• Sixties-era Ann Arbor rock combo Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen was founded and fronted by George "Commander Cody" Frayne, whose musical talents were accompanied by years of art training, making him a bit of a 20th-century Renaissance man. Oh, is that not Renaissancey enough? A trained cinematographer, he has a permanent exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art's video archive. Tonight, the 1819 Gallery (1819 Central, 816-200-3417) continues its exploration of music-inspired art with Commander Cody Paintings — The Art of George Frayne, an exhibit of oversized psychedelic rock paintings.• Artists Nicholas and Angela Snyder are the White Stripes of mixed-media robot sculptures constructed from found objects and trash (except that Jack and Meg White are divorced). Reinventions, an exhibit of their bots at the Third Eye Gallery (2024 Main), is a showcase of sculptures and a study of the phenomenon of pattern recognition, whereby any observer can look at a bipedal assemblage of random objects with an upright torso and a Polaroid camera for a head, for example, and identify it immediately as a kind of robot. Yes, it's cute. Yes, there are more serious exhibits around the Crossroads District every month. But surely there's room in our aesthetic agendas for occasional fun. For more information, call 816-931-7160.• Artist, musician and poet H. Stewart tends to generate a large amount of creative output that's insightful, startling and human. The release of Stewart's eighth performance album, Dora Elizabeth, a tribute to her late grandmother, is accompanied by tonight's performance, titled Legally Naked, at the Slap-n-Tickle Gallery (504 East 18th Street) from 8 p.m. to midnight. The gallery also exhibits Stewart's chemical artwork, Kansas City tributes etched on rusted sheets of metal. The performance includes two supporting artists who, along with Stewart, will be body-painted over the course of the evening. Exactly the kind of surprising and parental-advisory-triggering First Friday show you might expect from the Slap-n-Tickle. For more information, call 816-716-5940.• Andrea Bledsoe's haunting mixed-media photographs layer recognizable imagery and distressed textures into poetic and unsettling tableaux. The result of her photo manipulations is at once polished and ambiguous. At 7 p.m., the Mercy Seat Gallery at Mercy Seat Tattoo (210 East 16th Street, 816-421-4833) presents The Space Between, an exhibit of Bledsoe's work, along with a video performance by Barry Anderson and live music by Thee Devotion.
Fri., Nov. 6, 2009