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Best Of 2004

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Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment

Best New Museum

After four years of moving about town to display its fascinating, unique cultural exhibits, the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History finally settled down in 2003 with a facility in Delray Beach. Established in 1999, the museum previously presented exhibits that explored the history of such varied topics as Third World cultures, fashion accessories, architecture, furnishings, toys, and just about any other cultural phenomenon with an interesting past. From lighthearted, multimedia exhibits like "The History of the Teddy Bear" to the more political "40 Years of the Barbie Doll" (in celebration of Women's History Month) to an earnest look at "The Removal of Indian Nations," the museum's wide range of subject matter makes for quite an enchanting afternoon -- one you'll not soon forget. A "Negro Baptismal" photography exhibit that opened in February runs through August 8. 2004 exhibits include "Lunchbox History" and "Creativity and Resistance: Marooned Cultures of the Americas." It's more than worth the $5 admission for adults and children over age 13.

Best Radio Show

WLRN-FM (91.3) Sounds of the Caribbean has been a presence on South Florida's airwaves since 1979, when none other than Bob Marley convinced host Clint O'Neil that he could be an important voice of island culture in Miami, a city that could be called the capital of the Caribbean. Until recently, O'Neil's Monday-through-Friday, late-night broadcasts were supplemented with two weekend editions hosted by Kevin "Ital-K" Smith, but Smith's early Sunday and Monday morning shows were replaced with BBC News by station management in October. It's a shame Smith's quick wit and sharp British accent is no longer heard, but O'Neil is still on from 2 to 7 a.m. Sundays, laying down tracks from nearly every tropical genre, from soca to rocksteady and dancehall through Afro-Cuban. Through the Internet, the station reaches listeners worldwide. The show breaks up the canned chatter and carefully calculated playlists that rule the corporately controlled medium of radio today.

Best Group Art Exhibition

The Pissarro dynasty aside, it's not often that you find more than one generation of artistic brilliance in the same family. The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art took advantage of this art-world quirk last year with "The Smiths: Tony, Kiki, Seton," the first exhibition to encompass works by minimalist artist Tony Smith and two of his daughters. Dad was first an architect, then an art patron -- his collection included works by such abstract expressionists as Pollock and Rothko -- and finally an artist himself. The mathematical precision of architecture is prominent in Tony's works, including the huge The Keys to Given! (the title comes from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake), a large, black, steel sculpture you can actually walk through. It's too bad Tony didn't live long enough to see daughters Kiki and Seton hit their stride as artists. Kiki's fascination with the human body is evident in media as diverse as metal sculpture, ink drawing, and mixed media. The Paris-based Seton, in sharp contrast with both father and sister, works in photography, specifically large Cibachrome photographs that are, intentionally, ever-so-slightly out of focus. This beautifully assembled show, including more than 60 works created over the course of half a century, is a bracing reminder of the many ways artistic talent blossoms and flourishes.

Best Group Art Exhibition

The Pissarro dynasty aside, it's not often that you find more than one generation of artistic brilliance in the same family. The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art took advantage of this art-world quirk last year with "The Smiths: Tony, Kiki, Seton," the first exhibition to encompass works by minimalist artist Tony Smith and two of his daughters. Dad was first an architect, then an art patron -- his collection included works by such abstract expressionists as Pollock and Rothko -- and finally an artist himself. The mathematical precision of architecture is prominent in Tony's works, including the huge The Keys to Given! (the title comes from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake), a large, black, steel sculpture you can actually walk through. It's too bad Tony didn't live long enough to see daughters Kiki and Seton hit their stride as artists. Kiki's fascination with the human body is evident in media as diverse as metal sculpture, ink drawing, and mixed media. The Paris-based Seton, in sharp contrast with both father and sister, works in photography, specifically large Cibachrome photographs that are, intentionally, ever-so-slightly out of focus. This beautifully assembled show, including more than 60 works created over the course of half a century, is a bracing reminder of the many ways artistic talent blossoms and flourishes.

Best Artist Best Solo Art Exhibition

For the past five years that she has lived in South Florida, Carol Prusa has been quietly going about her business. And that business is turning out some of the area's most distinctive art. Prusa, who teaches painting at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, specializes in imagery that looks as if it's from some sort of alien anatomy textbook: pale, ethereal forms that suggest both plants and animals, rendered in a near-monochromatic palette that includes such ingredients as gesso, sulfur, graphite, and silver. Fittingly, she studied biocommunication arts and medical illustration at the University of Illinois before going on to earn an MFA in painting with a minor in drawing at Drake University in Iowa. Since arriving in Florida, Prusa has accumulated an impressive array of awards for her work, from the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood and the Boca Raton Museum of Art, most notably. Her solo shows have been at Palm Beach Community College's Eissey campus, Broward Community College's Pembroke Pines campus, and the Coral Springs Art Museum.

Best Solo Art Exhibition "The Sideshow of the Absurd" There are installations, and then there are installations. And then there is Pamela Joseph's take on the art form that people either love or love to hate. Joseph swept into town in February 2003 with "The Sideshow of the Absurd," which converted the first floor of the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood into a series of interconnected installations and supplementary materials such as banners, sketches, and spotlights casting carny come-ons onto the walls. The Colorado-based artist draws on carnival culture and freak shows for her subject matter, which she then transforms into sly commentaries on contemporary American pop culture, usually with a feminist slant tempered with a sense of humor. Many of the "pieces" are interactive, not to mention wired for sound. Even the exhibition's catalog is outrageously over-the-top, a garish volume filled with photographs, drawings, essays, an interview with the artist, and an introduction by artist Larry Rivers, who died not long after contributing to this traveling show. The catalog also includes an interactive CD and a batch of temporary tattoos that play off the show's themes. What better way to celebrate the innate sideshow-like character of South Florida?

Best Artist Best Solo Art Exhibition

For the past five years that she has lived in South Florida, Carol Prusa has been quietly going about her business. And that business is turning out some of the area's most distinctive art. Prusa, who teaches painting at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, specializes in imagery that looks as if it's from some sort of alien anatomy textbook: pale, ethereal forms that suggest both plants and animals, rendered in a near-monochromatic palette that includes such ingredients as gesso, sulfur, graphite, and silver. Fittingly, she studied biocommunication arts and medical illustration at the University of Illinois before going on to earn an MFA in painting with a minor in drawing at Drake University in Iowa. Since arriving in Florida, Prusa has accumulated an impressive array of awards for her work, from the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood and the Boca Raton Museum of Art, most notably. Her solo shows have been at Palm Beach Community College's Eissey campus, Broward Community College's Pembroke Pines campus, and the Coral Springs Art Museum.

Best Solo Art Exhibition "The Sideshow of the Absurd" There are installations, and then there are installations. And then there is Pamela Joseph's take on the art form that people either love or love to hate. Joseph swept into town in February 2003 with "The Sideshow of the Absurd," which converted the first floor of the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood into a series of interconnected installations and supplementary materials such as banners, sketches, and spotlights casting carny come-ons onto the walls. The Colorado-based artist draws on carnival culture and freak shows for her subject matter, which she then transforms into sly commentaries on contemporary American pop culture, usually with a feminist slant tempered with a sense of humor. Many of the "pieces" are interactive, not to mention wired for sound. Even the exhibition's catalog is outrageously over-the-top, a garish volume filled with photographs, drawings, essays, an interview with the artist, and an introduction by artist Larry Rivers, who died not long after contributing to this traveling show. The catalog also includes an interactive CD and a batch of temporary tattoos that play off the show's themes. What better way to celebrate the innate sideshow-like character of South Florida?

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Best New Museum: Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History

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