Art Beat

By Michael Benninger

12/10-30: Pup Art
Hairy & Merry Pet Spa and Dog Wash
2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 105, Little Italy
619.238.0868, hairyandmerry.com
Reception: December 10, 7 p.m.
The owners of Hairy & Merry, Little Italy's resort for pampered pups, invite the public to attend the dog-friendly reception for their canine-centric group art show featuring works by more than two dozen local artists.

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12/6-3/29: "California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California"
Oceanside Museum of Art
704 Pier View Way, Oceanside
760.435.3720, oma-online.org
For this juried exhibition arriving from Italy, artists from around the world were asked to depict SoCal, examining the allure of the region's lifestyle and the global impact of society's infatuation with the "California Dream."

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12/12-2/28: "The Thought of Thinking" by Bear Kirkpatrick
jdc Fine Art
2400 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy
619.985.2322, jdcfineart.com

Photographer Bear Kirkpatrick welcomes viewers of his latest works to explore the essence of humanity's flawed existence through his series of evocative images that juxtapose nude bodies with timeless, transcendent natural settings.

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12/13: "Too Cute"
Chicano Art Gallery
2117 Logan Ave., Barrio Logan
facebook.com/ChicanoArtGallery
Committed to kawaii, the quality of "cuteness" in Japanese culture, this show presents toys, prints, sculptures and other adorable items, along with free activities for young ones and a "Cute Group" wall displaying pieces from 30-plus San Diegans.

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12/13-1/3: "Wonderbirds" by Heather McKey
ArtHatch
317 East Grand Ave., Escondido
760.781.5779, arthatch.org
This debut solo exhibition of works by Heather McKey, a longtime admirer of everything avian, showcases the Escondido artist's adept use of acrylic paints and ultra-fine brushes to depict brilliantly blushed birds.

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12/13-1/4: Death Blossom
Thumbprint Gallery
920 Kline St., La Jolla
858.354.6294, thumbprintgallerysd.com
No subject is off-limits in this urban art and pop surrealism show highlighting new pieces by 25-plus artists whose only restriction was to create work measuring 8"x10", 10"x10" or 12"x12."

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12/19-4/26: Raphael's "The Madonna of the Pinks"
Timken Museum of Art
1500 El Prado, Balboa Park
619.239.5548, timkenmuseum.org
Considered one of Raphael's most esteemed works, "The Madonna of the Pinks" arrives at the Timken Museum on loan from London's National Gallery, affording locals an opportunity to view the Renaissance master's tiny treasure, measuring a mere 11" x 9."

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