Francis Upritchard, a London-based, New Zealand-born artist who uses brightly colored painted clay to create small, fantastical sculptural figures, calls her creations “holy fools.” Beginning with Friday night's opening, her show at downtown's Contemporary Arts Center — A Long Wait
— will combine existing, older work with new pieces
. Upritchard showed at the 2009 Venice Biennale as a representative of New Zealand and has developed a keen following in the British contemporary art world. This show will be her first in an American museum and will be on view into September. At the same time, CAC is opening Sleep my little sheep sleep, large-scale multimedia drawings and collages by Greek artist Jannis Varelas. He was chosen by guest curator Xenia Kalpaktsoglou, co-founder of the Athens Biennale, to create these works during a three-week residency at CAC. On display May through Sept. 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown. www.contemporaryartscenter.org.