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Phyllis MacLaren

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We're inundated with images and notions of the superhero in our pop culture. It's understood this is just fantasy, but are we perhaps being entertained too much? Works by Phyllis MacLaren dispense with the superhero silliness and instead guides us back to earth. The local artist pays tribute to bona fide heroes who risk all to expose injustice. MacLaren paints heroes from a variety of global sources -- like her 2011 portrait of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) jailed by his government for "inciting state subversion." Portraits of Courage, an exhibition of MacLaren's paintings, opens with a free public reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at the University City Public Library (6701 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-3150 or www.ucitylibrary.org). Her work remains up through Monday, May 29. Admission is free.
Sun., May 3, 1-5 p.m.; Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 1-5 p.m.; May 26-29, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: May 3. Continues through May 29, 2015

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