On Thursday, Jan. 19, Perimeter Gallery will kick off its 2012 season with “Communiqué,” a show of paintings by Belfast artist and gallery co-founder Freddy LaFage. There will be an opening reception that night from 6 to 8 p.m. at the gallery, located within Chase’s Daily, 96 Main St.

In his paintings, LaFage employs a wide variety of media including acrylic, marine enamel and the adhesive vinyl used in sign making, as well as centuries-old means such as egg tempera and water gilding over bole, a very fine clay, and gesso cooked from powdered calcium carbonate and rabbit skin glue.

LaFage starts with an iconic image from his personal vocabulary, paints it lovingly and then sets about convoluting it, sometimes literally “messing it up.” Parts of the image are painted over again and again. The paint gets scraped, sanded, wiped around with his hands. Important to LaFage is that the finished painting’s surface reveals the history of its process.

An image that LaFage returns to repeatedly is that of a castle, which can connote both dreams and fortresses, both useful during times of embattlement. Another is of a grouping of horns, perhaps a source of sweet music or broadcasters of warning. On the heels of a tumultuous year, for the world as well as for LaFage personally, his paintings remind viewers that although nothing may be clear, possibilities and the spectrum of emotional response are wide.

“Communiqué” will remain on view through Feb. 26. Gallery hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 338-0555.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.