Not so long ago, the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood seemed to have fallen into the doldrums. After the departure of an especially adventurous curator (Laurence Pamer), the museum lacked direction and, more important, vision. But then, new curator Samantha Salzinger arrived, and the place has been on a roll ever since. Salzinger's "Fat Painting" show was a defiant celebration of the enduring influence of abstract expressionism that left some critics (although not ours) scratching their heads. "Modus Operandi" ventured even further with its eclectic blend of photography, mixed-media works, and installations, including one -- Bill Burke's Thin Spaces -- that turned a whole gallery of the museum into an alien environment engaging all the senses. Most recently, Salzinger snagged Pamela Joseph's traveling exhibition "The Sideshow of the Absurd," an extended multimedia installation of carnival-inspired (and feminist-tinged) pieces that was easily one of the most bizarre shows of the past year. Let's hope the Art and Culture Center is brave enough to let Salzinger continue her winning streak.

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