By Michael Benninger
12/10-30: Pup Art
Hairy & Merry Pet Spa and Dog Wash
2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 105, Little Italy
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.
12/6-3/29: "California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California"
Oceanside Museum of Art
704 Pier View Way, Oceanside
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."
jdc Fine Art
2400 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy
w12/12-2/28: "The Thought of Thinking" by Bear Kirkpatrick
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.
Chicano Art Gallery
2117 Logan Ave., Barrio Logan
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.
w12/13: "Too Cute"
317 East Grand Ave., Escondido
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.
w12/13-1/3: "Wonderbirds" by Heather McKey
920 Kline St., La Jolla
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."
w12/13-1/4: Death Blossom
Timken Museum of Art
1500 El Prado, Balboa Park
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."
w12/19-4/26: Raphael's "The Madonna of the Pinks"