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MICHIGAN CITY | A trio of new exhibits are coming to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts.

The arts center in downtown Michigan City will host the opening reception  Oct. 2 for the First Friday Art Walk for three exhibits, which run through Jan. 9. Shoreline Brewery will offer light bites.

Edra Soto's "Tropitalamerican" draws on the patriotic art tradition popularized by artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and David Hammons,

His exhibit features flags and chairs made with traditional crafting techniques.

Soto, a Puerto Rican native who currently works in Chicago, used tropical leaves to make flags during her residency at the Robert Rauscheberg Foundation in New York City last year, then converted them into a digital format. The Art Institute of Chicago graduate made the chairs out of plastic, then upholstered them with beach towels emblazoned with tiger images.

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Another American-themed exhibit that’s opening is Bernard Williams' "Hard Driving," which features objects that frame American car culture, including a life-sized car installation. His "Scott Car" pays homage to William Scott, NASCAR's first African-American driver.

"The starting point for the work is often the archives of museums or libraries," the Chicago native said. "The documentary/archival photograph might become the map for building sculpture. The research often results in a kind of self-projection. I enter the past, present, or future through rough reconstruction, reinterpreting, or a role-play with the object or idea."

The Lubeznik Center for the Arts, at 101 W. 2nd St. just before the lakefront in Michigan City, also is showing "Human Mess," an array of mixed media art by the Puerto Rican Chicago artist Chris Silva. Silva has been a big figure in Chicago’s street art, graffiti and skateboarding scenes for some time.

Silva, who has been doing large commissions and public arts projects for the last few years, does an array of mixed media art that juxtaposes color, texture, light and sound.

"I seek to make work which is engaging to children, speaks to the 'inner children' of adults, and has a healthy dose of unpretentious complexity," Silva said. "I appreciate eye candy, but work to include a serving of 'soul food' in my offerings."

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.