Take a break from the heat and stop in at Gallery 4 in Old Town. It will cool you right off. On exhibit through the end of the month is "Recent Paintings by Richard Kevorkian." Kevorkian's work is bright, cool and exciting.

Only six paintings make up the show, but their size alone creates a dramatic effect. Titled "M," "Green Field," "Blue Field," "Orange Field," "Red Field" and "Yellow Field," each work is 5 1/2-by-6 feet.

With the large size, Kevorkian utilizes vibrant colors: One basic color for the entire canvas and many colors horizontally at the base. For example, strips of pinks, greens, reds, blues and purples placed against a brilliant shade of yellow give "Yellow Field" the feeling of a bright sunny summer day.

The artist places these strips of color where the horizon line would be if one looked out to sea. Each painting seems to capture a time of day. Red and orange for sunset, or bright blue for morning.

Kevorkian applies about 26 coats to each canvas, giving them strong texture and a unique quality. The paintings are crisp and clean. Mary Kay Ryan, director of the gallery, said, "I have really enjoyed sitting in here with these paintings; there is something so summery and cool about them."

Kevorkian, 46, is a professor and chairman of the Department of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He is an accomplished artist who has won many awards for his work. The exhibit is refreshing and well worth the trip, especially on the hottest of days. Through July 30. Gallery 4, 115 S. Columbus St., Alexandria. For more information, call 548-4600.

Other Events:

The Fairfax Symphony Summer Band debuts Friday. Call Clare Mountfort 821-8118.

Celtic Thunder, an Irish-American band, performs at Lubber Run. Call 558-2161.

The Art League, "Juried Membership & Miniature Shows." Call 683-1780.