Artbeat

"Curious Creatures." 'Tis the season for toys, and appropriately enough the Punch Gallery presents "Curious Creatures," a multiartist exhibit of limited-edition figurines. More for display than play, the toys are prototypes of avant-garde products for sale by individuals who want to retain control over creation and distribution. Some riff cleverly on existing novelties (Friends With You's distinctly Beanie Babyesque plush toys), whereas others are unique (MARS-1's robots are like an H.R. Giger painting come to life). Through Jan. 2 at the Punch Gallery, 155 10th St. (at Howard), S.F. Admission is free; call 845-4739 or visit www.punchgallery.com. (Melissa Lane) Reviewed Dec. 8.

"Euan MacDonald: Natura." Euan MacDonald's latest video relates a series of vignettes set in the wilderness. Together, they suggest a camping trip gone horribly wrong: A quiet campfire reverie gives way to the frenzied hopping of one protagonist, whose foot has been set aflame; two men canoeing across a sylvan lake are suddenly pursued by a twister; and a menacing pair of headlights follows a lone driver down a deserted country road. MacDonald's pieces are always subtle, deliberately low-res, and obviously manipulated. He plays with the power of film, poking holes in our notions of truth and introducing new possibilities. At its best, his work can be a poignant haiku, spare and elegant. Unfortunately, Naturafeels more like a clunky one-liner. Through Jan. 1 at the Jack Hanley Gallery, 389 Valencia (at 15th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 522-1623 or visit www.jackhanley.com. (Adrienne Gagnon) Reviewed Dec. 22.

"Furniture as Art." At home we like to be surrounded by comfort. But this show envisions a different kind of household, one filled with spikes and angles and strange objects that don't invite you to put your feet up and chill out. Though fascinating to look at, many of the pieces are entirely nonfunctional. Some are even a bit threatening. Danielle Giudici's Bed With Nipples and Cradle, for example, are creepily compelling. Whereas typical baby furniture is padded and rounded, Giudici's bed and cradle are stark steel, their resting places spiked with plaster or lead baby-bottle nipples. Not all of the pieces are as menacing, though. Megan DeArmond's comfortingly solid dresser, Armoir, displays an Alice in Wonderlandtype whimsy, with sturdy steel legs that descend into lifelike feet clad in cast-iron shoes. But when you open the dresser's drawers and cabinet, you find metal sculptures of skeletons, body parts, and a small, helpless figure trapped inside. Just the thing for a cozy, serene bedroom. Through Dec. 22 at SFMOMA's Artists Gallery, Fort Mason, Building A, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is free; call 441-4777 or visit www.sfmoma.org. (Joyce Slaton) Reviewed Nov. 3.

"Liquid." Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night is one of the most recognizable images in the world; even those who know nothing about art associate it with that guy who chopped his ear off. But seeing it in person makes all the difference. Prints and copies don't reveal the maniacal thickness with which the artist applied his paint, leaving swirls and whorls that dramatically reveal both his passion and his instability. Observed in a gallery setting, Sharon Ben-Tal's work has a similar effect. When photographed, her mixed-media paintings appear to be simple geometric designs on a monochromatic background, but upon close inspection they reveal 80 to 100 layers of paint (often mixed with graphite or ground glass) applied by the artist to each panel. Surfaces glimmer with unfathomable depth and an infinite variety of shades; the images are so compelling that the foreground squiggles -- presumably the works' subjects -- fade in importance against the gorgeous, bottomless backgrounds. This exhibit of Ben-Tal's paintings continues through Dec. 23 at the Heather Marx Gallery, 77 Geary (at Grant), Second Floor, S.F. Admission is free; call 627-9111 or visit www.heathermarxgallery.com. (Joyce Slaton) Reviewed Dec. 15.

"Meat Show." Though this exhibition is meant to celebrate the potent symbol of meat, local artist Kara Maria has assembled a group of works that'll make even carnivores think twice. Noah Lang's charred black hot dogs -- stacked in buns on a plate and stuck into Styrofoam spheres to create "meat stars" -- are as goofy as they are grody. Laura Splan's digital photographs, which superimpose the heads of mangled cats over eviscerated chicken carcasses, are gross for no good reason. There are some pleasant surprises, though. Jeanne Friscia contributes a series of prints in which cross sections of meat, poultry, and fish are kaleidoscoped into lovely wallpaper patterns, and Laura DuFort's giant, glossy, red diptych, Transfusion, glows with life. Through Jan. 15 at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is free; call 554-6080 or visit www.sfacgallery.org. (Adrienne Gagnon) Reviewed Dec. 22.

"Mina Mina Country." Though modern Americans assign scant importance to the substance of their dreams, numerous cultures consider the movies our minds create while we sleep to be a method of traveling in the spirit world to commune with the specters found there. Among Australian Aborigines, for example, dreams represent connections between the dreamer and the land he inhabits as well as the ancestors who passed before; this sacred and mystical link forms an important topic in Aboriginal art. All this is a bit hard to discern just by looking at Dorothy Napangardi's deceptively simple works, which use dotted lines and geometric patterns to represent visions of Mina Mina, her home in the Northern Territory of Australia -- but with a little background, we grow to appreciate her colorful prints for the evocative journal entries they are. This show of Napangardi's images continues through Dec. 31 at the Crown Point Press Gallery, 20 Hawthorne (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is free; call 974-6273 or visit www.crownpoint.com. (Joyce Slaton) Reviewed Dec. 15.

"Misfit Toys." She looks at you through a haze of arrogance and cry-for-help eye makeup that makes you think of Courtney Love, but her cottony hair and huggable body are jarringly cute. You want to hold her even though you know she'd just pick your pockets. She is Jenny Bird Alcantara's Heroin Doll, one of the brigade of questionable characters in "Misfit Toys," someone's fantastically twisted idea of a holiday art show. Alcantara's fucked-up frill joins other pieces that shouldn't come near children: Kal Spelletich's art, for example, tends to feature randomly slashing blades, fast-moving hammers, and other unsafe mechanical contraptions, and it'll be interesting to see his idea of a plaything. Additional contributors include steel-and-glass queen Bella Hagen, trash-revival master Al Honig, and painter/bartender Jack Yaghubian. Through Jan. 8 at Varnish, 77 Natoma (at Second Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 222-6131 or visit www.varnishfineart.com. (Hiya Swanhuyser) Reviewed Dec. 8.

Also Showing

Galleries

ArtHaus. "Inside Stories": Group show to celebrate the gallery's new location. Through Dec. 31. 411 Brannan (at Third St.), 977-0223.

ARTworkSF. "Peace, Joy, Love, Art": Group show with the work of 30 artists. Opening reception is Dec. 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. Through Jan. 6, 2005. "Simple Geometry": Group show emphasizing geometric forms. Through Jan. 8, 2005. 69 Green (at Front), 673-3080, www.artworksf.com.

Brian Gross Fine Art. "Recent Work": New work by Phil Sims. Through Jan. 29, 2005. "fire/light/color/matter: paintings and tea bowls from 2004": Solo exhibition by minimalist painter Phil Sims. Through Jan. 29, 2005. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 788-1050.

Buzz Gallery. "John Nielson: From Then to Now": Etchings, paintings, and ink drawings from the past and present. Through Jan. 2, 2005. 2316 Telegraph (at Valley), Oakland, (510) 465-4073.

Cachi Art Studio & Gallery. "Shy Girls": New work by women artists. Through Dec. 31. 312 Valencia (at 14th St.), 863-8312.

The Canvas Cafe and Gallery. "The Gift Giving Show": Original art, priced for gift-giving. Through Jan. 6, 2005. 1200 Ninth Ave. (at Lincoln), 504-0060, www.thecanvasgallery.com.

City Art Gallery. "Affordable Art": Group show with more than 30 local emerging artists. Opening reception is Dec. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. Through Jan. 30, 2005. 828 Valencia (at 19th St.), 970-9900, www.cityartgallery.org.

Gallery 16. "A Look Forward and Back: Ten Years of Gallery 16": Work by Deborah Oropallo, Rex Ray, Libby Black, Rebeca Bollinger, Harrell Fletcher, Amy Franceschini, Lynn Hershman, Barry Gifford, David Perry, bell hooks, Shaun O'Dell, Scott Hewicker, Cliff Hengst, Wayne Smith, Stefan Kirkeby, Jamey Garza, Michelle Grabner, Paulina Wallenberg-Olsson, Lowell Darling, Carol Selter, Peter Koch, Rudy VanderLans, Jock McDonald, Griff Williams, and others. Opening reception is Nov. 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. Through Dec. 31. 1616 16th St. (at Rhode Island), 626-7495.

Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers. "Snapshots and Souvenirs: 125 Years of the Conservatory of Flowers": The Conservatory celebrates the innumerable photos taken on its premises with this exhibit, culled from the personal collections of Bay Area residents. Through Dec. 31. Free-$5. 100 JFK (at Stanyan), 666-7001, www.conservatoryofflowers.org.

Gregory Lind Gallery. "and now they aren't. but they are": Group show featuring the work of Sarah Bostwick, Chris Corales, Sharon Engelstein, Jim Gaylord, Seth Koen, Bob Matthews, Christian Maychack, Stacy Renee Morrison, Asuka Oshawa, Mel Prest, Amy Rathbone, Cristi Rinklin, Barbara Takenaga, Jonathan Tucker, and Frank Yamrus. Through Jan. 8, 2005. 49 Geary (at Kearny), Fifth Fl., 296-9661.

Hang Annex. "Holiday Splendor Group Show": New work by local artists. Opening reception is Dec. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Through Jan. 3, 2005. 567 Sutter (at Mason), 544-0610.

Hang Gallery. "Recent Places": New work by Tjasa Owen. Opening reception is Dec. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Through Jan. 3, 2005. 556 Sutter (at Mason), 434-4264.

In Color 2. "Caitlin Atkinson": Recent large-scale photographs. Through Dec. 24. 2475 Third St. (at 22nd St.), 861-3997, www.incolor2.com.

Jack Hanley Gallery. "Vince Roark: New Work": Geometrical drawings, paintings, and photographs. Opening reception is Dec. 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Through Jan. 1, 2005. 395 Valencia (at 15th St.), 522-1623.

James Nicholson Gallery. "Hadi Tabatabai & Dustin Yellin": New work. Opening reception is Dec. 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Through Dec. 22. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 397-0100, www.nicholsongallery.com.

Jenkins Johnson Gallery. "Small Works": Group show. Through Jan. 8, 2005. 464 Sutter (at Powell), 677-0770, www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com.

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. "Our Mother Mary Found": New work by Beth Grossman. Through March 31, 2005. 3200 California (at Presidio), 292-1200.

Joyce Gordon Gallery. "Deconstruction Development": Mixed media on metal by Hugo McCloud. Through Jan. 23, 2005. 406 14th St. (at Franklin), Oakland, 510-465-8928.

La Maison des Artistes. "The Rhythm & Culture of Art": Paintings by Bernard-Emmanuel Beneito. Opening reception is Dec. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. Daily. 333 Hayes (at Franklin), 621-4813, www.stlouisbluesart.com.

Lisa Dent Gallery. "Wonderland": New work by Marcia Kure. Through Dec. 30. 660 Mission (at Annie), 975-0860, www.lisadent.com.

Lo-Fi Customs. "Score!": New paintings by René Garcia Jr. Opening reception is Dec. 9 from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Through Jan. 8, 2005. 1776 Mission (at 14th St.), 861-0500, www.loficustoms.com.

Lola Gallery. "Dark Skies": New landscape paintings by Ian Sheldon. Through Jan. 22, 2005. "Swank": Group show and art sale. Opening reception is Dec. 4 from 4 to 8 p.m. Through Jan. 22, 2005. 2517 Mission (at 21st St.), 401-6800.

Main Library. "Digging Deep: Underneath San Francisco Public Library": Display of archeological remains pulled from the library site. Through Dec. 31. "Documenting the Damned": Pauline Chu's photographs of China's Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric project. Through Feb. 3, 2005. 100 Larkin (at Grove), 557-4277, www.sfpl.org.

Main Library, Jewett Gallery. "The Child in Me": 50 original works by children's book illustrator Ed Young. Through Jan. 2, 2005. 100 Larkin (at Grove) (Lower Level), 557-4200, www.sfpl.org.

Market Street Gallery. "The Holiday Show": Large group show with many different media. Opening reception is Dec. 17 from 7 to 9. Through Dec. 31. 1554 Market (at Van Ness), 621-2841.

Mechanics' Institute Library. "After the Gold Rush: A 150-Year Photographic History of San Francisco's Mechanics' Institute": Archival photographs illustrating the history of the Institute. Open house celebration is Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Through Dec. 31. "After the Gold Rush": Photographs illustrating the Institute's interesting history. Through Dec. 31. 57 Post (at Market), 393-0101, www.milibrary.org.

Meridian Gallery. "Issho / Together": Group show featuring the work of 40 Japanese American and Japanese artists. Through Jan. 7, 2005. 545 Sutter (at Powell), 398-7229.

Mezzanine Gallery. "It's All About the Light": New work by Mira M. White. Opening reception is Nov. 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. Through Jan. 5, 2005. 342 Grant (at Bush), 673-3080.

Micaela Gallery. "Im'-pede": Installation art by Camilla Newhagen. Through Dec. 30. "Spaces + Morceaux d'Espaces": New paintings by Martine Jadel. Opening reception is Nov. 4 from 6 to 10 p.m. Through Dec. 30. 333 Hayes (at Franklin), 551-8118, www.micaela.com.

Mission 17. "By Any Means Un/Necessary": Juried group exhibition. Opening reception is Dec. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. Through Jan. 15, 2005. 2111 Mission, Suite 401 (at 17th St.), 336-2349.

National Product. "A dream with 4 exits": New woodblock prints by Ayu Tomikawa. Through Jan. 8, 2005. 1845 Market (at Guerrero), 255-1920.

Newmark Gallery. "Convergence": New paintings by Ilan Laks. Opening reception is Dec. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. Through Jan. 15, 2005. 251 Post (at Stockton), No. 412, 392-3692, www.newmarkgallery.com.

Octavia's Haze Gallery. "Handblown Art Glass from Italy, Seattle and the Bay Area": Art glass vases, tableware, and other objects from a variety of artists. Daily. 498 Hayes (at Octavia), 255-6818.

Ratio 3. "Conor McGrady: Civil Abuse": New political gouache paintings. Through Dec. 23. 903 Guerrero (at 21st St.), 646-732-2767.

Robert Koch Gallery. "Egypt, Sinai, and Jerusalem: A Series of Twenty Photographic Views": Photography by Frances Frith. Through Dec. 24. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 421-0122.

San Francisco Art Institute. "The Line Up": New work by David Hamill, Curtis Hollenbeck, Murat Musulluoglu, David Allan Peters, Mel Prest, Genevieve Quick, Diane Romaine, Carolina Silva, and Maria Vasconcelos. Through Jan. 4, 2005. 800 Chestnut (at Jones), 771-7020, www.sfai.edu.

San Francisco Botanical Garden. "Skin Deep -- The Beauty of Bark": Photographs by Helene Sobol. Through Dec. 30. Ninth Ave. & Lincoln Way (Golden Gate Park), 661-1316.

San Francisco Center for the Book. "50 Books/50 Covers": An exhibition of the nation's best-designed book covers. Through Dec. 22. free. 300 De Haro (at 16th St.), 565-0545, www.sfcb.org.

Schurman Fine Art Gallery. "Kazutoshi Sugiura: Prints": The artist's distinctive prints, known for use of gold leaf and iris images. Opening reception is Dec. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Through Jan. 30, 2005. 1659 San Pablo (at Virginia), Berkeley, 510-524-0623.

Steel Gallery. "Rouge": Group show featuring work by Marc Ellen Hamel, James Jarrett, and Mark Paron. Through Jan. 29, 2005. 3524 Sacramento (at Laurel), 885-1655, www.steelgalleryinc.com.

Stormy Leather. "Human Form": Photography by Jeff Compasso. Through Dec. 31. 1158 Howard (at Rausch), 626-1672, www.stormyleather.com.

Studio Z. "Bush Sucks!": Group show including work by Marco Almera, David Ball, Tanem Davidson, Dorsey Dunn, Greg "Pnut" Galinsky, Bethlyn Gaza, Lars Howlett, Phillip Hua, John Kimmell, Chris Nolan, Ferris Plock, Stuart Sheldon, Romanowski, Anne Faith Nichols, Kevin Cross, Laura Smith-Blair, Piotr Wojnarski, and many others. Opening reception is Dec. 18th, from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Through Dec. 28. 314 11th St. (at Folsom), 252-7666, www.studioz.tv.

USF Campus: Thatcher Gallery. "Human/Nature": Large-scale oil paintings by Sukey Bryan and Janice Nakashima. Through Jan. 12, 2005. 2130 Fulton (at Cole), 422-2044.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "Create and Be Recognized: Photography on the Edge": Group show of outsider photography. Through Jan. 9, 2005. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787, www.yerbabuenaarts.org.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Galleries. "I Love My Time, I Don't Like My Time: Recent Work": Sculpture by Erwin Wurm. Through Jan. 9, 2005. "Soy y Que: New Chicano/Latino Representations": Group show of young Chicano/Latino artists, presented as part of the Hecho en Califas festival. Through Jan. 9, 2005. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787.

Museums Asian Art Museum. "Fakes, Copies, and Question Marks: Forensic Investigations of Asian Art": An exhibition that demonstrates the science of authenticating artworks using objects from the museum's own collection. Through March 27, 2005. Free with museum admission, free-$10. "Winning Entries from the 2004 Cotsen Bamboo Prize Awards": An exhibition of winners from the biennial competition for basket- and bamboo-related Japanese artworks. Through Jan. 16, 2005. Free with museum admission, free-$10. "Days in a Life: The Art of Tetsuya Noda": A major retrospective of the works of the famous Japanese printmaker. Through Jan. 16, 2005. Free with museum admission, free-$10. "The Elegant Lotus: The Art and Life of Chang Shangpu": Memorabilia from the life of the artist as well as her modern Chinese brush-stroke paintings. Through Jan. 9, 2005. Free with museum admission, free-$10. "In a New Light: The Asian Art Museum Collection": A display of more than 2,500 objects from the museum's permanent collection explores the major cultures of Asia. Daily. Free with museum admission, free-$10. Asian Art Museum Storytelling: Each weekend the museum leads a family-oriented tour through a particular exhibit, followed up by a retelling of stories related to the exhibits. Sundays, 1 p.m.; first Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. Free with museum admission, free-$10. 200 Larkin (at McAllister), 581-3500, www.asianart.org.

California Academy of Sciences. "Astrobiology: Life in the Extreme": A permanent exhibition that explores the types of environments in the universe that could support life. Daily. 875 Howard (at Fifth St.), 750-7145, www.calacademy.org.

Cartoon Art Museum. "Contemporary Literary Comics: Selections From McSweeney's #13": An exhibition of comics work from 25 artists whose illustrations have appeared in the pages of the quarterly. Through May 22, 2005. 655 Mission (at New Montgomery), 227-8666, www.cartoonart.org.

Contemporary Jewish Museum. "The Jewish Journey: Frederic Brenner's Photographic Odyssey": In the last 25 years Brenner has taken 80,000 photographs of Jewish folk; this exhibition contains 100 large-scale Brenner prints that provide a marvelous overview of the Jewish diaspora. Through Feb. 27, 2005. Free-$5. 121 Steuart (at Mission), 591-8800, www.thecjm.org.

Exploratorium. "Art Life": A slightly disturbing exhibit of software-brained things that move, respond to humans, and appear to have memories. Through Feb. 6, 2005. Free-$12. "Traits of Life": A major exhibition area with 30 biology exhibits and demonstrations that help visitors understand the fundamental elements common to all living things from humans to amoebas. Daily. Free with museum admission. 3601 Lyon (at Marina), 397-5673, www.exploratorium.edu.

Lawrence Hall of Science. "Forces That Shape the Bay": The museum's permanent science park exhibit explores new ways to understand the bay. Daily. "NanoZone": Discover the science of the very small (nanotechnology) with hands-on activities. Daily. Free with museum admission, free-$8.50. "Prove It -- A ChemMystery": Kids and adults attempt to solve crimes using the basic forensic skills they learn step-by-step at the exhibit. Daily. Free with admission, free-$8.50. Centennial & Grizzly Peak, Berkeley, 510-642-5132.

Legion of Honor. "Big Kids/Little Kids": Children aged 3 1/2 to 6 years and their parents take a gallery tour and then participate in a related hands-on art activity. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. Free with museum admission, free-$6. "Doing and Viewing Art": Kids aged 7-12 and their families tour the Legion of Honor's galleries before taking part in a hands-on creative workshop led by a professional artist. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. Free with museum entrance fee, free-$8. "Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya": A major exhibition of artworks produced by the ancient Mayan people of Mexico; includes information on the politics of the Maya, and a special display on the history and art of the city of Palenque. Through Jan. 2, 2005. Free-$15. Ford Free Tuesdays: Get in free to the Legion of Honor every Tuesday thanks to a grant from the Ford Motor Company. Tuesdays. Free. "Observations of the Spirit: The Sketchbooks of Judith Clancy": Drawings drawn from more than 80 of the late artist's (best known for the illustrations for best-selling book A Year in Provence) sketchbook. Through Jan. 16, 2005. Free-$15. 100 34th Ave. (at Clement), 863-3330.

Museum of Craft & Folk Art. "Craft Showcase 5": The fifth annual exhibition and sale of functional objects, studio furniture, and sculpture by emerging and established artists. Through Dec. 28. Free. Fort Mason, Bldg. A (Marina & Buchanan), 775-0991.

Pacific Heritage Museum. "Vision and Virtuosity": Exhibition of contemporary paintings featuring the works of over 30 artists from China. Through June 25, 2005. 608 Commercial (at Montgomery), 399-1124.

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. "Tesoros Escondidos: Hidden Treasures From the Mexican Collections": Hundreds of artifacts never before exhibited publicly. Through June 26, 2005. Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley Campus, Berkeley, 510-643-7648, hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu.

Pier 45. "Amusing America": The evolution of modern amusement parks and their effects on the American cultural landscape are examined in this conglomeration of photographs, penny-arcade machines, and other ephemera. Daily, 10 a.m. Free. Fisherman's Wharf (Taylor & Jefferson), 552-1266.

Presidio Officers' Club. "Mayan Textile Art: Collections of the Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya": Ancient ceramics, historic and contemporary hand-woven textiles and costumes, and modern Mexican paintings celebrate the vivid creations of Mayan women weavers in Chiapas and Guatemala. Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m. Continues through Jan. 16. free. 50 Moraga (at Arguello), 561-3300.

Randall Museum. "Drop-In Art and Science Workshops": Each week kids and parents can participate in artistic activities that illuminate some aspect of science. Saturdays, 1 p.m. $3 per person. "Saturdays Are Special": Ongoing weekly drop-in, hands-on art and science workshops. Saturdays, 1 p.m. free-$3. "Wetlands in Winter": An exhibit celebrating California's wetlands and native creatures with an interactive pond habitat and displays of wetlands animals. Through Feb. 12, 2005. Free. 199 Museum (at Roosevelt), 554-9600.

San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum. "Madame Butterfly: From Puccini to Miss Saigon": In celebration of the centenary of Puccini's classic opera, this exhibition presents documents and ephemera charting its history. Through Jan. 22, 2005. Free. 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), 255-4800, www.sfpalm.org.

San Francisco's Maritime National Historical Park. "Sparks, Waves, & Wizards: Communication at Sea": The permanent exhibit presents artifacts and ephemera exploring the means of maritime communications. Daily. Free-$6. Hyde Street Pier (foot of Hyde near Jefferson), 561-6662.

SF Museum of Modern Art. "The Art of Design": A permanent exhibition of works in the museum's architecture and design collection, including works of graphic and industrial design (such as the famous Fillmore rock posters by Bonnie MacLean, Victor Moscoso, and Stanley Mouse. Daily. "William Eggleston: Los Alamos": The photographs of William Eggleston, a pioneer in color photography, are spotlighted, with a special focus on snaps taken during Eggleston's travels in the American South and West between 1965 and 1974. Through Jan. 4, 2005. "Architecture & Design Permanent Collection": An ongoing presentation featuring more than 100 works illustrating concepts in design and architecture. Daily. "Double Feature: Mary Lucier and Gordon Matta-Clark": An exhibition of video works by the artists that explore time. Through Jan. 23, 2005. "Roy Lichtenstein: All About Art": One of the most popular Pop artists of the 1960s is spotlighted in this retrospective. Through Feb. 22, 2005. "Matisse and Beyond: The Painting and Sculpture Collection": Magnificent works of painting and sculpture culled from SFMOMA's own collections provide a quick tour of modern art from Fauvism to Minimalism. Daily. "Glamour: fashion + industrial design + architecture": A look at the notion of glitz across several different disciplines. Through Jan. 17, 2005. $5-11, plus museum admission costs. "Between Art and Life: The Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Collection": The ongoing exhibition presents works from SFMOMA's own collections, with special installations on artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, Eva Hesse, Anish Kapoor, Sherrie Levine, Brice Marden, Gordon Matta-Clark, Barry McGee, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, and Kara Walker. Daily. "Picturing Modernity: Selections From the SFMOMA Collection": An exhibition of photographs from SFMOMA's own collection that illustrate a wide range of photographic styles. Daily. "Belles Lettres: The Art of Typography": An exhibition of posters, magazines, brochures, and books that take a new look at typography by designers such as Michael Bierut, Jennifer Morla, and Martin Venezky. Through April 17, 2005. 151 Third St. (at Mission), 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org.

Zeum. "Toyz": Hands-on activities teach kids about the latest in tech toys. Daily. Free with museum admission, free-$7. "Reality Check": Young people get inspired to question their preconceptions about the world with this slate of arts, media, and technology tools. Through May 8, 2005. Free with museum admission. 221 Fourth St. (at Howard), 777-2800.

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