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Fiber art, like most of the decorative arts, has radically expanded its horizons in recent years. The exploration in fiber has crossed into so much of the territory usually reserved for fine arts that the word "decorative" may no longer be appropriate. In fact, with this breaking of old boundaries, the term "fiber art" itself may soon become as useless as antiquated exhibition categories like "oil painting." In any case, the competitive fiber exhibition held annually at the Adams Art Gallery in Dunkirk has become a forum for these new developments. This year's show, "Fiber National '90," will open Saturday night with a reception from 8 to 10. Ann Wilson, chair of the fiber department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has selected works that run the gamut from miniature narrative works to giant pieces that combine found materials. There are tapestries, weavings, embroideries, collage and applique. Some artists use odd scraps of fiber to build three-dimensional constructions; others make decidedly wall-bound works. Decorative pieces do abound, but there are numerous works that are conceptual as well. The exhibition, which continues through Aug. 11, includes 53 works by 40 artists. The work of seven artists has been cited for its distinctive contributions and will receive jurors' commendations. -- Richard Huntington

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