Nine times out of 10, a doctor's office is the last place you want to be. But there are exceptions.

Nine times out of 10, a doctor's office is the last place you want to be. But there are exceptions.

At Ocean Medical Imaging in Milton on Friday, Feb. 7, half a dozen artists will launch the opening reception of a new art exhibit titled "Light," which will be on display at Ocean Medical through April 11. Friday's reception will include cheese and wine, as well as an opportunity to meet the artists.

"Light" is one of those rare instances when you go to the doctor's office in a great mood and leave even happier, said exhibit curator and painter Elizabeth Zando.

"I think it'll make people feel good," Zando said.

In addition to Zando, "Light" features works from artists Jerry Strum, David Rule, Yvonne Frankis, Anne Buck and Cathy Walls. Walls co-organized the exhibit with Zando.

Let there be 'Light'

"Light" is a themed show that celebrates the beauty of light through images of the sky, animals, still life, snow and ice scenes, and other subjects. Many of the works are colorful and bright.

"Light" has a dual meaning. It's not only inspired by the softer winter light that the winter season presents us with ─ but the show's title is also a play on words off the fact that Ocean Medical is a center that specializes in radiology services such as X-rays and MRI, and both rely heavily on using light.

Zando is exhibiting an oil painting of a caged parrot in the show titled "Winter Blues." Light is depicted in the painting through highlights on the parrot's beak, its eye and on the birdcage.

The trapped parrot is a metaphor for how some people feel limited to where they can go during this chilly season.

"We're confined in the winter time," she said. "We can't go to as many places as we'd like."

Art therapy

A neat thing about Ocean Medical is the owner, radiologist Dr. Jonathan Patterson, specifically designed the center to include a gallery space. In addition to its gallery, artwork is on display in the waiting room and in other rooms throughout the building.

Patterson's wife, Kristin, the business manager at Ocean Medical, says her husband was raised in an artistic family, and that's encouraged him to want to give back to the community.

"Sussex County is a very artistic area," said Kristin Patterson, who is also a councilwoman for the town of Milton. "We really like to work with local artists in our community to help get their artwork seen. We try to help them sell their artwork."

Zando has been curating shows at Ocean Medical for nearly two years. As a result, Kristin says the pieces have provided comfort to Dr. Patterson's patients.

"Usually when you come to a radiologist you're scared," Kristin said. "You're nervous and your blood pressure's raised. But one of the nice things about having a gallery space and art on the walls is it helps the patient relax."

IF YOU GO

WHAT "Light" exhibit's opening reception

WHEN 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7 (opening reception); exhibit ends Friday, April 11; Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays

WHERE Ocean Medical Imaging, 611 Federal St., Milton

COST Free

INFO Visit oceanmedicalimaging.net or call (302) 684-5151