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The celebrated Manhattan department store Bergdorf Goodman is expanding its second-floor shoe salon -- and filling it with special limited edition shoes created by avant-garde artists working with top shoe designers. Damien Hirst has covered a pair of Manolo Blahnik pumps with his trademark dots, while Jeff Koons and Andrea Pfister have made a spikey S&M boot with an inflatable plastic cuff in the shape of a green frog's head. Adelle Lutz (Mrs. David Byrne) is working with Walter Steiger on a knee-high brown suede "pony boot" with real pony tail. And Laurie Simmons and Bernard Figueroa have crafted a sleek magenta high-heel sandal with a tiny embroidered camera attached to the strap. Other artist-designer teams are Liza Lou and Diana Broussard, Rachel Feinstein and Edmundo Castillo, and Konstantin and Christian Louboutin. The shoes are produced only in editions of 20, priced between $500 and $1,500. They are to be unveiled at Bergdorf's at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25 as part of a fundraiser for the New Museum. Tickets to the event, which includes an after-party with food, drinks and dancing at the Chambers Hotel in Lower Manhattan, are a bargain-rate $150.

The Liverpool Biennial opens Sept. 14-Nov. 24, 2002. Originally established in 1998, this year the show features 250 artists in galleries and public spaces throughout the city. The biennial has five programs: an "International" featuring established artists from around the globe (chosen by a curatorial "home team" of five local arts administrators); an "Independent" exhibition of local artists; the "John Moores Exhibition of Contemporary Painting," an open-call exhibition for artists living in the U.K.; the "Bloomberg New Contemporaries," an annual touring show selected (this year by Sarah Lucas and two others) from U.K. colleges); and a program of workshops, performances, conferences and other events. Artists participating in the show include Olaf Breuning, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Nikki S. Lee, Lot-ek, Barry McGee, Jorge Pardo, Jason Rhoades and Fred Tomaselli.

The former Barney's department store in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. is being converted into an Asian art museum. Work on the new Rubin Museum of Art, founded by Himalayan art collectors Donald and Shelley Rubin, begins this fall at 138-154 West 17th Street under the direction of New York architect Richard Blinder of Beyer Blinder and Belle. Blinder's plans call for 20,000-square-foot museum with a five-floor tower to hold the Rubin collection of some 1,200 works of Himalayan and Tibetan art -- see the online archive at -- and a "spiral staircase serving as a metaphor for traversing the levels of meaning in Himalayan art."

New York video maven Kathy Brew, whose Thundergulch organization put together new-media art shows in downtown Manhattan since 1997, has now curated "9/11 Episodes," an exhibition of videos at the Kitchen Art Gallery on West 19th Street, Sept. 4-28, 2002. The offerings include Scenes from an Endless War by Norman Cowie, Brooklyn Promenade by Mark Street, To the Workers of the World by Tami Gold and tapes by Tony Oursler, Kristin Lucas and about 15 others. Several of the videos, which are mostly only a few minutes long, aired earlier this year as part of the "Reel New York" series on PBS in New York. Locals can drop by the Kitchen at 6 p.m. on Sept. 18 for a "Digital Happy Hour," when some of the artists will talk about their work.

After 30 years in SoHo, A.I.R. Gallery -- the first artist-run, nonprofit gallery for women artists -- has relocated to a 2,000-square-foot space in the Whitehall Building at 511 West 25th Street, suite 301. A collaboration with the Third Wave Foundation, a grant-making group for young women's initiatives, helped make the move possible. A.I.R. inaugurates its new space on Sept. 14, 2002, with a reception for "New Space, New Work," a selection from the organization's national members program. For more info, wee

Activist artist Benny Andrews has formed the Benny Andrews Foundation, associated with the new Ogden Museum of Southern Art at the University of New Orleans and Emory University in Atlanta. Among the new foundation's programs is an "artwork donation program" to encourage African-American artists to place their important works in African-American museums, workshops to help emerging artists break into the art world, and a new "Creation of an Art Award" to honor art teachers, artists and institutions that help young artists. In addition to Andrews' own works, the Ogden museum (which opens next year) will also hold works by his father, the self-taught artist George "The Dot Man" Andrews and his wife, the artist and teacher Nene Andrews. An exhibition of Andrews' new work goes on view in "Benny Andrews: Interiors" at ACA Galleries in New York, Sept. 14-Oct. 12, 2002.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., plans to show seven paintings by London-born, New York artist Cecily Brown as part of its "Directions" program, Nov. 14, 2002-Mar. 2, 2003. The works range from a 1997 orgy of rabbits and a never-before-exhibited 1999 work in which the artist used her body to mark the canvas to the 2001 Baccanal. The exhibition is Brown's first solo museum show.

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs is working with other government agencies and Artspace Projects, Inc., a national arts-facility developer, to build affordable rental housing for artists and their families. The 24-unit Switching Station Artists Lofts, as the project is called, is located in the city's Garfield Park neighborhood and slated to open in early 2003. The 1906 building, originally a telephone switching station and more recently a middle school, features one-, two- and three-bedroom units renting for between $500 and $900 a month. Units are earmarked for households at or below 50 percent of area median income, or roughly $37,700 for a family of four. Total development cost, raised from local and federal funds, is $4.9 million. For more info (and to see about applying for residency), go to

The IndoCenter of Art & Culture on West 25th Street in New York permanently closes on Sept. 30, 2002, with the end of its current exhibition, "Cultural Crossings: Recent Drawings by Anil Revri." The center was opened in early 2001 by Rajiv J. Chaudhri and has mounted five exhibitions in its short life, including "Woman/Goddess: An Exhibition of Photographs" and "From Goddess to Pin Up: Icons of Femininity in Indian Calendar Art."