The just-opened Studio 19 is in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it location. The little gallery has just 420 square feet right in the middle of the strip of shops around the block from the Gateway area's namesake theater. That also makes it an ideal spot for passing a few extra minutes before a film or for discussing the finer points of what you've just seen. Owner-manager Dorina Ferretti, a veteran of the Las Olas gallery scene who says her shop is the first fine arts gallery in the neighborhood, focuses on a small, diverse selection of original work by a dozen or so artists. Some of it's topnotch. Her current inventory, for instance, includes untitled oils by three of Florida's renowned Highwaymen, Kelvin Hair and brothers Jimmy and Jonny Stovall. A handful of oils and a watercolor by Boca Raton-based Patricia Boyd showcase the native Argentinean's latter-day take on impressionism, peaking with the soft pastels and feathery brushwork of Feeding Coco, a farmyard glimpse of a woman and girl scattering grain for the chicken of the title. And Harry McCormick's Two Ladies in a Cafe, a small oil on board, is one of the finest examples of casual realism Artbeat has run across lately. Ferretti bends her originals-only rule to include the hand-embellished, limited-edition giclées of Antonio Tamburro, and rightly so -- the Italian artist has an uncanny feel for sleek scenes of urban sophisticates that are rich with narrative possibilities. The gallery also offers acrylic-on-paper miniatures by Radhika, a Ukrainian; colorful mixed-media pieces by Nigerian Ben Oyadiran, who extends the imagery into his carved mahogany frames; and a variety of craft items, including jewelry, pottery, hand-dyed clothing, and sushi sets by the Brazilian Rosa Maria Piati that are almost too beautiful to be used. (Studio 19 Fine Art & International Design is at 933 NE 19th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-764-0055.) -- Michael Mills
NOW ON DISPLAY
"Raíces Encontradas," a group show at Gallery Six in the Broward County Main Library that includes just over three dozen pieces by ten artists, pays little more than lip service to Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15). Some of the work is quite good: the highly accomplished realism of Diana Alcaraz de Negrón and María Teresa Mesa, the bronze-and-wood sculptures of Luis Eduardo García Contreras, and the mixed-media pieces of Carlos José Tirado-Yepes. Unfortunately, few of the artists address, in any significant way, what it means to be Hispanic in America or in South Florida today. The show wants to celebrate the artists' Hispanic heritage without establishing a context for (or even a definition of) that heritage. A second show, "Celebration of Hispanic Heritage," which just ended at ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale, suffered from a similar schizophrenia. (Through October 16 at Gallery Six, Broward County Main Library, Sixth Floor, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-357-7444.)
Adhesive 44: Fulfilling art writer John Berger's prediction that museums of the future would ultimately disappear and be replaced by personal arrangements of reproductions and printed ephemera, Brazilian artist Jac Leirner unpacks her decalcomania at the Miami Art Museum. Composed of hundreds of stickers adhered to two rows of windowpanes and extending some 40 feet in length, Adhesive 44 exposes a universe of archetypal images that flicker in the mind's eye like constellations. This work speaks to the obsession with brands and logos by which humans organize themselves into groups and tribes. (Through October 10 at the Miami Art Museum, 100 W. Flagler St., Miami, 305-375-3000.)
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