Ever look at a piece of contemporary art and wonder, "What's it about?"

An instant answer to that question is provided for every piece on display in a new contemporary exhibit called "Artist Statements" at the Art/Place Gallery.

Each piece exhibited at the 70 Sanford St. gallery has a statement by the artist posted beside it explaining his or her thinking behind the image and how the concept was expressed visually, the gallery said.

The show of work by 17 artists opened Jan. 15 and will be on display through Feb. 22, the nonprofit Art/Place said in a news release

The artists will be on hand to discuss their work and answer questions at gallery reception on Sunday, Jan. 18, from 2 to 5 p.m., according to the release. The gathering is free and open to the public.

A similar gathering is planned Thursday, Feb. 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Among exhibitors, Florence Zolan's work is "always about relationships, concerned with contrasts, both abstract and representational, smooth against rough, soft and sharp edges, patterns next to solids," Art/Place said.

David Pressler's "Mindscapes" are about --¦learning to look in order to see; to discover the essence of a subject to gain insight," according to the release.

Mary Louise Long's triptych,"That Vital Canopy" was inspired by Sir Walter Scott's poem "The Bridal of Triermain," Art/Place said.

Diane Pollack's new calligraphic paintings based on the human figure are inspired by images from the Asian alphabet.

Mollie Keller's "floating bones" explore the fragile and precarious underpinnings of our lives, according to the release.

Art/Place is a nonprofit artist cooperative that shares space with the Fairfield Theatre Company at 70 Sanford St. It is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m.