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OCTOBER 5

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I must confess, lately I prefer shopping to visiting museums. If you intend to buy something, you’re allowed to handle it. In museums I want to touch the art, but tense security guards and motion sensors prevent me. Furthermore, the artists would want me to touch if I were so drawn, right? Perhaps Kim Dingle, Sharon Kopriva, and Hung Liu, artists on hand to discuss their works at the “American Kaleidoscope” open house would agree. Though the artists can’t take the roof off the building, their spirits may take over the museum’s space when Gronk (named after a Brazilian term for “to fly”) takes to performance-painting the lobby walls. Kinetic learners like myself may have a hard time keeping their fingers out of the paint, but Gronk would understand. In 1972, his first act of protest art involved a late-night visit with friends to spray-paint their signatures on the doors of the Los Angeles County Museum after the museum declared, “Chicanos don’t make art, they’re gangsters.” Others artists, among the 14 whose works are featured, include Mark Tansey, David Bates, and Roger Shimomura. This exhibit, which runs through Feb. 2, is going out of its way to take the formalism out of art and put the theater back in—how refreshing. From noon-4 p.m. at the National Museum of American Art, 8th & G St. NW. FREE. (202) 357-2700. (Ginger Eckert)