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"Sarah Cain: I Believe We Are Believers." Sarah Cain paints light. But instead of rendering the effects of light falling on objects — a traditional subject for painters — she dissects the spectrum. In a series of large-scale paintings on paper, the artist (a 2006 SECA award winner) uses a battery of techniques to explore, and reveal to us, the rainbow that makes up white light. In her work, "color" is ribbon and tile and leaves, not just pigment. Her paint — latex, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, Sumi ink — is sprayed, dripped, splashed, and painstakingly applied. It's both reflective and matte, transparent and opaque. Her art-supply store is the dime store. Cain organizes her paintings off-center, zooms in and elaborates a passage, then pulls back and renders broad swaths. She plots points, then establishes relationships between the points on the surfaces of her paintings — as well as between her canvases and points around the room. In these pieces there is a compelling tension between the accidental and the intentional, between areas of loose handling (sprayed lines) and areas of tightness (ruled lines), between small details and large, open, white fields. Cain isn't afraid to make "ugly" work that dances to no one's tune but her own. Because she applies small bells, ribbons, mirrored fringe, and glass beads to her surfaces, her pieces also sing. Richard Tuttle (a favorite of the artist) is visible as an influence — both in terms of his legendary attention to the relationship of forms and his choice of throw-away materials. Through Oct. 20 at Anthony Meier Fine Arts, 1969 California (at Octavia), S.F. Admission is free; call 351-1400 or visit www.anthonymeierfinearts.com. (Lea Feinstein) Reviewed Sept. 27.

111 Minna Gallery. "Flesh": Through Sept. 29. www.dandelionblack.com. 111 Minna (at Second St.), 974-1719, www.111minnagallery.com.

Precita Eyes Mural Center. "Adult Free-Play Art Time": Ongoing drop-in workshop with instructor Kristin Olsen; no experience necessary and no one turned away for lack of funds. Wednesdays, 7 p.m. $12. 348 Precita, 285-2287.

Andrea Schwartz Gallery. "John Belingheri": New work. Opening reception is Sept. 6 at 5:30 p.m. Through Oct. 27. 525 Second St. (at South Park), 496-2090, www.asgallery.com.

Multiple San Francisco locations. APAture: Through Sept. 30. $10-$20. www.apature.org. multiple addresses within San Francisco.

City Hall. "It Won't Hurt": Through Oct. 17. 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Pl. (at Fulton), 554-5184.

Creativity Explored. "Solo Duet": Through Sept. 28. 3245 16th St. (at Dolores), 863-2108, www.creativityexplored.org.

Dolby Chadwick Gallery. "Excerpt": New work by Jim Phalen. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Through Sept. 30. 210 Post (at Grant) (Second Fl.), 956-3560, www.dolbychadwickgallery.com.

Galería de la Raza. "African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth": An exhibit of photography by Ayana V. Jackson and narratives by Marco Villalobos. Through Oct. 14. 2857 24th St. (at Bryant), 826-8009, www.galeriadelaraza.org.

Gallery 16. Alex Zecca: Daily. "Crazy Horse": Through Oct. 14. 501 Third St. (at Bryant), 626-7495.

Gregory Lind Gallery. "Grand Apartment": New drawings by Sarah Bostwick. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Through Oct. 14. 49 Geary (at Kearny), Fifth Fl., 296-9661, www.gregorylindgallery.com.

Haines Gallery. "Ancestral Altars": New work by Binh Danh. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Through Oct. 14. 49 Geary (at Kearny) (Fifth Fl.), 397-8114.

Hang Gallery. "Where We Live": New paintings by Ines Kramer. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. Through Sept. 30. "Unframed": Group show of new work on paper. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. Through Sept. 30. 556 Sutter (at Mason), 434-4264, www.hangart.com.

Hua Zang Si. "Exhibition of Twenty-one Categories of World-Class Treasures": Work by Master Wan Ko Yee (Dharma King Yangwo Yisinubu Wan Ko). Through Nov. 9. 3134 22nd St. (at Capp), 920-9816.

Jenkins Johnson Gallery. "Constructed Illusions": New photography and painting by Lori Nix, Julie Blackmon, and Francesca Sundsten. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Through Sept. 30. 464 Sutter (at Powell), 677-0770, www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com.

Lucky Juju Pinball/Art Gallery. "A Royal Flush": New drawings by Paul Purcell. Opening reception is Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. Through Sept. 26. 713 Santa Clara (at Webster), Alameda, 510-205-9793, www.ujuju.com.

Michelle O'Connor Gallery. "Home Ec": New work by Sarah Applebaum, Elide Endreson, Sherry Koyama, Christina La Sala, Julia Petho, and Allen Stickel. Opening reception is Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Through Sept. 28. 2111 Mission (at 17th St.), 314-8396.

Newmark Gallery. "Public Space/Private Space: A Journey Through Drawing and Painting": New work by Larry Morace. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. Through Oct. 28. 251 Post (at Stockton), No. 412, 392-3692, www.newmarkgallery.com.

Patricia Sweetow Gallery. "Pyramid Dreams": Through Oct. 14. 49 Geary at Kearny, 788-5126.

Paul Thiebaud Gallery. "Michael Tompkins": New works on paper. Opening reception is Sept. 5 at 5:30 p.m. Through Nov. 4. 718 Columbus (at Filbert), 434-3055.

Presidio Officers' Club. "Plants + Insects: Art + Science": Through Nov. 19. 50 Moraga (at Arguello), 561-5500, www.presidio.gov.

Rena Bransten Gallery. "Amagansett": New work by Joseph Park. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Through Oct. 14. "Visionary Output": Group show of work by artists associated with the Creative Growth Arts Center. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Through Oct. 14. 77 Geary (at Grant), 982-3292, www.renabranstengallery.com.

Robert Koch Gallery. "David Parker": New photography. Opening reception is Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Through Oct. 28. 49 Geary (at Kearny), 421-0122.

SF Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery. "Livia Stein, Mary Oros & Gustavo Rivera": New sculpture and paintings. Opening reception is Sept. 6 at 5:30 p.m. Through Sept. 29. Fort Mason, Bldg. A, (Marina & Buchanan), 441-4777.

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