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Now in its 10th year, “Academy 2010” surveys the work of MFA and BFA students from across the Baltimore-Washington area—when the sequel to the forthcoming tome 100 Washington Artists inevitably comes out, expect to see some of this Conner Contemporary show’s names in it. Among hightlights, there are Katie Miller’s paintings, which push photorealism into Renaissance light. Surface is the key of Kate Demong’s paintings, which utilize sand, ash, and dirt as primary media. Calder Brannock creates a smart mobile gallery that both mocks and celebrates the system. And Benjamin Kelley’s Universal Symbols of Achievement, made from human bone, remind us that no matter how advanced our technology becomes, our humanity is slow to evolve. It’s a show dominated by slow and quiet work, but most of the pieces speak with assertive tones.

THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. WEDNESDAY TO SATURDAY TO AUG. 21 AT CONNER CONTEMPORARY ART, 1358 FLORIDA AVE. NE. FREE. (202) 588-8750.