AS THE HOLIDAY SEASON approaches, gallery owners go out of their way to fill their walls and halls with affordable art. This is especially true with downtown galleries.

- Linda Southam of Southam Gallery always has an exciting holiday exhibit. This year she features the works of 19 of her gallery regulars. Since the opening reception on Nov. 18, Southam has sold about 30 percent of the paintings. And as proud buyers haul their treasures home, she hangs more work by the same artists in the empty spaces.The impressive list of artists includes Ken Baxter, Larry and Sharlene Christensen, Fredrick Denys, Jerry Fuhriman, George Handrahan, Rebecca Hartvigsen, Stephen Hedgepeth and John Jarvis. But that's only part of the list. There are Wes Lifferth, Steve McGinty, Richard Murray, John Myrup, Harold Demont Olsen, Bonnie Posselli, A.D. Shaw, Kathryn Stats, Diane Turner and Kent R. Wallis.

What's your pleasure? If you like Utah landscape, chances are you'll love George Handrahan's "Huntsville Barns," Kathryn Stats' "Summer Morning," and A.D. Shaw's "Ladybells and Winesaps"; if you love high-class western art, you'll love John Jarvis' paintings.

Styles range from the photographic paintings of John Myrup to the impressionist works of Richard Murray.

The exhibit will continue at the Southam Gallery, 50 E. Broadway, through Dec. 30. Gallery hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday.

- About a block away, another holiday exhibit is under way. The Marble House Gallery, 44 Exchange Place, is featuring the work of Linda Kohler Barnes.

Barnes' show of original watercolor paintings consists of about 50 works. There are still lifes, florals and landscapes. Some are subtle; others are bold.

"Quilted," one of her strongest paintings, was reproduced in color on the invitation. But other effective paintings that caught my eye were "Backyard Nursery," "Wash Day," "San Miguel," "Mormon Flat Area," "Opuntia" and "Cup of Gold."

Barnes is a native Utahn currently living in Pinebrook near Park City. She has a BFA Degree from the University of Utah. She has taught art at the Bountiful-Davis Art Center and Cottonwood High School.

Barnes' one-woman show fills two rooms of the gallery. The other rooms contain works by other gallery regulars - Grant Romney Clawson, Thelma Parsons, Gary Kapp, Lee Parkinson, Larry Christensen, Norma Forsberg, Thomas Leek, Pilar Pobil Smith and Rose Ann Peterson.

Marble House Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, call 532-7332.