"Play Ball," an exhibit of paintings and photos celebrating the national pastime opens on Saturday, May 25 at the Fairfield Public Library's Kershner Gallery.

The exhibit features the work of two painters and a photographer and will run through July 6 at the main branch library, 1080 Old Post Road.

A reception for the artists -- painter Leonard Everett Fisher, a painter who uses the single name Busch and photographer Glenn Callahan -- is planned Saturday, June 1, at 4:30 p.m. and includes talks by the artists from 5:30 to 6.

Fisher's work has been seen nationally since 1939, and the exhibit will include his "Classic Baseball All Stars" series and illustrations for his 1978 novel "Noonan: A Novel About Baseball, ESP and Time Warps" published by Doubleday and Co.

His paintings have been exhibited in New York at the Brooklyn Museum, Seligmann and Hewitt galleries, Museum of American Illustration, New York Public Library, Hebrew Union College Museum and Cavalier Gallery.

Fisher's painting also have been displayed at the New Britain Museum of American Art, Brandywine River Museum, Chicago Art Institute and Smithsonian National Postal History Museum.

The International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, U.K., included him in its Y2K compendium, 2000 Outstanding Artists and Designers of the 20th Century.

"I view art to represent human experience, recognizable in terms of a connection with what is perceived as "reality, but at the same time tranformational," Fisher said in a Kershner Gallery news release.

"For art to be `art' it must have a human connection."

Busch is a former sports and entertainment lawyer who has represented professional athletes, including tennis stars Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf and race-car driver Helio Castroneves.

A self-taught neo-expressionist, according to the gallery, he lives in Fairfield.

His painting focuses on black ballplayers in the first half of the 20th century, when they were excluded from the Major Leagues

"Through color, I simply sought to capture the sadness of gentlemen of character, talented baseball players, who endured racial taunts, slurs and exclusion during baseball's era of the `color' line,'" Busch said in the release.

His paintings have been exhibited in New York; Chicago; Vail, Colo; and New Orleans and Alexandria, La.

Callahan, the gallery said, is a classically trained photographer with diverse interests.

He is a Fairfield native who still lives in town, and the Kershner show will be his first formal exhibit.

He has made images in helicopters, factories, operating rooms, housing projects, speeding cars, private jets and the Emergency Room at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City.

Plus, young baseball players.

"To date nothing has brought me the sense of satisfaction that these players' images deliver," Callahan said said in the news release.

In each of the past few summers, he has gone to nearly 70 youth-league games "in pursuit of a very unique group of kids," he said.

"Ultimately," he said, "I want to produce something that does the kids justice -- that pays honor to their sacrifice, simplicity, and humility."

The Kershner Gallery in the Fairfield Public Library is open during regular library hours.