"ArtsUnited Presents ArtExplosion 2005," now on display in the JM Enterprises Family Gallery at ArtServe, is a textbook example of good intentions yielding mostly unfortunate results. Part of the sponsoring group's stated mission is "to use the arts to break down historical barriers preventing lesbians and gays from contributing fully and openly to the cultural, social, and economic success of South Florida." So far, so good. And the show, at least in theory, is a resounding affirmation of the diversity of its members' art: more than 150 works in a variety of media and with equally varied subjects. No apparent theme, but again, no problem -- group exhibitions are often loosely linked. Judged strictly on its merits, however, the exhibition is something of a mess. The art looks and feels as if someone hastily threw it together on the way to dinner. The text panels for some works are hand-scrawled, and there's no introduction to the show, either posted at the entrance or available as a simple handout. Still, there are pieces worth ferreting out: Robert Felthaus' acrylics of dancers and divers that recall Matisse; Oscar Caballero's creepy/funny mixed-media sculpture Female SJB on Her Dune; Tina Hixson's dreamy acrylic of a Himalayan landscape; a pair of big, dramatic New York and London cityscapes in oil by Richard Poklop; and moody, abstract acrylics by Shirley Tiano and Jarrett Terrill. Not surprisingly, there's plenty of beefcake imagery, most of it mundane, which makes the work of an old pro like Dennis Dean seem glaringly out of place. ArtsUnited has admirable aims and a wealth of talent to work with, but unless its exhibitions are curated with greater care than this one, it does its member artists a great disservice. (Through April 15 at ArtServe, JM Enterprises Family Gallery, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-462-9191.)

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