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September 12, 2005 // UPDATED 1:57 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Large refraction

This art show admits that we can't always see clearly. Sometimes things get out of focus or fuzzy. Other times, we concentrate so hard that just one thing is amplified and everything else is overshadowed. Try staring into a light (not for too long) and things become a blur.

James Holmberg's yellow-green "Large Refraction," which shows bright spots in living color, could be illumination abstracted from a Christmas tree or a parade. Painted in thin coats that build up a smooth meditative layer, Holmberg's refraction places you immediately in a dreamlike state.

Despite the hazy quality, Holmberg's style is more about technicalities and optical illusions than realistic figures or symbols. Perhaps these are portraits from someone whose eyesight is failing (light blends together) or maybe who just got lost in his or her own thoughts.

• Tu-Sa Sept. 9-Oct. 27; Tu-F 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sa 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Circa Gallery, 1637 Hennepin Ave. Free. 332-2386, www.circagallery.org.

'Bone Sharps, Cowboys and Thunder Lizards'

As its title suggests, this imaginative tale is difficult to sum up briefly. When tunnels were blasted in the untamed old West, workers heard sounds like "Snap, crackle, pop!" It wasn't Rice Krispies rushing out of those ruptures. It was millions of years' worth of rocks embedded with bones.

Scientists Edwin Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh strove to rescue the bones.

Afterwards, artist Charles R. Knight put the bones together in illustrations that brought the sensational discovery to the unsuspecting public.

But the scientists are the bad guys this time, clarified writer Jim Ottaviani.

Ottaviani will be present to clarify such things at a celebration and release party with the artists from Big Time Attic: Shad Petosky, Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon (the Cannons are unrelated).

In a statement about the show, Kevin admits "Zander, Kevin and I are big dinosaur fans, so the chance to work on a story featuring dinosaurs, not to mention con-artists and fine artists, circuses, cowboys and Indians is a treat. Oh, and Jim [Ottaviani] says there are scientists in it, too."

• F Sept. 16, 4-7 p.m. Big Brain Comics, 1027 Washington Ave. S. Free. 338-4390, www.bigbraincomics.com.

Anna Pratt can be reached at annapratt@artlover.com.