Simply saying the word "taxidermy" tends to give people the shivers. But the 30 international artists exhibiting in Dead or Alive have managed to turn the creepy art form into something museum-worthy. The show features artists who work with a wide range of plant and animal materials, such as feathers, bugs, bones, silkworm cocoons, greenery, and hair, to create intricate installations and sculptures. You'll see Jim Rittiman's wall installation Tree of Life, which depicts an upside-down evolutionary tree with mutant hybrid creatures made from bones and wings, Kate MccGwire's waterfall of silvery pigeon feathers, and Nick Cave's Soundsuits, a costume of leaves, hair, twigs, and other materials that makes a big noise when it's being worn. For a true stomach-turning treat, check out Fabian Pena's skull made of cockroach parts.
May 19-Oct. 24, 2010