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Our critics weigh in on local exhibits

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. "New Work by Cornelia Parker": Through March 5. "Recent Work by Wang Du": Large-scale sculpture. Through March 5. 701 Mission (at Third St.), 978-2787, www.ybca.org.

Museums

Asian Art Museum. "Arts and Crafts From the Japanese American Internment Camps": Author Delphine Hirasuna introduces the story of the creative production of Japanese-Americans interned during World War II, followed by a signing of her book, The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts From the Japanese American Internment Camps 1942-1946. Sat., Feb. 25, 2:30 p.m. free. "AsiaAlive": Live artist demonstrations, including embroidery and calligraphy. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 26. "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. "Traditions Unbound: Groundbreaking Painters of Eighteenth-Century Kyoto": This exhibition celebrates the individuality and originality hidden in the minds of eight extraordinary artists living in Kyoto during this period. Through Feb. 26. "The Poetic Vision of Abdur Rahman Chughtai (1897-1975)": A selection of fourteen paintings by Abdur Rahman Chughtai is on display in the South Asian gallery. Through April 2. "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. "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. 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. 200 Larkin (at McAllister), 581-3500, www.asianart.org.

Berkeley Art Museum. 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. "Jeanne Dunning: Study After Untitled": A midcareer retrospective. Through April 2. 2626 Bancroft (at Telegraph), Berkeley, 510-642-0808, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu.

Cable Car Museum. Permanent Exhibit: Located in a historic cable car powerhouse, the museum displays a variety of cable car gear, historic photographs, installations explaining how the cars work, and several antique vehicles. Daily. Free. 1201 Mason (at Washington), 474-1887.

California Academy of Sciences. Docent Highlight Tours: Tours given by Academy docents highlight the HOTSPOT exhibit and Steinhart Aquarium. Ask the Information Desk for meeting place and times. Wednesdays-Fridays. Snake Feeding: Watch whip snakes feed on fish. Fridays, 2 p.m. free with museum admission. "Astrobiology: Life in the Extreme": A permanent exhibition that explores the types of environments in the universe that could support life. Daily. "Illustrating the Sierra's Wildlife: The Artist's Studio Live": See first-hand the process of creating a field guide to more than 1,200 species of plants, fungi, and animals of the Sierra Nevada. Naturalist Jack Laws creates scientific illustrations inside a specially designed studio within the HOTSPOT exhibit. Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:30 a.m. African Penguin Feedings: Watch an Academy biologist enter the penguin tank to toss vitamin-stuffed fish to the African penguins. Visitors can ask questions and talk to the birds' caretakers during the feeding shows. Daily, 11 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. "Hands-on Science": Visitors of all ages can examine microscopic aquatic life or study adaptations of marine animals with Academy docents and interns. Wednesdays-Fridays, 4 p.m. 875 Howard (at Fifth St.), 750-7145, www.calacademy.org.

Cartoon Art Museum. "Gross, Gruesome, and Gothic": This horrifying display features over 50 original cartoons from a wide array of artists and comics. Through March 12. Monthly Cartooning Classes for Adults: An intensive monthly workshop for aspiring comic artists, writers, and fans of the medium, taught by a professional cartoonist focusing on an area of his or her expertise. Fourth Saturday of every month, 1 p.m. $40-$50. 655 Mission (at New Montgomery), 227-8666, www.cartoonart.org.

Chabot Space & Science Center. "Garden Days in the EnviroGarden": Explore the mysteries of planet Earth with hands-on activities, including worm composting, hiking in the forest, or building mini-volcanoes. Saturdays, noon. Discovery Lab: Intended for kids aged 3-7, the Discovery Lab contains hands-on science experiments that illustrate scientific phenomena like wind and moving machines. Wednesdays-Fridays, 1 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.; Sundays, noon. free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Escape From the Red Planet!": The hour-long simulated mission on Mars casts kids as the crew on a struggling space shuttle. Saturdays, 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.; Sundays, 1:30 & 3:30 p.m. free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Destination Universe": Take a virtual journey from the sun to the end of the cosmos with exhibits on nebulae, space travel, black holes, and moving galaxies. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Mars Encounter": The National Aeronautics and Space Administration sponsors this exhibit on travel to Mars, which includes data on current and past missions, a giant tactile Mars globe, and Martian meteorites. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "One Giant Leap: A Moon Odyssey": Take a simulated moonwalk, try on a space helmet, climb into a space capsule, and virtually land a lunar module in this exhibit. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Astronomy in California 1850-1950: Telescope Makers, Telescopes, and Artifacts": Take a look at California's rich history in astronomy with this display of telescopes, astronomy history documents, and other ephemera. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. "Skywise -- Astronomy Cartoon Exhibit": Help your child understand that vastness and majesty of space with this exhibit of astronomy comic strips. Daily. Free with museum admission, $9-$13. 10000 Skyline (at Joaquin Miller, in Joaquin Miller Park), Oakland, 510-336-7300.

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