Loss, heroism, and fear touch the figures in Kevin Muente's oil paintings. Embodiments of universal themes, his human subjects enact simple but meaningful feats in rural environments. Muente uses landscape as a metaphor, he says, and his settings frame, highlight, and reflect the archetypal emotions his characters experience. In Potential of Loss, a man struggles to carry a dog, possibly wounded, across a field. The sun is low in the sky, either rising or setting, mirroring the animal's precarious position between life and death. Male rites of passage also frequently appear in Muente's work. In Smoke Signals, a teenage boy pauses before a stack of burning wood on a suburban lawn. Axe in hand, the adolescent stands hesitantly, as though questioning whether he is ready for the adult task before him.