When Mimi Botscheller took her first job at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale -- working as a clerk at the student store -- the school wasn't much more than a few rooms in a Holiday Inn. That was 1974. By the time the institute had moved to its current location (1799 SE 17th St. Cswy., Fort Lauderdale), she had taken on a new position -- teacher. And after receiving a master's degree in fine arts last December, Botscheller turned her thesis into the mixed-media exhibit "Connectivity: Embedded Solutions."
"I've found that everything has some inner connection that I need to put in concrete form," Botscheller says. "I like to tie things together that are usually very opposite in nature."
Such opposites include highway maps and medicinal herbs, fused together in pieces like Knotweed and Liveforever. "I printed out maps of highways," she says, "and noticed that they looked like medicinal herb structures." Painting onto digital prints of the maps, Botscheller intuitively placed the herbs where the moment dictated, not allowing her left brain to impede the creative flow. For Botscheller, it's the message, not the medium.
Were Frank Sinatra not crooning to the white-winged bobby-soxers up in heaven (a huge assumption, we know), he would be celebrating his 90th birthday this December. And who better to create a celebratory exhibit than Charles Pignone, the Sinatra family archivist? Pignone's "The Art of Old Blue Eyes" honors the Rat Packer through rare and previously unreleased photographs, as well as original album artwork by Joe Petruccio. Pignone himself is on hand this weekend to answer all those burning questions you have, such as was Sinatra really buried with a bottle of Jack Daniel's, and exactly how many wives did he have? The exhibit opens Saturday and runs through July 31 at American Royal Arts (808A E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-767-0117. -- Jason Budjinski