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Line 'Em Up

Mark Sheinkman works to the point of abstraction.

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FRI 1/14
Mark Sheinkman's immense ideas can't be contained on canvas. Even his "Thirty Foot Drawing" and his outdoor billboards feel abbreviated. His striking patterns seem to start at random points before stretching invisibly yet infinitely in all directions. Early in his career, Sheinkman used incisions and erasure to make white-line designs on black-granite backdrops. Later, he began using oil and graphite paints. Now proficient in his medium of choice, the oft-exhibited New York native creates complex collections of intricately overlapped, loopy lines. The work can resemble densely tangled twine, frayed synapses or elbow macaroni floating on an oil slick, depending on the tints and textures he chooses. He usually renders the pieces in stark, dichotomous color contrasts -- though one memorable piece mirrors the solar spectrum, bleeding from gleaming yellow to burnt-orange.

Check out his new works Friday, when the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick Boulevard, 816-753-5784) opens its three-month Sheinkman show. There's a free reception at 5:30 p.m.; the artist talks about his work at 6:30 p.m. -- Andrew Miller

Mail Man

WED 1/19
Best-known for his role as the abusive drill sergeant in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, R. Lee Ermey marches into town at 7 p.m. Wednesday for an appearance at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway). He's here to promote his new book, Mail Call: This Book Takes Q's and Kicks A's, a literary extension of his popular History Channel television show, in which he responds to viewers' questions about military technology and demonstrates how to operate machinery -- all with the same in-your-face voice that made him such a memorable character in Kubrick's film. (I will gouge out your eyes and skull-fuck you! Ring any bells?) There isn't much in Ermey's book that doesn't concern war and weaponry, and he happily offers his expertise in samurai swords, Civil War-era pistols and the Kiowa attack helicopter, among other things. Call 913-384-3126 to reserve the free tickets. -- Todd Broockerd

Have Some Class

1/15-2/19
This weekend kicks off the Kansas City Art Institute's spring semester of continuing education and special programs with a watercolor painting class from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Instructor Ed Fenendel says students will paint "in a very loose and wet style, using lost and found edges, with emphasis on shape, value and color." Classes, Saturdays through February 19, begin with a short lecture, followed by a demonstration, studio time and a daily critique. Instruction in other media, such as ceramics, fiber and photography, among others, also are offered. Costs and times vary; call 816-802-3505 for information or registration. -- Annie Fischer

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