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Marsha Balian 

When: Jan. 18-29 2010
Price: free

The cranky hyper-esthete Whistler once said, "Art happens -- no hovel is safe from it." Although he was mocking art discourse in 1885, his aphorism rings true today, and now you can venture beyond the Caldecott Tunnel, Oakies, and still get your art fix in Orinda, far from any hovels, art-bearing or not. Commercial photographer Scott McCue is showing fine art in his front room. Up this month are Marsha Balian's small, mixed-media paintings and sculptures. Her satirical painted versions of the notoriously silly Freudian bra ads of the 1950s and 1960s ("I Dreamed I Was an Epicurean in My Maidenform Bra") are reminiscent of Joan Brown; her figurative assemblages ("Neo-neologism," "Objects Smaller Than They Appear, the Patron Saint of Hindsight"), with their gentle, goofy humor, resemble Aggie ceramics from the School of Davis. Marsha Balian runs through January 29 at McCue Gallery 83 (83 Orinda Way, Orinda). 925-253-1719

— DeWitt Cheng

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