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Willie Birch 

Simultaneous exhibitions featuring one artist's work at two local venues are fairly rare, but veteran New Orleans artist Willie Birch seems to have had no trouble filling the exhibition spaces at the Contemporary Arts Center and Arthur Roger Gallery. Reflecting the vibrant street life of New Orleans neighborhoods, his often large charcoal and acrylic works on paper reflect his ongoing fascination with the city's daily routines and celebratory rituals. For the 65-year-old Birch, it's been a long and winding road from his Magnolia-housing-project childhood and teen years as a civil-rights activist to success in the New York art world and then back to New Orleans again in the early '90s. Along the way he's, exhibited widely and been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture. His work appears in numerous public and private collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. " D. Eric Bookhardt

Celebrating Freedom: The Art of Willie Birch

Opens Oct. 6; through December

Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., 528-3800;

Home Sweet Home: Works on Paper by Willie Birch

Through October 27

Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia St., 522-1999;

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