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Donna Anderson Kam 

When: Thursdays-Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Continues through Nov. 28 2012
Price: free

Recology San Francisco's Artist in Residence program encourages participants to scavenge the on-site waste and recycling heaps for materials -- perhaps unusual ones. Donna Anderson Kam found a box of pastels and stuck with that. While this choice might not have been the most adventurous, Kam's residency fueled one of her most intriguing bodies of work to date. The large pastel works now on display at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary each began with a newspaper headline. These prompt imagined narratives for the artist, which she then encapsulates in striking, emotionally charged tableaus that she stages, blends with images of scattered detritus, and finally renders in pastel. Ample white space weds a perception of blaring brightness with one of profound silence, and the vibrant pastel coloration renders her stylishly dressed but seemingly tragic characters in a sickly hue, merging them with the garish, discarded packaging strewn about their feet. Donna Anderson Kam runs through November 29 at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary (480 23rd St., Oakland). 510-260-7494 or ChandraCerritoContemporary.com

— Alex Bigman

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