Ars gratia artis

Because our art guy didn’t write up this weekend’s Toyroom Gallery show, here it is. Cold Steel features art by Sunny Buick, Brian Hutflies and Tex. Buick curated a show last month at the 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco, a sci-fi themed exhibition that featured everything from Robert Williams to such local artists as Kim Scott, Bruce Gossett, John Stuart Berger, Stace Cooper, Groovie Ghoulies frontman Kepi and the great Skinner. The current Toyroom show features reasonably priced art that appears to be rooted in a tattoo or carny aesthetic. The gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6:30 p.m. until “late”; it’s located in an alley off 24th Street, just north of Second Avenue. It’s usually a pretty good scene to make at some point in the weekend.

Last weekend, Skinner was part of a show titled Battle of the Ultrabrothers at the Gallery Horse Cow at 1409 Del Paso Boulevard, along with Pete Bettencourt and Norm. Skinner’s vibrant pieces, firmly rooted in a weirdly psychedelic pulp-horror aesthetic, damn near jumped off the walls, and they looked even cooler when viewed through 3-D glasses.

Skinner himself was quite lively, too, animatedly describing his new theatrical metal combo, the Little People. According to the artist, the band is standing on the verge of conquering the known universe, which may or may not include Sacramento. Dunno about you, but I can’t wait to see that one, whatever it is.

Outside the Horse Cow, in the empty lot next door, former MatrixArts director Rhett had set up a temporary art gallery inside a rented truck. His fly-by-night Art Pimp Gallery was kind of a promotion to announce his new Web site,; the truck featured miniatures of clowns painted by Rhett that were Jackass-funny, along with some other stuff.

Other stuff: The seventh annual Tower of Youth Teen Digital Reel Showcase and Awards are this Saturday, April 19, at the Antioch Family Life Center, 7650 Amherst Street (near the Meadowview-Pocket Road exit off I-5). Doors open at 9:30 a.m., and the program, including lunch, runs from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; admission is $10 for those under 18 and $15 for adults. Screening will be the 20 top digital-movie entries, in six categories, along with a presentation about digital career visions by someone from Sega Entertainment.

Oh, and David Houston, the subject of a cover profile in the March 27 issue of SN&R, will play that night at the True Love Coffeehouse, 2406 J Street, starting at 9 p.m. Admission is $7. Also on the bill are Holly Holt and Keri Carr.