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Lowell is a stunning shop with a tight Instagram game: For the unacquainted, the shop/gallery specializes in vintage merchandise, as well as work by contemporary artists and makers. As a friend put it, they're a "treasure shop," with a well-curated collection of curiosities, covering everything from zines to rugs to clothing to the tiniest, quarter-inch-tall tchotchkes. A lot of it has a Southwest feel. Think turquoise, Navajo rugs, and small handmade sculptures from Mexico.

Lowell also happens to be a great place to find some smart art that's affordable. This month, artist Natalie Anne Howard shows Diurnal Doldrums, a collection of 12 pieces. It's a dynamic selection of acrylic and gouache on wood, canvas, and paper. The work is bright, evoking the psychedelic '60s, with a slight druggy feel. Plus there's a '90s nostalgia: patterned shapes, and a penchant for the grotesque and absurd.

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The paintings are like an exercise in surrealism—in particular, a subconscious "automatic drawing." In one of several smaller pieces, "Time Bomb," the explosive of the title walks around, fuse lit, wearing a big smile as it squashes daisies (who also have faces). Some of the forms in the show are awkward, as in the painting "Sunflower Girl," a portrait of a blonde woman with an extra-long neck, nostrils flared, holding a sunflower. A favorite piece is "Silly Angel," a piece of canvas cut out and laid on top of a landscape of butterflies. This is maybe the most energetic of the pieces; the collaging creates a weird sense of compressed space. Like the items in the shop itself, the feel of these pieces is a poetic, Fauvist primitivism, with all of the endearing imperfections that result from being handmade.

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