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May 31, 2004 // UPDATED 1:46 pm - April 25, 2007
By: 'Taking Liberties: A GLBT Exhibit'
&#039;Taking Liberties: A GLBT Exhibit&#039; </b>

Seven GLBT artists take a closer look at themselves and public imagery of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the visual art exhibit "Taking Liberties." With everything from colorful boxing figurines to sweet-looking roses fit for Kleenex boxes, these artists tell personal stories -- swapping themes of macro significance with others of micro import, and vice versa.

Michael Jaeck's gloomy/mascara-dark paintings illustrate an emotional upheaval between men and women. In his first show in 20 years, Nan Blomquist's dainty roses are weighed down with tattoos demarcated by heavy anchors, symbolic of romantic cause-and-effect, not to mention individuality (not exactly an optimistic viewpoint). Photographer Jaime Carrera's 35 mm camera zooms in on daily topics with no fancy special effects. Carrera's naturally lit photos are daringly simple and confrontational.

Oil painter Mark Carlson's works hint at the religious, with people whose gestures brush against each other lightly. Subtly, Carlson unleashes social anxieties. Matthew Lillegard's large-format paintings poke fun at common vanities and other self-esteem problems, with annoying questions like, "How do I look in this bathing suit?" Finally, James Murck gets in touch with his feminine side with sweeping, minimal lines and text.

-Thru July 3, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday noon-5 p.m., Thursday noon-7 p.m., Ice cream social: Saturday, June 5, 1-4 p.m., Outsiders and Others Gallery,1010 Park Ave. S. Free. 338-3435.

West Bank love story

Travel with Ziad and Amad from the West Bank of the University of Minnesota to the West Bank of the River Jordan in this original play, "With Love from Ramallah," by Kathryn Haddad and Juliana Pegues about the Arab experience in the aftermath of 9/11.

Focusing on two lovers torn by international strife, the all-Arab-American arts group Mizna examines migration, isolation, settlement and human resilience through the course of a year. Last year, the group, which purports to be the only publisher of an Arab journal in the U.S., put together the Twin Cities' first Arab film festival.

Find Arab ambiance and authenticity in this play that's set to traditional music, dance, poetry and even a little of the spoken Arabic language.

June 3-13, Wednesday-Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 and 7:30 p.m. (alternately) Mixed Blood Theater, 1501 4th St. S., $12. 338-6131.