The Arlington Arts Center has launched yet another promising new talent: Rob Evans, 28, whose mixed-media drawings of silent, unpeopled interiors are bound to recall, at first encounter, the work of Washington favorite Kevin MacDonald. But Evans' work is more forthcoming in terms of his own feelings, less distilled and thus more varied. MacDonald's new drawings and monoprints will go on view at David Adamson Gallery on May 14, and will provide their own comparison.

Evans' sole subject matter in his impressive first solo show is the sparsely furnished interior of a family-owned farmhouse in Pennsylvania, where he lives alone with his dog. But as we look through the myriad doorways into the skewed perspective of the "Seven Rooms" he explores in these mixed-media images, it is not so much the house as the artist's sense of the place -- and our own sense of his life within it -- that comes through.

Carefully built from meticulous, dappled overlays of graphite, watercolor, gouache, colored pencil and acrylic, these well-crafted drawings reveal themselves slowly, and in ways that verge on narrative, but always with restraint. In "Late Dinner," for example, we look through the dark dining room into the kitchen and see a phone left off the hook and the kettle boiling over on the stove. We are thus made aware of a human presence elsewhere in the house but, though somewhat curious about the absence, we are more likely to get caught up in the pleasure of examining the steam from the kettle -- steam being something Evans does especially well and often. In another large diptych, a steaming faucet pours water into a bathtub that threatens to overflow. There's always enough tension of this sort to keep us interested, but never enough to scare us.

The largest and most painterly work on view is a triptych titled "Evening Ritual," in which we see that Evans can handle himself as well on the larger scale. In a sink to the left is a dish of half-eaten spaghetti, to the right a room with a fireplace and a chair, probably where dinner was eaten. At center is the open door of a sparsely filled refrigerator that illuminates the entire scene with its eerie light. The formal elements are subtle, but they are there: The dish in the sink, for example, echoes the dog's half-empty dish at the other end of the painting and the round clock overhead. It is snowing, but one feels safe and warm inside.

Evans always gives a detailed depiction of the weather through a window or an open door, and it always adds a jolt of meaning. "Power Lines" is an especially strong example. At first glance, it looks like little more than a slightly skewed view of a television set in the corner of an empty room. But the set is unplugged, and out the window and open door we soon see why: A downpour is overflowing the gutters of an adjoining house, and lightning is striking close to power lines. We then begin to see echoes of the lightning bolt in the calligraphic outlines of the TV antenna: The artist has generated his own electricity.

The show includes several pairs of drawings -- identical images, one in black and white, the other in color -- an examination, he says, of how the mood and power of the image are changed with the use of color. It is this conceptual dimension of his work that takes it well beyond the ordinary.

Visitors to the center can see Evans in action today and tomorrow, when, as part of his Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation visiting artist grant, he will be working on a large drawing-in-process, this one featuring his basement furnace. His first lithograph will be available soon.

Foon Sham at the Arlington Arts Center

Upstairs at the Arlington Arts Center, Foon Sham, a virtuosic maker and carver of laminated wood, is showing new, eight-foot-tall abstract sculptures that set out to give wood the look of steel.

Vastly ambitious in conception, they consist of strong, vertical, I-beam-shaped wood elements that Sham has attempted to visually "transform" into heavy metal by painting them with a highly textured brown-black paint. Fluttering around these central forms, and sometimes piercing them, are small triangles or needlelike forms, also cut from wood, but painted in rich, deep hues. The final assemblages have admirable elements of both monumental stasis and whimsical speed, but seem somehow unresolved -- perhaps because of the cramped space they occupy. They cry out for a large, empty lobby where they can be seen and examined in the round, and to better advantage.

'Masters' at Adams Davidson

Sky-high prices for American art have had at least one salutary effect: They've brought some extraordinary works out of private collections and back into the market for resale.

The evidence is everywhere in the extraordinary show of American drawings, pastels and watercolors titled "Masters of the Medium," now on view at Adams Davidson Galleries in Georgetown, one of the nation's leading galleries dealing with American works of art. Dating from the 18th century to the 1950s, from Edward Seager to Everett Shinn, Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper, John Henry Hill to F. Childe Hassam, this is a show that would do any museum proud. Several museums, in fact, have already acquired prime examples.

If money were no object, I'd love to own Hopper's charcoal study for his painting "Sunlight on the Brownstones," or Everett Shinn's pastel "The Park Bench," or George Wesley Bellows' unusual squared-off study for "Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Wase," the final version of which hangs in the National Museum of American Art. But how does one choose? Fortunately, one doesn't have to, and the public is invited to look and love anything they like through May 28.

European Art at St. Luke's and Seidner

Two relatively new Dupont Circle-area galleries specializing in Western European art and antiques -- St. Luke's and Seidner Gallery -- have gotten together to present a loosely organized group of 17th-century European paintings, prints, furniture and decorative objects that may be without gallery precedent in this American art-oriented city.

Which is not to say that these objects are without peer: Installed in the homelike atmosphere of St. Luke's Gallery, they are, in fact, the sort of second- and third-tier art objects one finds easily in Europe, if infrequently here. The best paintings at St. Luke's -- as previously reported -- are a group of portraits by the Dutch-born, English-trained Cornelius Johnson. There are also the huge, recently acquired "Ducks and Ducklings" by the Dutch bird painter Melchior de Hondecoeter, circa 1680, an 18th-century copy of a painting by Gabriel Metsu and several costume prints by Wenceslaus Hollar, among others.

Among the more intriguing objects, however, are several architectural fragments, among them several curly-haired marble putti, alabaster angels from a 17th-century Burgundian baptismal font, and a swirling gilt and red polychromed baroque decorative element, probably from a palazzo or private chapel. There is also a fine little carved cherrywood figure of a penitent, doubtless influenced by the carvings on a nearby Romanesque church. Chests and more architectural elements can be seen nearby at Seidner Gallery, 1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW.

Rob Evans, "Seven Rooms," at the Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, through May 28. Hours are 11 to 5, Tuesday through Sunday.

Foon Sham, "Shards and Monoliths," at the Arlington Arts Center, through May 28.

"Masters of the Medium," American drawings, pastels and watercolors from the 18th to 20th centuries, at Adams Davidson Galleries, 3233 P St. NW, through May 28. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 to 5, Saturdays noon to 6.

17th-century European art and objects, at St. Luke's Gallery, 1715 Q St. NW, through June 4. Hours are 11 to 6 Tuesday through Saturday, and today from noon to 7.

The Galleries column also appears Fridays in Weekend.