From the polo fields of Wellington to the horse-friendly McDonald's in Davie to the backstretch at Gulfstream, South Florida has got to be the equestrian capital of the United States. Of course, states like Montana have some horse history of their own, and, for now, Montana residents like Deborah Butterfield don't even have to worry about condos eating up all their open space. The equestrian/artist, who's often busy tending to the 12 horses on her ranch, bolsters the Sunshine State's field with 12 sculptural counterparts in "Deborah Butterfield: Horses" at the Norton Museum of Art (1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach).
Butterfield uses a variety of materials to create her lifelike sculptures. The horses are made mostly of bronze and steel, but all manner of found objects often find their way into the four-legged figures. And find is the operative word here; even the found steel pieces in sculptures like Ferdinand and Palma are assembled in original form. Butterfield employs the help of some 20 individuals, taking as long as three months to cast a single horse. Keep that in mind in case you get the urge to mount one of the sculptures. "Deborah Butterfield: Horses" opens Saturday and runs through December 11. Call 561-832-5196, or visit www.norton.org. -- Jason Budjinski
Plakcy cracks the code
So, what did your college professor do over the summer break? Well, one Broward Community College professor, Neil Plakcy, put the finishing touches on Mahu, his very own gay mystery novel. Mahu tells the story of Kimo Kanapa'aka, a chiseled, mixed-race surfer/police detective living in Honolulu. While solving crimes in the mucho-macho world of Hawaiian cops, Kanapa'aka is forced to confront his own homosexuality. While mahu is a negative term for gays in Hawaii, Plakcy uses it to lure readers in to one of the few gay detective stories out there (Magnum P.I. doesn't count). Get an earful Saturday when Plakcy reads from Mahu at Borders Books and Music (2240 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). The reading starts at 8 p.m. Call 954-566-6335. -- Terra Sullivan