* As of this month, a new gallery welcomes promising up-and-comers. The 25-year-old painter Elizabeth Roberts took over the Dupont Circle digs vacated by Anton Gallery in January and promises to show an eclectic mix of young artists. Her inaugural show augurs well. It highlights two fellow MFA graduates of American University, who make paintings that verge on wall sculpture. Elise Richman builds dots of paint atop one another so they rise like mini-stalagmites to nearly an inch off the canvas. Her small-scale pictures look like colorful mold colonies. More intriguing are Jonathan Bucci's pillow-paintings. The paintings are made using thin sheets of vinyl-like caulking compound instead of canvas. He loosely tucks the sheets around supports and stuffs fabric or other material behind them, giving the pictures a sense of weight and volume. Many hang a little too heavily on the wall. The slickest and most buoyant piece of the bunch, "Pinch and Pull II," effectively crosses a painting and a balloon. It also points in the direction this artist should go.
Elise Richman and Jonathan Bucci at Elizabeth Roberts Gallery, 2108 R St. NW, Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 202-232-1011, through April 19.