylic paintings of Chrystal Hardt.

Many of these exhibits are ongoing through the next month.

Last Fridays Art Walk occur on the final Friday of each month. For general information on the Last Fridays Art Walk contact the Hillsborough Arts Council at 919-643-2500, www.hillsboroughartscouncil.org or the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough/Orange County Visitors’ Center at 919-732-7741 or www.visithillsboroughnc.org.