Our critics weigh in on local exhibits

Mechanics' Institute Library. "Flowers & English Gardens": Photography by Margaretta K. Mitchell. Through Oct. 1. 57 Post (at Market), 393-0101,

Meridian Gallery. "Stitches and Other Connections": Sewn and knittted work by Susan Field. Through Aug. 13. 545 Sutter (at Powell), 398-7229.

Micaela Gallery. "Pamina Traylor": Exhibition of sculpture; also featuring work by other artists. Through July 31. 333 Hayes (at Franklin), 551-8118,

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. "Imagine the Mission": Group show of both professional and community images of the Mission District over the past 35 years, presented as a celebration of local newspaper El Tecolote. Through Aug. 22. 2868 Mission (at 25th St.), 821-1155,

Mission Dolores. "Ohlone Portraits": An exhibit that features life-size depictions of the Ohlone people, a Native American tribe. Through Oct. 1. $2-$3. 3321 16th St. (at Dolores), 621-8203.

Multiple locations. "Who Is an Outsider?": Work by four artists with disabilities, displayed in BART trains and stations. Through July 31. Multiple addresses within San Francisco.

New Langton Arts. "Psyche Wall": New installation art by Jacob Hartman. Through Aug. 6. "Django Chapel": New installation art by Jarrett Mitchell and Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough. Through Aug. 6. 1246 Folsom (at Eighth St.), 626-5416,

Newmark Gallery. "Apparent Opposites": Contemporary abstract paintings by Ilan Laks, Theo den Boon, and Hans Vanhorck. Through July 30. 251 Post (at Stockton), No. 412, 392-3692,

Nob Hill Masonic Center. "The Universe Within: The Human Body Revealed": A science-educational exhibit featuring 200 former human bodies, preserved through the process of plastination. Daily. $10-$17. 1111 California (at Taylor), 776-4702.

Paul Thiebaud Gallery. "Paul Stempens": Paintings from the artists' estate. Through Aug. 20. 718 Columbus (at Filbert), 434-3055.

Polanco Gallery. "Sins & Demons": Recent prints by Artemio Rodriguez. Through Aug. 7. 393 Hayes (at Gough), 252-5753,

Presidio Officers' Club. "From Above: A Robert Cameron Retrospective; A Life's Work in Aerial Photography": Exhibition of large-format photography. Through July 31. 50 Moraga (at Arguello), 561-5500,

Red Ink Studios. Open Portfolio Night: Artists are welcome to sign up a week in advance of this first come, first served event. Last Thursday of every month. 1035 Market (at Sixth St.), 596-4810,

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. "Homeland, USA": Photography by Elliott Erwitt. Through Aug. 27. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 421-0122.

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 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,

SomArts Cultural Center. "Braided Lives": Group show in which visual artists and spoken-wordsmiths collaborate. Through July 28. 934 Brannan (at Eighth St.), 863-1414,

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,

Tart Contemporary. "Transformations: Stephen Sutcliffe": New video work based on the poetry of Thomas Hardy. Through Aug. 6. 47 Lusk (at Townsend), 606-3158,

Valencia Street (between 20th and 22nd Sts.). "Double Take: A Billboard Project": Art billboards by Felipe Dulzaides in various locations. Daily. 626-5416. Valencia Street between 20th and 22nd Sts.

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

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "Bay Area Now": A group show of challenging and experimental work by local artists. Through Nov. 6. "Bay Area Now 4: The Film/Video Program": Commissioned new work by Sam Green, Ellen Bruno, Bill Daniel, and Caveh Zahedi. Through Sept. 25, 3 p.m. Free-$6. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787,

Museums Asian Art Museum. "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 with museum admission. "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. "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 with museum admission. 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. 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. 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. "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 with museum admission. 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. 200 Larkin (at McAllister), 581-3500,

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