While folks may not always agree with what Robert Hughes has to say about art, the Time magazine art critic and creator-host of the PBS documentary series American Visions has certainly earned the right to say it. Born in Australia in 1938, Hughes moved to the U.S. in 1970 and has been at Time for more than 25 years. His widely praised books include The Shock of the New (1981), The Culture of Complaint (1995), a collection of reviews titled Nothing If Not Critical (1990), and American Visions, the companion to his PBS series documenting the history of American art. Hughes spouts off about the state of modern art during an 8 p.m. talk today as part of the Critics Lecture Series conducted by the Art Museum at Florida International University. The lecture is in the Athenaeum building, Room 100, on FIU's University Park Campus (SW 107th Avenue and SW 8th Street, Miami). Admission is free. Call 305-348-2890.
If you had to break the piggy bank for that wall-sized Led Zeppelin poster back in the Seventies, prices at this weekend's International Vintage Poster Fair in Boca Raton will be a reality check. Considered "art" by some, the glorified advertisements by the likes of Warhol, Toulouse-Lautrec, and other prominent artists range in price from $50 to $75,000. As with most collectibles, the passage of time means pumped-up prices. And poster and handbill art has been collected since the turn of the century, when European art lovers realized that beautiful lithograph prints promoting everything from movies to political causes were not only art but slices of history. The fair runs today through Sunday at Florida Atlantic University's Live Oak Pavilion, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. Admission for tonight's 5 to 9 p.m. preview is $20 (good for all three days). Regular hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily admission is $10 (two-day admission, $15). Call 561-997-0084.
They're a monkey delicacy, but hopefully kids won't be munching on the specimens they collect during Big on Bugs, the next installment of the twice-monthly SciArt Adventures series at the historic Bonnet House (900 N. Birch Rd., Fort Lauderdale). "The monkeys love the spittlebugs," Lisa Bova, the Bonnet House's education director says of the primates who roam the grounds of the historic mansion, which is open for tours and used for arts, entertainment, and educational events. During the SciArt program, children age seven to twelve will search the various habitats -- from manicured shrubbery to mangrove swamp -- for butterflies, spiders, water striders, dragonflies, the occasional cicada, and, of course, delicious spittlebugs. Back in the nature center lab, collections will be examined under the microscope, and junior entomologists will choose one bug to mount and take home. The session -- which runs from 10 a.m. to noon -- costs $10. Registration is required. Call 954-563-5393.
The musical group Ween is, well... eclectic. Consider the album titles The Live Brain Wedgie (1988) and Chocolate and Cheese (1994), which, in particular, reflects Ween's often perverse cross-pollination of musical styles. Delicious on their own, the songs as whole make for a strange-sounding combination. The "brothers" Ween -- Dean and Gene -- are actually just friends who formed the group in Pennsylvania in the late Eighties. Their latest release, The Mollusk (1997), keeps the genre-bending tradition alive. It opens with the campy, show-tune sound of "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight", and indulges in art-rock dabbling ("The Golden Eel"), pop-rock balladry ("It's Gonna Be [Alright])", pop-polka ("Polka Dot Tail"), and sampled dog barks and burps ("Pink Eye [On My Leg]"). Ween plays tonight at Button South, 100 Ansin Blvd., Hallandale. Tickets cost $12. Doors open at 6 p.m. Call 954-454-3301.
There's history, and then there's history. Since 1995 David Zinman has been music director and conductor of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, a group first formed in 1868 with just 33 musicians. The number today is 97, and the orchestra is considered one of Europe's most prestigious. Zinman, an American who has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and numerous major U.S. orchestras, is joined on this tour by the talented virtuoso pianist Yefim Bronfman, a Russian-born Israeli emigre. The program includes Richard Wagner's "Prelude" and "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto no. 3 in C, Op. 26, and Dvoraks Symphony no. 8 in G Major, Op. 88. The orchestra performs those selections today at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) and a slightly different repertoire Tuesday at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami). Tickets range in cost from $20 to $70. Both shows take place at 8 p.m. Call 954-523-6116 or 305-532-3491.