“Terroir,” a solo art exhibition by Matt Larson, opens at Axel’s Gallery and Frame Shop in Waterbury on April 16. As the winner of the 2018 Axel’s Gallery Photography Shoot-Out, Larson is using his solo exhibition opportunity to showcase his recent exploration of abstract paintings and collage rather than the prize-winning landscape photography he is known for. Terroir is a French word that means, in its most basic sense, “earth” or “soil.” Although no precise English equivalent exists for this quintessentially French term, its roots are found in the sense of place induced by the underlying conditions of a given landscape. Inspired by this mosaic of ecological patterns, Larson’s “Terroir” series is expressed through metaphorical marks rather than descriptive drawing, leading to abstract renditions of color and light that transcend memory and convey emotion. The exhibit runs until May 25, and an artist reception is scheduled for Friday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Larson will demonstrate his process, and a free raffle of two small framed pieces from the “Terroir” series (must be present to win) will be held.