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Cultural conscience

In one of two exhibitions opening Saturday in Buffalo Arts Studio (2495 Main St.), Montreal-based artist Karine Giboulo has created a sculptural installation based on a series of slums in a small village near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. The exhibition, "Village Democratie," writes studio Artistic Director Cori Wolff, is meant to help Americans reflect on their own contributions to the sad state of affairs in poverty-stricken countries such as Haiti.

"With its rigid juxtaposition of chaotic shantytowns, pristine golf courses, handmade goods and mass-produced commodities, the outwardly colorful collision of cultures wittily entices viewers to take a closer look, challenging us to consider our own possible role in these countries' economic decline," Wolff writes.

Giboulo's work will be on view near that of Rochester-based artist and art professor Heather Layton, who presents an exhibition of work that includes and explores Mexican "ex-votos," or small artworks made as offerings to saints and religious deities. "She uses the medium to playfully yet pleadingly draw attention to global contemporary issues relating to the media, technology, capitalism, war and human rights," Wolff writes of Layton's work.

Both exhibitions open with a reception at 7 p.m. Saturday and run through Aug. 4. For more information, call 833-4450 or visit www.buffaloartsstudio.org.

-- Colin Dabkowski