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The business economy is...let's say, "wheezy," but in the realm of local arts, we are currently reaping the benefits of various economic stimuli. Critical Mass Creative Stimulus, the new exhibition at the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard; 314-863-5811 or www.art-stl.com), features installations by the four recipients of the inaugural Economic Stimulus Project, a financial jump-start for promising artists bequeathed by Critical Mass for the Visual Arts. Martin Brief, Cameron Fuller, Robert Goetz and Asma Kazmi are names you may recognize if you frequent the galleries. If you're not familiar, now's the time to acquaint yourself with their art. Each of the four works, in their own unique visual language, articulate ideas of social commentary, pop-culture whimsy, fairy-tale mysticism and elegant expressions of beauty. And unlike stock market gains, a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Fuller's installation, From the Collection of the Institute, a museumlike diorama featuring a taxidermied coyote standing in fake snow against a hand-painted map of the constellations, is upsettingly beautiful. It recalls a half-forgotten fable and edges nervously toward mankind's tendency to still living things in the pursuit of "understanding." Critical Mass Creative Stimulus opens with a free public reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 15, at the Regional Arts Commission. The show remains up through Sunday, February 28, and the gallery is open daily.
Jan. 15-Feb. 28, 2010

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