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VISUAL FEAST: Three Tucson talents share the spotlight with a new exhibit at Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery.

Michael Chittock unveils his latest series, Beyond Eden, which examines the "timeless nature of human intimacy, and explores new possibilities for paint as an expressive medium." The work continues Chittock's dissection of human origins, myths and sexuality through figurative works, the use of color and layered surfaces.

Iron Works, a new series of sculpted pieces by David Flynn, plumbs religious and regional themes. A Tucson-based artist and blacksmith, Flynn is attracted by the plastic nature of metals, and by their physical and conceptual potential. His oversized sculptures are completed by wood and stone.

Gary Swimmer's paintings "reveal the richness of painterly surface and edge through an exploration of color, texture and mark-making." They aim to spark active contemplation through wide-ranging techniques, many echoing the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Exhibit continues through June 17, with an opening reception from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery, 135 E. Congress St. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, and during Downtown Saturday Night. Call 792-4503 for information.

RANGE ROPERS: Top cowpokes swoop down on Sonoita for the Whiskey Creek Riders Team Roping Festival.

This line-item extravaganza features all things roping-related, from team competitions to stationary steer lassoing and a slew of demonstrations. Highlights include a performance by La Escaramuza, a horseback trick-roping team accompanied by strumming mariachis, and the 36th U.S. Army Band on Saturday. There are also raffles for weekend travel packages and a herd of other prizes. Proceeds benefit Educare Fundamentum, a non-profit bunch assisting home-based entrepreneurs and employees with disabilities.

Event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, on the Sonoita Fairgrounds. Admission is free; a $1 donation is suggested. Take I-10 east to the Sonoita exit. Drive time is approximately one hour. Call 573-3024 for details.

DIG THIS: Volunteers can get a little history under their nails with the Old Pueblo Archaeology Center.

The center is seeking folks to help clean, label and catalogue artifacts from sites on Fort Huachuca, in Sierra Vista. Collections include prehistoric pre-Columbian relics and objects from historical sites.

Most of the artifacts come from an ancient Indian village dating from about A.D. 600 to 1300. The historical materials are from archaeological sites used after the Army post was established in 1877 to block raiding Apaches from escaping into Mexico, and to protect the increasing number of settlers in Arizona. Old Pueblo Archaeology is contracted by Fort Huachuca to process the remains.

Join the timeless fun from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 25 and 26. For reservations and other information, call 798-1201.

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