What sustains us? That’s the question Osiris Rain and Joe Clayton Helms pose through a series of new works that will showcase at Gallery Twenty-Two in Plaza Midwood. Both artists often ponder the range of beauty and ugliness found in humanity and nature. The result is a realistic set of portraits (Rain) and nature paintings (Helms). Rain, who studied and developed his artistic skills in Italy and Norway, captures a sharp emotional truth in his models. Sometimes somber in appearance, the paintings are created from layers of paint that are later scraped down. But the tedious process doesn’t hinder the works. In many ways it’s symbolic of the struggles in everyday life. Opening reception on July 6, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.