The Winner Was Huh?

The good and the so-so. The Boca Museum takes its pick.

In years past, I have complained that the All Florida was too selective -- the 50th installment, for instance, included only 16 artists. That's certainly not the case with the 54th, in which breadth is a strength. But the exhibition also feels curiously crowded. Some of the wall-mounted pieces are vertically stacked, so that many works are well above eye level. Even the freestanding works could use more breathing room. And once again, the overwhelming majority of the artists are from the tricounty area, raising the question of whether the exhibition should be renamed South Florida instead of All Florida.

The choked, claustrophobic feel of the All Florida could have easily been avoided by giving the exhibition the adjacent space that instead goes to the "Florida Artist Group Juried Members Exhibition," which includes nearly three dozen works by members of this nonprofit organization of professionals. As put together by juror Kristen Hileman, an assistant curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., it's an innocuous little show that, except for Julia Hyman's brazenly phallic interpretation of a Bosc Pear in gray marble, is handily eclipsed by the All Florida, clutter notwithstanding.

It's a tricounty artfest. Why not call it the South Florida?  The Happy Hour by Kristen Thiele.
It's a tricounty artfest. Why not call it the South Florida? The Happy Hour by Kristen Thiele.
Airborne by Miles Laventhall.
Airborne by Miles Laventhall.


Through August 28. Call 561-392-2500.
Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park, Boca Raton

It's not uncommon for the Boca Museum to package the All Florida with a complementary juried exhibition -- every two years, the museum's Artist Guild gets the second slot. This year, however, both shows get short shrift.

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