Art commentary

Works by Jeffrey Kent and a piece by Mari Gardner up now at the Sub-Basement Artist Studios provide pointed social commentary. Kent's large-scale paintings are done in bright colors and include elements of hip-hop culture, fashion and politics. His work strives to puncture stereotypes in these realms.

Gardner's single piece is a blanket woven from 5,801 bullet casings. This is the number of violent crimes the FBI said were committed in Baltimore in 2003.

Sub-Basement Artist Studios is at 118 N. Howard St. Call 410-659-6950. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays and by appointment. The show runs though March 5.

Precious vase

If the Walters Art Museum were aflame and Museum Director Dr. Gary Vikan could save only one piece, it would be the 7-inch Rubens vase. He's going explain why at a two-hour talk at 11:30 a.m. today. The medieval agate vase was once owned by Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, but it has passed through many hands, including those of King Charles V of France. The story of how it landed at the Walters is an important Baltimore tale.

The Walters Art Museum is at 600 N. Charles St. Call 410-547-9000, ext. 212, or visit Tickets are $25 for members and $50 for nonmembers. Registration is required.

- Annie Linskey

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