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Steal This Magnet

The Blindspot Gallery is interactive and in traffic

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As a kid, most of the art projects you brought home probably wound up on the refrigerator. As an adult, here's another art project you can bring home and stick on the old icebox: a magnet from one of the Blindspot Gallery's rotating moving exhibits.

The Blindspot Gallery is not a place or a Web site or even an actual gallery in the traditional four-walls-and-a-floor notion of one. It's a white Ford minivan that belongs to Washington University printmaking-and-drawing instructor Lisa Bulawsky, and it's only identified by a humble sign reading "Blindspot Gallery" on the back of the car. (Well, that and all the magnets.) About a year ago, Bulawsky and a handful of her students began curating "magnet exhibitions" for the car as a way to "get more guerrilla art out there in a really unexpected way," according to Blindspot co-curator and Wash. U. senior Ellen Maloney. Local artists have done about five shows so far, designing and handcrafting the magnets and displaying them artfully on the minivan. In one exhibit, called Domestic Duel: Chairs vs. Lamps, magnets of both kinds of furniture were arranged to look like they were charging at each other; the current exhibit, which runs through May 7 (but don't worry -- a new one is planned for May 8 or 9) pays homage to the wood-paneled station wagons of latchkey-kid yore.

Though it's never explained on the car, the magnets are yours for the taking. People are starting to catch on, says Maloney. "I'm starting to notice our magnets on other people's cars," she says. "At first, people were so confused, they were afraid to even touch the magnets, let alone take them."

The frustrating thing about the Blindspot Gallery, of course, is that its times and locations are subject to Bulawsky's personal schedule and whims -- though, because she's a Wash. U. instructor, you can often find her art-mobile parked behind the school's Bixby Hall. -- Rose Martelli

Sculpted Affair
Loungin' at Laumeier

What has 150 booths with art from all over the U.S., hands-on art projects for kids, live music by the Ralph Butler Band and the Urban Jazz Naturals, some swingin' outdoor sculpture and homemade root beer? That would be the sixteenth annual Art Fair at Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road, 314-821-1209,, running from 4-8 p.m. Friday, May 9; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, May 10; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, May 11 ($5 for ages 8 and older, two-for-one admission on Friday). The long strip of jewelry, painting, vessels, clothes, photography, glass and more is surrounded by a wine-and-beer garden, live music, food concessions and the Creation Location (Saturday and Sunday only), featuring such kids' attractions as music, dance, jugglers, magicians and face-painting. -- Byron Kerman


WED 5/7

Israel turns 55 this year, which means it has joined the AARP and is mulling retirement condos in Miami Beach. No, we kid; we kid because we love. Celebrate 55 years of Israeli independence at Yom HaAtzmaut Family Day at Temple Israel (Ladue and Spoede roads). You can preorder a barbecue dinner or bring your own picnic, partake of Israeli concessions and enjoy folk music by Parverim, dancing, drinks -- the whole shmear. The party starts at 6 p.m., and prices for the evening range from free if you BYO up to $7 for extras. Such a bargain! Call 314-432-0020 for more info. -- Paul Friswold

Wild Quaker Oats

MON 5/12

Samuel Comstock, also known as "the Terrible Whaler," is the star player in Thomas Heffernan's book Mutiny on the Globe, and in addition to leaving a swath of destruction in his wake, he explodes a few myths about the Quakers and their Nantucket stronghold. Most notably, Mr. Comstock was oversexed and hyperviolent, and he found outlets for both primal urges in prim 1820s New England. Who knew? Heffernan's examination of Comstock's life and grisly death zips along crisply, striking a balance between historical record and maritime adventure story. Thomas Heffernan reads from his book at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue, 314-367-6731) at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but you'll end up buying a copy of the book -- trust us. -- Paul Friswold

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