Tourists and cameras. They go together like hairy Europeans and teeny man-bikinis. But it wasn't always so.
Once upon a time, pirates could describe the beauty of French Polynesia to their families in England only by sketching a picture. Pioneers who settled along the California coast could explain the concept of beaches to loved ones in Des Moines only by pony-expressing a letter. But the advent of photography revved up everyone's wanderlust. Soon enough, National Geographic had all of us salivating over far-flung places, and now we spend half our workdays looking up plane fares on Orbitz.
"Site Seeing," a new exhibit at the Norton Museum of Art (1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach), examines how travel imagery has changed since the mid-1800s and how it's changed us. It includes films from 1895 that show a train arriving at a station and waves crashing onto a shore. These will be projected as they were originally -- on a white sheet. Family albums, home movies, and amateur slide shows will be on display, as will early travel publications, old postcards, and View-Masters. Before leaving, take your picture in an on-site photo booth. The exhibit opens Saturday and runs through September 4. Call 561-832-5196, or visit www.norton.org. -- Deirdra Funcheon
But these ads would probably go over in Europe
Even in the dull world of office supplies, Post-its rank right up there at the top of the snooze-factor pyramid. But picture this full-page magazine ad for the little sticky notes. An attractive couple is asleep in bed spooning. A Post-it that reads AMY, stuck to the woman's arm, is in clear sight for when the guy wakes up. The ad tag line says "for life's little reminders." Cool. Funny. Remember your lover du jour's name. Even though it's not a real ad, it's a perfect one that comes not from a tony Madison Avenue agency but from a previous year's "Tacky's" exhibit, the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale's annual spoof of the advertising industry. "Tacky's" takes real ad slogans and then processes them through the institute's twisted minds. Check out this year's 50 or so schoolwide entries -- from film, culinary, and fashion departments as well as advertising -- on display until June 10 at the institute's Mark K. Wheeler Gallery (1799 SE 17th St. Cswy., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-308-2109. -- Dave Amber
Art of the State
Florida blossoms at Cornell
The fat has been cut from the 400-plus paintings, sculptures, photographs, and mixed-media collages entered in this year's "All Florida Exhibit." All that remains are 75 of the state's most inspired artworks (of those entered, anyway). These include anything from an alien in an arcade (Jamie Morhaim's mixed-media The Encounter) to solemn, expressionist portraits (David Deutsch's Going Home), as well as colorful, trippy exercises in abstractionism (Eleanor Shane's Landscape I). The exhibit opens Thursday and runs through August 27 at the Cornell Museum of Art and History (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). Awards are presented on June 9, meaning lots of cold cash for the winners (more than $3,800 total). Call 561-243-7922. -- Jason Budjinski
Focused on the Kids
Every year, the Palm Beach Photographic Centre (55 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach) holds a juried exhibit for its membership group, Infocus. The goal? To support programs for at-risk children. This year's exhibit is juried by George DeWolfe, an accomplished photographer who studied with the likes of Ansel Adams. He knows what he's doing. The exhibit opens Friday and runs through August 6. Call 561-276-9767. -- Jason Budjinski