Ends April 24: Growing up in Minnesota, Betsy Ruth Byers experienced the breathtaking freedom and beauty of the northern lakes in which she swam. As a painter she translates those experiences into bold, dramatic images that hover between realism and abstraction, as seen in "Lake Effect," shown here. Blue-black expanses suggest the chill depths of Lake Superior, while distant horizon lines punctuated by rocky outcroppings convey oceanic vastness. Drips and stains of blue-gray carry watery atmosphere while slashes of yellow, coral and rust articulate shorelines. Hers are landscapes of the mind, too, psychological places in which "to let go and to be consumed by something larger than oneself." With 20 large paintings and five delicate watercolors of Chequamegon Bay, this handsome show is well worth a special springtime drive. (9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 1-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends April 24. Free. Hillstrom Museum of Art, Gustavus Adolphus College, Campus Center, 800 W. College Av., St. Peter, Minn. 1-507-933-7200 or gustavus.edu/finearts/hillstrom)

Mary Abbe