LACMA's Beal to Motor City? Graham W.J. Beal, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art since 1996, is expected to become the new director of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Currently in Detroit for interviews with institute officials, Beal was unanimously endorsed by the search committee of the institute's board of trustees on Thursday. The endorsement is expected to be approved by the entire board within a few days.


Artist Arkley Overdoses: Howard Arkley, the 48-year-old painter currently representing Australia in the 48th Biennale in Venice, Italy, and whose vivid paintings of suburban interiors are having their Los Angeles debut at the Karyn Lovegrove Gallery as part of the citywide L.A. International, died Thursday in Melbourne of a reported drug overdose. According to the Melbourne daily, the Age, Arkley's body was found at home by his wife, Alison Burton, around 6 a.m. Following the June 25 opening of his show at the Lovegrove Gallery, where all eight paintings quickly sold, Arkley and Burton had driven to Las Vegas and were married.


"Outie" Winners: The Showtime original film "Blind Faith" took top prize with two jury awards, and the feature film "Chutney Popcorn" and the documentary "After Stonewall" were top winners in the audience award category in the Outfest '99 Film Competition, sponsored by Universal Pictures for the past five years. The "Outie" awards were handed out Sunday at the 17th annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. Also among the total of six jury prizes and six audience awards were kudos for Charles S. Dutton, who won the grand jury award for best actor in a feature film for "Blind Faith," and for Mariel Hemingway as best actress for her performance in Fine Line Features' "The Sex Monster." Other jury award winners: "Head On" (foreign narrative feature); "Hit and Runway" (screenwriting, Jaffe Cohen); and "The Most Unknowable Thing" (documentary feature).


Digital Tarzan Swings Into L.A. Area: Burbank's AMC Media Center North 6 and Irvine's Edwards 21 Cinemas at Irvine Spectrum have been selected as two of three theaters in the United States to present two weeks of digital screenings of Walt Disney's animated feature "Tarzan." According to a Disney executive, "Tarzan" is the first major studio film shot, processed and projected digitally; the technology provides a sharper, clearer image with more brilliant color. The digital "Tarzan" will also be screened at Orlando, Fla.,'s Disney World. The film opens today in all three locations.


Univision Grows: The Spanish-language Univision television network saw its audience grow faster than any other network in the nation during the 1998-99 season, according to figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research, which tracks TV viewing. The network's average prime-time audience jumped by nearly 600,000 in the key 18-34 and 18-49 demographics alone, solidifying its place as the fifth-largest network in the U.S. and giving it three times as many viewers overall as cable giant CNN, regardless of language preference. The network got a big boost during the May sweeps, when Univision stations in Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Fresno and Bakersfield drew the largest 18-34 audience of all stations in their respective markets. In Los Angeles, network flagship KMEX-TV had higher ratings across all parts of the day than any other station in the 18-34 and 18-49 demographic, the first time a Spanish-language station has accomplished that feat.


Actress Sharon Gless and her husband, producer Barney Rozenzweig ("Cagney & Lacey"), will be interviewed by arts journalist Barbara Isenberg at 11 a.m. Sunday at Skirball Cultural Center. . . Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, an undeclared Los Angeles mayoral candidate, will guest-host a discussion of community issues at 7 p.m. Sunday on KRLA-AM (1110). . . Leonard Nimoy serves as narrator for a new feature-length documentary, "The Story of Computer Graphics," to premiere at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Shrine Auditorium as part of the ACM SIGGRAPH 99 conference. It is free to the public after conference attendees have been accommodated.

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