Surfing is such an ingrained element of American pop culture that even if you live in Kansas, you can almost experience what it's like to hang 10. The sport is a subject of fascination the world over -- not to mention a multibillion-dollar industry -- influencing movies, fashion, and music. Its mainstream appeal is both a blessing and a curse to diehard wave-riders like Tim Rosa, the curator of "Surf Style," a new exhibit that opens today at 111 Minna (and runs through Aug. 23). "When Chanel starts doing surf-related shows in Milan, it's pretty scary," explains Rosa, who put the exhibition together in response to what he considers the "aggro" image of the pastime. "It's important to recognize that surfing is a spiritual as well as a physical and aesthetic thing," he says. While most art shows dedicated to he'nalu ("wave sliding" in Hawaiian) have covered the sport's history, this one showcases the surf aesthetic of the 1970s and explores how the surf culture of that era influences contemporary trends.
In addition to installations, films, sculptures, and paintings, "Surf Style" features artwork by pros like Joe Curren, Bryce Duffy, and Gerry Lopez as well as a collection of vintage and contemporary boards. Surfing legends -- Jim Banks and Joel Tudor, among them -- also plan to make appearances. The show kicks off tonight at 5 with a presentation by Surfer magazine's Craig Peterson and Kevin Naughton, who discuss their global quest for the perfect wave, followed by an opening at 7 p.m. at 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna (at Second St.), S.F. Admission is $10; call 974-1719 or visit www.surfstyle.org.
-- Lisa Hom
Strike a Pose
As fun as it sounds to watch lovelies trooping across a stage in evening gowns and swimsuits, traditional beauty pageants are so determined to pretend their events are more than a chance to ogle near-perfect T&A that actually attending one can be a great big bore. But the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance's Runway Pageant is another story. The gay/bi/trans male contestants competing for Mr. and Miss GAPA are encouraged to push classic pageantry's boundaries. Snow White drag? Muscle-bound contestants bumping-and-grinding in a Speedo? Fur, feathers, coolie hats, Marie Antoinette wigs? All are welcome at Runway. The show starts at 7 p.m. at Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness (at Grove), S.F. Tickets are $20-50; call (866) 841-9139 or visit www.gapa.org.
-- Joyce Slaton
Ripe Theatre's dark detour
Robert Frost wrote the wistful poem "The Road Not Taken" in 1916, realistically depicting the regret that accompanies life's choices: Once a course of action is set into motion it's too late to go back. Our decisions affect the rest of our lives -- and even the lives of others.
This realization is at the heart of Ripe Theatre's Akin, a dark thriller that examines the choices the members of one family have made and the tragic consequences that have occurred as a result. Akin is something of a departure for Ripe, the four-person ensemble whose last three shows (including 2002 Fringe Festival fave 52) focused on sketch comedy; with any luck, however, the troupe's dramatic work will display the same deftly original style. The show runs July 10-26 at Next Stage, 1620 Gough (at Bush). Tickets are $15-20; call 435-7571 or visit www.ripetreats.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
A fractured tour of S.F.
Inspired by Dada and Surrealist manifestos, artist/curator Oliver Halsman Rosenberg invited more than 30 local artists to his studio, blindfolded them, and had them throw darts at a San Francisco map, thus giving each person a certain city location to incorporate into a new piece.
"It's kind of an abstract portrait of San Francisco from all different angles," Rosenberg says of the resulting one-night exhibit, "I Dart SF (assignment 2)." The show includes sound installations, a "video brochure" inviting visitors to a specific neighborhood, a "mailbox" to which residents of another 'hood were invited to contribute, an igloo, a photo shoot at a gay porn studio, a video of participating artists (Mads Lynnerup, Alicia McCarthy, Barry McGee, and more) throwing their darts, and other inventive and amusing pieces. "I Dart SF (assignment 2)" is on view tonight only at 8 p.m. at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom (at Eighth St), S.F. Tickets are $3-5; call 626-5416 or visit www.newlangtonarts.org.
-- David Hadbawnik
"In This Instant -- New Photography" exhibits the work of four talented young photographers: David Black, Kathryn Hillier, Kirsten Nordine, and Rebecca Veit's pictures combine familiar imagery with the new perspective of kids, and all of them wind up with slightly haunted, almost-funny results. Together, they could also be described as visual art's answer to emo punk -- that weepy, sad-sack version of the original angry rock: They got no respect for nothin', not even their genre's tradition of tough-guy sarcasm. The show is open to the public at 1 p.m. at Gallery Lux, 521 Seventh St. (at Bryant), S.F. Call 864-2222 or visit www.luxdesign.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser