Raleigh native Ashley Gruber, noting that historians examine the past by sifting through facts, decided to explore something parallel in her new work, by unearthing buried emotions. Gruber's Possible Pasts, an exhibit that goes up Feb. 14 at the Durham Arts Council building in downtown Durham, consists of mixed-media and collage works incorporating sand, paper, paint, burlap and other materials that are layered, painted, torn away and reworked until they are transformed into a densely textured surface with a new identity (a detail from "Colony" is pictured above). "The work in Possible Pasts includes elements of everyday life that often serve as reminders of what has been: calendars, to-do lists and personal ads," Gruber told the Indy. The artist also says that her process is very physical, so her works have a palpable presence that reveals the process by which they came into being. See this new work through March 25 in the Durham Arts Council's Semans Gallery. There will be an opening reception Tuesday, Feb. 19, from 5-7 p.m. Call 560-2787 for details.