What do a congressman, makeup studio and produce cut out of paper have in common? They’re all reasons to head downtown for the May First Friday.

This month’s art gathering is even more of a mixed bag for attendees than usual with a reception for winners of a congressional art competition, a new business opening and four new art shows.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy will be at Metro Galleries Friday to honor the student artists from his 23rd Congressional District. (See below for more.)

Over at Wire+Pearl, father and daughter artists Art and Liz Sherwyn will debut their exhibit “Observations.”

The show was store owner Susan Ruppel’s suggestion for Liz, who took part in a group exhibition last year with fellow artists and friends Yvonne Cavanagh, Vikki Cruz and Julia Heatherwick.

Father and daughter last exhibited their work together in 2008 with “Exploring the Elements” at Metro.

“I had a great time collaborating with him and showing my work alongside his,” Liz wrote in an email. “I love that we share a passion for art.”

The two share a similar thought process to creating art.

“We both find ourselves being fascinated with interesting shapes and lines and seeing how we can energize our subject matter.”

For the show, Sherwyn took inspiration from her housemate’s garden for the series “Groceries,” made up of fruits, vegetables and plants cut out of paper.

“Food is such a special memory for people. So much of my connection with this subject is about sharing with friends and family, enjoying meals and bites alongside people you love.

“At my house we have a garden with year-round edibles — spinach, kale, squash, broccoli, peas, radish — and these are so much a part of why I love my home.”

For Art Sherwyn’s own observations, he looked to the neighborhood, spotting bicycles and young athletes always looking for someone to throw a football with.

The work, depicting “unique visions and beautiful spirits,” differs in content but Sherywn said the lines of the structural design are key.

He wrote in his artist statement: “The lines on a bike are stiff, direct and firm while the drawing of a person is dependent upon the nature, character and temperament of the person being drawn.”

Father and daughter also share a background in art education, Art having taught at Stockdale High. Liz was education coordinator at the Bakersfield Museum of Art until recently, when she decided to leave to pursue other opportunities.

Makeup studio

Along with all the visual artists set up along the artwalk, a new business specializing in the art of beauty is opening on 20th Street.

The Ruben Mua Makeup Studio, just a few doors down from Dagny’s in the former home of Soul Purpose, will hold an opening reception Friday evening.

Makeup artist Ruben Ramirez said he’s teamed with photographer Gina Escamilla to share the space, which will be split as a makeup and photography studio.

“There is tons and tons of natural lighting that worked perfectly for both of us,” he said.

“The whole idea behind the studio is to give our clients a high-end service, special for our clients. We don’t have anything like this in town.”

Photographer Magdalena Cruz will also be using the space, which will be open by appointment only for the first couple of months due to booked schedules.

Ramirez said he has an assistant and will be training more to aid with makeup clients. Plans for the studio include a bridal party room where brides and their ladies can relax and get ready on the big day.

For now, Ramirez is looking forward to showing off the new space on Friday. Visitors can learn more about the services offered while enjoying wine, appetizers and live music.

“It’s sort of like a big party.”

BAA shows

Artist Deb Waxdahl’s work is on display at Dagny’s Coffee Co. in a “A Few of My Favorite Things.”

The collection of oil paintings features subjects ranging from pets and wildlife to scenes in nature. Her work is said to evoke feelings of quiet, beauty, restfulness and peace.

Waxdahl balances her passion for art along with gardening, quilting, horse riding and a busy life as grandmother and wife.

Her reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dagny’s, 1600 20th St.

The coffeehouse will also feature the group show “Flower Power.” The collection, which will be on display through June, features work from Marsha Black, Floyd Dillon, Gwen Hauss, Stella Mullins, Peggy Stannard and Betty Woollomes.

And at the BAA Art Center, Patti Doolittle is the featured artist with the collection “As I See It.”

The painter said she enjoys depicting children, animals as well as authentic people at their work or play. She is also drawn to landscape studies of the area’s countryside.

She starts with a camera to help capture beautiful moments and images to which she can refer to in her work.

“The rest is left up to the artistic paintbrush in my heart and soul, including knowledge I have gained over the years and am still learning,” she wrote in her artist statement. “An artist is always a student!”

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