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Phil Barbato's “Plushozoic” brings a bit of childlike wonder to Gallery5

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If Richmond independent artist Phil Barbato has children, they undoubtedly have the coolest collection of stuffed creations sprung from the alley between “Sesame Street” and “Avenue Q.” Using such wide-ranging materials as fleece, felt, fur and foam, Barbato's set of quirky creatures, monsters, whosis and whatsits brings a squishy familiarity and sweetness to a modern art scene preoccupied with nonsensical experimentation and self-indulgent statements. Christening the new craft-based art installation Gallowlilly's within Gallery5, Barbato's exhibit, “Plushozoic,” opens Friday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. On display through Sept. 25. 644-0005. — Mike Hilleary

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