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Bear Essentials 

A bunchy of party animals take over an art gallery.

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Shawn Mishak teams up with seven other local painters, sculptors, and videographers to capture a playful side of the wild kingdom in Aminals, now on view at Doubting Thomas Gallery. “I wanted to do a show that wasn’t a realist show,” says Mishak, who curates the 30-piece exhibit. “I didn’t want a bird-sitting-in-a-branch kind of thing.”

The display’s centerpiece consists of a 5-foot-10-inch plastic teddy bear stuffed with an assortment of miniature bears, which Mishak purchased at various shops around town. “If I had had more money, I would have ordered the same size and color,” he says. “But I’m tickled how it turned out.” Nearby, filmmaker Mandy Szosteck’s totem pole is made of TVs that simultaneously screen creature features, while Robert Ritchie contributes handmade earrings shaped like chicken feet. Patrons can also check out a documentary about aquatic life -- which features Mishak’s droll narration. The exhibit includes plenty of paintings of animals in atypical settings -- like a dodo bird nursing a beer and a zebra sitting on a toilet, perusing a newspaper. “It’s my immaturity,” says Mishak. “I tend to drift toward ridiculous, conceptual stuff.”
Fridays, Saturdays, 6-9 p.m. Starts: July 27. Continues through Aug. 6

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