210 W. Read St., 551-697-3790, positrongallery.com.

Elise Siegal takes the DIY philosophy to heart. The young art collector (and chemist by day) turned the first floor of her Mount Vernon rowhouse into an intimate gallery about a year and a half ago. "I just wanted to have a place for artists to show their work," she said.

Adding a twist, Siegel typically picks a theme and invites artists she admires to create fresh works inspired by that theme. She focuses on 3-D, mixed-media works, guaranteeing a heightened sense of texture for her shows.

The next Siegel-generated show is due next month. Meanwhile, Positron offers "Eschatology II," curated by Cheri Landry, creator of a business called Divergence Fine Art that specializes in cutting-edge work.

"Eschatology II," offering works by artists from Baltimore and beyond, includes a pair of haunting pieces by Jordan Eagles that use animal blood — procured from slaughterhouses — to create a kind of abstract memorial on Plexiglas. On a lighter note is Emil Alzamora's sly "Plank," an 8-inch sculpture of a man wearing a business suited, on a plank in the about-to-jump mode.

Count on finding Landry's curatorial work elsewhere around town. Since her former base, Gallery Imperato in Locust Point, closed, she's spearheading what she calls "pop-up" galleries. "I'm just popping up wherever I can," she said. "As long as there's track lighting, I'm ready."

"Eschatology II" is on display Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Nov. 20.

H&H building

405 W. Franklin St.

The H & H Building gives no outward sign of the activity teeming inside, where several artists have studio and living spaces. Over the front inside doorway, someone has painted "God Bless This House." Colorful graffiti fills the stairwells.

On the third floor, Seth Adelsberger and Alex Ebstein created a gallery called Nudashank (443-415-2139, nudashank.com). It's typically packed with people on opening and closing nights, like last week's finale for the gallery's first solo show, a vivid sampling of works by Michael Dotson. (Nudashank is taking several of those items shortly to the high-profile Art Basel Miami Beach.)

Nudashank offers a new exhibit every month. The next one, opening Nov. 19, is devoted to Walter Carpenter, a young Baltimorean who died last year.

"Our philosophy is to show local artists," Adelsberger said, "but also bring in artists from other cities." Adds Ebstein: "That provides a way for local artists to have their work seen in context with other people's, and not just hanging in coffee shops until they're discovered."

Dustin Carlson spent several years working on Gallery Four (fourth floor; galleryfour.net), helped along by the occasional bit of luck, as when he secured track lighting from a Smithsonian gallery in Washington that was being tossed during a renovation.

The gallery covers 10,000 square feet, enough for six individual live/work studios and remarkably large exhibit rooms. "We're not so concerned with selling work, but giving artists a chance to create a tour de force in this space," Carlson sad.

There's nothing on view right now. Carlson is heading to Art Basel, too, where he'll be seen with his Bicycle Gallery — pedaling around the area pulling works of art behind him. (He demonstrated the mobile innovation at last year's Artscape.) Something new should be on display at Gallery Four early in 2011.

Area 405

405 E. Oliver St.; 410-528-1968, area405.com.

Located in an industrial 19th-century warehouse, Area 405 opened in 2003 and has been a contributor to the emergence of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. "We are an all-volunteer-run gallery," said Stewart Watson, director of Area 405. "Everyone does 5,000 other things. We've got 25 artists in the building."

Given the building's 66,000 square feet, there is no shortage of room for exhibitions. "We are more of a sculpture, installation and experimental media space. We just encourage artists to take the space on and make work. We're kind of diverse, open to all sorts of ideas. We encourage experimentation. And we certainly don't limit ourselves to things for sale."