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BEST OPENING Phoenix 2006 - "New American City"

Believe the hype. ASU Art Museum has catapulted itself into the 21st century with its latest exhibition, "New American City," making Tempe ? for real ? a new American city to watch. Curators Heather Lineberry and John Spiak panned the Phoenix metropolitan area for good stuff, and came up with a satisfying collection of shiny nuggets. There are familiar names like painter Sue Chenoweth, whose work here is bigger and bolder than ever, and less familiar names (see photographer Paho Mann's "reinhabited" Circle K series) ? the combination achieves the kind of synergy that you look for in a major metropolitan museum show. And judging by the enthusiastic, not-the-usual-suspects crowd that flocked to the opening ? youngish, moneyed and big-city hip ? we're not the only ones paying attention. It's too late to attend the opening, natch, but the exhibition runs through January 27. And just think, this way you'll actually be able to see the art, instead of the people we were tempted to watch instead.
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