Three area artists open the 1984 exhibiting season at the Arlington Arts Center. The selected works of painters Patrick Craig and Jay Orbeck and sculptor Rebecca Kamen have a commonality of style. The artists each use interlocking geometric shapes as the core of their abstract works.

One gallery on the lower floor of the Arts Center is devoted to Craig's biomorphic, earth-toned paintings. With titles based in nature -- "Burning Bush," "Feather Moon" and "Polaris" -- Craig invites the viewer to indulge and relax with these familiar leafy forms. The twist in these paintings is that Craig fills his canvases with animal skin patterns. The artist combines flora and fauna by including what resemble the pelts of zebras, lions and leopards, within most of the triangular and crescent shapes on his paintings.

Adjacent to Craig's exhibit, in another gallery area, are the works of Orbeck. Orbeck is fascinated with mythology. His pieces "The Flood," and "The Garden of V" and "Busiris," done in charcoal and pastels on paper, are based loosely, according to Orbeck, on the Egyptian Osiris myth cycle (Osiris was the Egyptian god of the lower world and the judge of the dead). Here, wild, swirling connecting patterns in black, brown and ochre come up against solid white space. These intricate geometric forms have a haunting quality.

Upstairs are the wood sculptures and wall reliefs by Kamen. These cut wood pieces in geometric forms are covered with bright colors, in more sharp shapes. Yellows, pinks and black occupy the wood surfaces creating jarring yet simple patterns.

As a group show, the artists' individual styles hold together remarkably well. The artists have a mutual fascination with the concept of forms placed next to each other so that they share a line. The characteristic of Craig's large shapes is found in smaller proportions in Orbeck's tight, controlled style. And, finally, Kamen's sculptures take these geometric features into a three-dimensional form.

The artists will be present at a discussion of the show and their works on Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. at the Arts Center. The exhibit continues through Oct. 19. For further details call 524-1494.