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After some brief holiday downtime, local galleries and museums are back in full force. So you have an array of culture to choose from, if you're into that kind of thing.

At Rochester Contemporary, 137 East Avenue, Deborah Jack's Lift/Left, an installation of video, sound, text, and still images, is on display January 13 through February 12. The primary motif, bodies moving through water, conjures stories of captured Africans who jumped from slave ships. www.rochestercontemporary.org

A\V, the space devoted to displays of art and sound, is letting its talented curators have a go in its Curators Show, on display through January 28. Find A\V at 8 Public Market or at www.avspace.org

Spirit Stands Still, on display from January 13 to March 26 at the Community Darkroom Gallery at the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education (713 Monroe Avenue), is the work of five photographers featured in the center's Meet the Photographer lecture series. 271-5920, www.geneseearts.org

The Evolutionary Girls Club (this restrictive sounding name is actually for an all-inclusive artists' group) has their annual local exhibit and auction --- this year titled Memory Making Meaning --- at Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince Street) through February 12. www.evolutionarygirlsclub.com.

At the new BaobabCulturalCenter, devoted to African culture, has a rich mixed-media exhibit continuing through February 3. Baobab is in the German House, 315 Gregory Street, 546-4790. One of the city's newest venues, Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Avenue, 271-2359), has Ahron Foster's Out of the Gates through January 22. New shows go up every three weeks. The Center at High Falls Art Gallery (60 Browns Race, 325-2030) will open three new exhibits on January 20 to continue through February 26. Work and Working, unseenamerica, and We Not Me (city photographer Ira Srole on Bill Johnson's tenure).

At the universities: University of Rochester's Rush Rhees Library has Oh Death!: Death, Dying and the Culture of the Macabre in the Late Middle Ages through March 17. (275-0110) At SUNY Brockport Alternative Girlhood: Diaristic Indulgence and Contemporary Female Artists has the art of 11 female artists --- whose mediums are comics, graphic novels, and zines --- from January 24 to February 19. (395-2805) The NTID Dyer Arts Center at RIT is bringing the traveling exhibit The Allen Sisters: Pictorial Photographers 1885-1920 from January 16 to March 3. (475-6855 or rbaker@ntid.rit.edu) And an Art Faculty Exhibition at the Davison Gallery at Roberts Wesleyan continues through January 26. (594-6442)

George Eastman House will show an exhibit Robert Weingarten called 6:30 AM: the 19 brilliant-colored photographs of Malibu mornings will be displayed January 14 through February 12 on the museum grounds, amid the winter weather. Another respite amid the snow is Picturing Eden, 133 contemporary contemplations of paradise, on view January 28 through June 18. And opening February 18 are photos of Paris by Eugene Atget and Christopher Rauschenberg. www.eastmanhouse.org, 271-3361

In step with the persistent "extreme" trend, the Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Avenue) opens Extreme Materials January 29. It's work made with, well, trash: fish skins, carrots, rubber tires, duck sauce packets, etc. But I mean that in the best possible way. See the "nontraditional" artworks through April 9. mag.rochester.edu

The horse-drawn sleigh rides at Granger Homestead have proved so popular the museum added another sleigh. Dash through the snow Sunday afternoons through mid-March, weather permitting. Granger Homestead is on North Main Street in Canandaigua. Call ahead for availability: 394-1472.

RochesterMuseum and ScienceCenter (657 East Avenue) opens Expedition Earth Glaciers & Giants on January 21. See the inside of a glacier, walk where mastodons did, visit a dig site. www.rmsc.org, 697-1944

StrongMuseum (1 Manhattan Square), the National Museum of Play, has extended the stay of the Think Tank exhibit to February 26. The riddles, teasers, puzzles, and games are all there to help kids exercise their brains. www.strongmuseum.org, 263-2700

And check City's weekly listings for gallery and museums events throughout the season.

In This Guide...

    Winter Guide 2006

    City Newspaper breaks it down for you
    In this year's guide to the winter season, we've focused on things to do. Much like the government's odd, grammatical anti-obesity campaign ("VERB: It's what you do"), City wants you to get out and get moving.

    Hear

    Yup, it's DVD, CD, and fireplace weather for the next few months. But if you live alone, you might get a little lonely.

    Celebrate

    The heartiest and most enterprising souls among us realize winter can be not only a time of fun, but a time of tourism! Why not get the people out of their huts and into the open, they reason, if only for a brief while?

    Play

    Spanking new year, same old story: we all peer outside from the warmth of our homes for a couple weeks and then, realizing that winter ain't going anywhere anytime soon, concede that if we want to stave off cabin fever, we're going to have to make with the bulky coats and really unattractive boots. So when you finally achieve acceptance (the final stage of grief), there are a number of activities you can participate in to make the cold-weather months tolerable, and possibly even enjoyable.

    Listen

    Hear that? Because so many local organizations and institutions go all out planning them for this slow time of year, winter is a great time to attend lectures.

    Applaud

    Here's an outline to plan your ticket-foraging with. Scatter a few of these evenings through the season like little culture outposts and absorb some of the talent --- both local and bussed in --- at hand this season.

    Shelter from the storm

    Winter skills
    If you've lived in Rochester for any length of time, you've probably muttered nasty words under your breath about the weather. And during the five months we call "winter," one of those words was probably "arctic."

    City's winter choices

    City's winter choice: dancing There are plenty of ways to raise your body temperature this winter and have some fun doing it (i.e. you don't have to use words like "cardio," "reps," or "ow") That's right, you should be dancing. Many local groups and venues offer dance nights in their genre of choice, often at low cost and with some sort of basic instruction.

    Frozen in pictures

    Winter Guide photo contest
    Our inaugural Winter Guide photo contest has been a success. We had great response to our call for photos of winter in the Rochester area.

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