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"Get Together!" Smart and modest at the same time, Get Together! ditches the pretensions of typical gallery art and puts together some good old-fashioned fun — with an edge. Sarah Applebaum's installation of rainbow-colored afghans in the storefront windows sets the tone. Viewers can shed their shoes and climb into the cozy setting, even talk to each other through the lengths of plastic dryer hose connecting the windows and the balcony above. Alex Clausen raises a flagpole (or two, or three) — random broomsticks, painters' poles, and pillow cases — lashed together in the best Eagle Scout tradition. A nearby table offers materials and instructions so that we can do it ourselves. Jonn Herschend brings romantic literature into Chuck E. Cheese's, as the winds begin to blow and the words flash by in an up-tempo PowerPoint narration titled Why This Is Not Going to Work So Well. Videos by Sean McFarland and Lindsay White strip the medium to its bare essentials, capturing time in a way that takes us back to when we were children. In the diaristic accordion book Israel 2005, Ashley Neese shares her emotional reunion with her Naval Academy brother, who took the blurry and evocative photos that color our experience of the trip. And perhaps the most modest yet kinkiest stars of the show are Keri Oldham's small-scale sculptures; by turns endearing and ugly, they're sea creatures you've never seen before, made from cast aluminum and plaster, leather and stuffed fabric. It's a heartwarming hoot in a welcoming place. Through Jan. 13, 2007, at the Hardware Store Gallery, 3824 Mission (at Richland), S.F. Admission is free; call 839-6404 or visit www.hardwarestoregallery.com. (Lea Feinstein) Reviewed Nov. 29.

"Matthew Cusick." Matthew Cusick rearranges the world. The artist — known for his portraits of iconic figures like Sitting Bull and Bonnie Parker rendered in maps of the locales they frequented — takes the big view in this exhibition. Using late 19th- and early 20th-century maps he purchased on eBay, Cusick reconstructs aerial views of the Mixmaster, a complicated Texas highway interchange whose roads lead south from the U.S. to Mexico and the lands beyond. Long, elegant swoops combine in a fretwork of ramps and bridges. In Terra Incognito, a compelling installation on the gallery wall, he redraws the land masses of the world based on his own logic. A galaxy of orange and blue pins holds it all in place. Continents are jumbled and rearranged, countries share unfamiliar borders, and scales change according to the aesthetic requirements of the artist-cartographer. With painstaking and impressive technique, Cusick uses maps the way other artists use paint. Parquetry is one of his devices: He cuts and pastes, abutting fragments that make metaphorical and political statements about America and its zones of influence. He also overlays, glues, and sands map sections, revealing his drawn grid and the wood panel beneath it. In Pangea, he shows us a much earlier version of the known world and reminds us that maps are fluid, that boundaries change according to the whims of treaties and their makers, and that borders are only in the mind. Through Dec. 15 at Lisa Dent Gallery, 660 Mission (at Third St.), Fourth Floor, S.F. Admission is free; call 975-0860 or visit www.lisadent.com. (Lea Feinstein) Reviewed Nov. 29.

111 Minna Gallery. "Utopia": New work by Helen Garber, Suzanne Husky, Eric Joyner, Josh Keyes, Alexis Mackenzie, Chris Pew, Stephen Powers, John Sheridan, Casey Jex Smith, and Winston Smith. Through Dec. 2. 111 Minna (at Second St.), 974-1719, www.111minnagallery.com.

Gallery Paule Anglim. "Gay Outlaw": Through Dec. 16. 14 Geary (at Kearny), 433-2710, www.gallerypauleanglim.com.

Meridian Gallery. "Creatures, Real & Imagined": Paintings and drawings by Devin Cecil-Wishing and paintings, drawings and ceramics by Rue Harrison Whittaker. Through Dec. 16. 545 Sutter (at Powell), 398-7229.

Newmark Gallery. "San Francisco Cityscapes": New paintings by Anna Conti, Anthony Holdsworth, Beryl Landau, and Toru Sugita. Through Dec. 23. 251 Post (at Stockton), No. 412, 392-3692, www.newmarkgallery.com.

Ratio 3. "Loco Serenity": New work by Jonathan Runcio. Through Dec. 17. 903 Guerrero (at 21st St.), 646-732-2767.

de Young Museum. "The Quilts of Gee's Bend": The quilts of Gee's Bend make San Francisco the final stop in their widely acclaimed nationwide tour. Through Dec. 31. "Since 2001: Recent Prints by Ed Ruscha": The approximately 25 prints featured in this exhibition are recent additions to the Edward Ruscha Graphic Arts Archive, a body of work that was acquired by the Fine Arts Museums in 2000. Through March 4, 2007. California Impressions Featuring Landscapes from the Wendy Willrich Collection": This exhibition features thirty beautiful California landscape paintings from the collection of Bay Area art collector Wendy Willrich. Through Jan. 28, 2007. "The Sculpture of Ruth Asawa: Contours in the Air": This exhibition of approximately 54 sculptures and 45 works on paper, with additional documentary source materials including notebooks and vintage photographs by Imogen Cunningham, constitutes the first complete retrospective of the Ruth Asawa's enduring and richly varied career. Through Jan. 28, 2007. "Highlights of the Art and Architecture of the New de Young": Enjoy a 50-minute, docent-led tour. Through Dec. 31, 10:30 a.m. "Introduction to the Masterworks of the New de Young Collections": Enjoy a 50-minute, docent-led tour. Through Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. "Friday Nights at the de Young": An art-focused happy hour, with special performances and hands-on activities plus cheap admission. Fridays, 5 p.m. $5. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden (at JFK), 863-3330, www.thinker.org.

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