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Take a visual break from the rock 'n' roll

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Need a break from the crowds and the heat of ACL? Or are you not even joining the music-loving throngs at Zilker Park?

Either way, three downtown art spots offer a quiet, cool visual break from all the rock 'n' roll.

"Candy Cornbread." Pop culture graphics, street art, graffiti, animation and even lowbrow design — it all gets mashed up in the work of six artists — Jason Archer, Jaime Cervantes, Satch Grimley, Mike Parsons, Matthew Rodriguez and Jeffrey Swanson — who have collaboratively created a series of large, handcrafted silk-screen prints filled with exuberance, color and wacky fun. Gallery hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Exhibit continues through Sept. 25. Grayduck Gallery, 608 W. Monroe. Free. www.grayduckgallery.com.

"Wild Beasts." Matisse and his painter cohorts were dubbed "Les Fauves" for their use of wild brushstrokes and vivid, untamed colors — a kind of painting for the sake of painterlyness. In a similar spirit, a group of young painters — Ryan Schneider, Daniel Heidkamp, Shara Hughes, Joshua Abelow and Ezra Johnson — revel in radical free expression and a celebration of paint. Gallery hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. Champion, 800 Brazos St. Free. www.championcontemporary.com.

"Shadow Life: Cao Fei."An adaptation of traditional Chinese shadow puppetry, Cao Fei's art video "Shadow Life" uses the centuries-old mode of visual story-telling to explore a distinctly contemporary tale of modern Chinese life and its rapid cultural changes in the last decade. Cao dramatizes traditional folk tales, mixes in bits of political philosophy and recent events in three vignettes that are at once playful and sinister. Gallery hours: noon to 11 p.m. Wednesdays, noon to 9 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. On view through Oct. 30. Arthouse at the Jones Center, 700 Congress Ave. Free. www.arthousetexas.org.