Art Beat

Our critics weigh in on local exhibits

Richmond Art Center. Add Your Voice to "Richmond Stories": Contribute to this ongoing art and oral history project by e-mailing answers to the following questions to How did you or your family come to Richmond in the first place? What are your happiest memories here? What have you liked most about your community? What historic events stand out most in your memory and your family stories? What stories seem to capture Richmond's essence? What issues and challenges have you faced here? What are your dreams for Richmond's next 100 years? Daily. 22540 Barrett (Civic Center Plaza), Richmond, 510-620-6772.

Robert Koch Gallery. "Paris During the Second Empire": Group photography show featuring the work of Edouard-Denis Baldus, Gustave Le Gray, Julien Villeneuve, and others. Through July 2. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 421-0122.

Ruby's Clay Studio & Gallery. Open Studios: Clay studio celebrates Pride 2005 with a juried show and open studios. Through July 5. Free. 552A Noe (at 19th St.), 558-9819.

San Francisco Art Institute. "Chris Ballantyne & Scott Williams": Two-person exhibit of works on paper. Through July 30. 800 Chestnut (at Jones), 771-7020,

San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. "Stories of the City": Photography from the Sixth Street Photography Workshop. Through July 22. 401 Van Ness (at Larkin), 554-6080,

San Francisco Center for the Book. "Swiss Impressions: Romano Hänni and the Art of Metal Type": Letterpress work by the Basel-based designer. Through Aug. 5. 300 De Haro (at 16th St.), 565-0545,

San Francisco Women Artists Gallery. "Abstractions": Group show of work in various media. Through July 5. 3489 Sacramento (at Laurel), 440-7392.

Sargent Claude Johnson Gallery. "Paul Robeson -- Revolutionary Artist": Group exhibition of art and artifacts honoring the life of Paul Robeson. Through July 22. 762 Fulton (at Webster), 922-0623.

Steel Gallery. "Summer Reading II": Group exhibition featuring work by Sofia Harrison, Wendy Robushi, and Judith Williams. Through July 30. 3524 Sacramento (at Laurel), 885-1655,

Steven Wolf Fine Arts. "Sociedad de Vida: A 15-year Retrospective of the Norcal Artist Residency at the Dump": A retrospective of work by artists who have been in residence at SF Recycling & Disposal Inc. Through July 2. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 263-3677.

Tinhorn Press/Gallery. "Group Exhibition": Work by John Gruenwald, Terry Chastain, Klauz Zylla, Carol Summers, James Groleau, Jill Storthz, Seiko Tachibana, Endi Poskovic, and Susan Belau. Through July 17. 528 Laguna (at Fell), 626-1508.

USF Campus: Thatcher Gallery. "Sense the Raw": The sixth annual student showcase. Through July 17. 2130 Fulton (at Cole), 422-2044.

Valencia Street (between 20th and 22nd sts.). "Double Take: A Billboard Project": Art billboards by Felipe Dulzaides in various locations; currently there is one at Valencia and 22nd Street. Daily. 626-5416. Valencia Street between 20th and 22nd sts..

Varnish Fine Art. "Son of Pop: Ron English": Billboard bandit English's indoor art. Opening reception is June 2 at 7 p.m. Through July 2. 77 Natoma (at Second St.), 222-6131,

Weinstein Gallery/Geary Street. "The Great Spaces of the Mind": Paintings by Gordon Onslow Ford. Daily. 383 Geary (at Mason), 362-8151.

Museums Asian Art Museum. "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. "Tibet: Treasures From the Roof of the World": More than 200 Buddhist art pieces, including sculptures, paintings, and jewelry used by the Dalai Lamas and their courts. Through Sept. 11. Free-$10. "Shadows, Masks and Music: Aspects of the Performing Arts in Asia": The museum displays a diverse collection of musical instruments, set designs, costumes, and masks that are used in Asian performances. Tuesdays-Sundays. Free-$10. Gallery Tours: Trained museum docents offer both general introductions to the museum's collections as well as tours that highlight special exhibitions. Tuesdays-Sundays, 11, 11:30 a.m., 1 & 2 p.m. Free with museum admission, free-$10. Architectural Tours: Learn about the transformation of the old San Francisco main public library into the Asian Art Museum's new quarters with this regular tour. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays-Sundays, 12 & 2:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 12, 2:30 & 6:30 p.m. 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. "Family Art Encounter": Drop in to make arts and crafts pieces related to the museum's current exhibits. First Saturday of every month, 1 p.m.; First Tuesday of every month, 11 a.m. Free. Target Tuesday Family Program: Each month this special family program presents an activity connected with Asian art and customs. First Tuesday of every month, 11 a.m. Free with museum admission, free-$10. 200 Larkin (at McAllister), 581-3500,

Bay Area Discovery Museum. "Think Tank": Subtitled "an enigmatic exhibition," the fun features interactive hands-on exhibits such as brain games, mind teasers, and puzzles. Through Sept. 15. Free-$8.50. 339-3900. 557 McReynolds (at Murray), Sausalito, 339-3944,

Berkeley Art Museum. "Blind at the Museum": An exhibition that investigates the nature of blindness, optical phenomena, and enjoying the visual arts despite vision problems. Through July 24. Free-$8. First Impressions: Free First Thursdays: Check out a world of art and film with free entry to the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive each month. Thursdays, 11 a.m. Free. 2626 Bancroft (at Telegraph), Berkeley, 510-642-0808.

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