Old world and new combine in art
One of the poorest nations in the world today, Haiti was once a jewel of colonial wealth and multicultural influence. This rich history has found a "channel" through modern artist Wilson Bigaud. A master at communicating culture through canvas, Bigaud is a leader of the developing Haitian art movement, joined by Murat Brierre, Edouard Duval-Carrie, Philome Obin, Tiga and Luce Turnier. The Pan American Art Gallery will feature their works in the exhibit, Magic of Haiti, which opens with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. The exhibit examines the flexibility of naïf style and reflects America's escalating effect on contemporary Haitian art. The exhibition continues through September 3 at 3303 Lee Parkway from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Call 214-522-3303 or visit www.panamericanart.com. --Danna Berger
A Cut Above
Aurora chef Avner Samuel is sorta out there. His dishes are sorta crazy. Some restaurant critics look at their plates and think Samuel is loony. (But he must be doing something right; Aurora was named one of America's Top Restaurants by Zagat this year.) But, at 10 a.m. Saturday during Samuel's Cutting Edge cooking class, he'll be teaching the lessons learned from someone even nuttier: Alain Ducasse, the only French chef to earn nine stars from the Michelin Guide, the one whose meals are as creative as they are expensive. You'll pay a little to get into Samuel's class, too: $95. But, on the plus side, lunch and wine will be served. Aurora, 4216 Oak Lawn Ave. Call 214-528-9400. --Paul Kix
So what if you fired your personal trainer for saying under his breath, "Well, someone's been on the Snickers diet." Perhaps you do need a break from the daily grind of trying to justify the effectiveness of 8.5 x 11 envelopes over 9 x 13 to your micro-manager. It might be time to take a breath and think about something else besides work for a change. Find an outlet for the sonnet you wrote (while you were supposed to be typing up the Stevenson report) at Hot Summer Nights Art Party on Saturday. Admission is free, but if you do feel like forking over some jack at the silent auction, proceeds benefit The Family Place. The artsy party runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the M3 Center, 4440 Spring Valley Road, with live music, presentations by artists at 8 p.m. and open-mike poetry at 9 p.m. Call 214-537-4978. --Emily Jacobs
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