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BEYOND EXPECTATIONS

"Beyond/In Western New York 2005" will have its final round of openings this weekend for a show that is shaping up to be an event of major proportions for Buffalo. The biennial exhibition, as those who have been attending the earlier openings know, is a colossal undertaking. In a groundbreaking process, it has brought together curators from 13 area art organizations for a collaborative exhibition that includes the work of 58 artists from a wide geographical circle. If you are still under the impression that this is just another gray regional show, get out there and make the rounds of the galleries and museums and discover the incredible riches that this unique event holds. This is big, very big, and should reshape forever thoughts on what regional art is and what it can become.

The final openings begin tonight at Squeaky Wheel (5 to 7 p.m.), 175 Elmwood Ave.; El Museo Francisco Oller y Rivera (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.), 91 Allen St.; and Langston Hughes Institute (8 to 10 p.m.), 25 High St. Squeaky Wheel's artists are John Knecht, Siew-wai Kok, Allyson Mitchell, Shelly Niro and Christina Zeidler. Well-known painter Alberto Rey will be the sole artist at El Museo. Langston Hughes will feature the work of Jolene Rickard and Rodney D. Taylor.

Appropriately, the final opening will be Saturday in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave., where the plan for the exhibition was first hatched. A reception for 11 artists -- among them Joy Adams, Peter Byrne, Insoon Ha, Anitra Hamilton and Kelly Palmer -- will be held from 8 to 10 p.m.