It may require more intellectual energy than staying in and watching Edward Penishands on DVD, but there is something exhilarating about viewing a six-foot, blue, ceramic penis while enjoying a pig in a blanket and a cocktail. Of course, eroticism and art have gone hand in gland since the ancient Greeks adorned pottery with images of chiseled men giving one another the old in and out -- and the public debate about art versus pornography has lasted just as long. Over the years, the line separating the two has wavered to and fro like a hillbilly with a mind full of moonshine.
Now, remove your hand from the mouse and slowly step away from the high-speed Internet connection and bottle of Lubriderm. Then, join the debate at Dude's Bar (3270 NE 33rd St., Fort Lauderdale) when ArtsUnited ushers in the next generation of artists who are pushing the boundaries of their craft at the first erotic art showcase Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit is guaranteed to keep your, uh, firm attention. A $5 donation to ArtsUnited -- an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization founded in 1999 to support and showcase local gay and lesbian artists -- gets you complimentary hors d'oeuvres and two-for-one drinks. Admission is restricted to those 21 and over. Call 954-530-2723 or visit www.artsunitedonline.org. -- Paul A. Leone
Gobs of Gifts
And lots of art too
If the Afrocentric paintings and ceramics of artists like Anthony Burks and Elliot Hubbard haven't already lured you into Expressive Vibes Art Gallery (524 24th St., West Palm Beach), Saturday is your chance to prove it was simply an oversight, not your lack of good taste. From noon to 7 p.m., the gallery hosts its first Zawadi event, featuring the handcrafted works of Barbara Cheives, S.T. Corrigan, Carla Davis, Daphne Dowell, and more. Swahili for gifts, Zawadi includes acrylic paintings, silkscreens, ceramics, jewelry, and assorted holiday ornaments as well as raffles and music all day long. You can get a head start on your holiday shopping, chat with the artists, or simply bone up on your artistic and cultural knowledge. It's free. Call 561-832-3580. -- Jason Budjinski