Good news for everyone who was busy taking care of his flu-infested family members during the 2003 Art Basel festivities: Art Miami has arrived. This is the 14th year of one of Miami's most vibrant cultural experiences. Art Miami is an extensive, multigallery exposition of contemporary and modern art with 120 galleries displaying artwork from 22 countries. Whether you are a collector, curator, or simply a self-proclaimed connoisseur, Art Miami is a virtual mecca for art buffs. This year features a revamped exhibition space, larger booths, and a captivating assortment of "project spaces" allowing for unique installations and stand-alone pieces (last year's installation sculpture of a family of five facedown on the ground was particularly disturbing -- but hey, it gets your attention, right?). The "Currents" exhibition space has been redesigned to introduce a revolving cult of extraordinary artists younger than 35, and a focal point of the Art Miami event continues to be Latin American and Spanish art with nations such as Colombia, Spain, and Argentina being represented for the first time in Art Miami history. The upcoming affair has also been trimmed down from the 165 galleries represented in 2003 to sharpen the focus and improve the overall quality of content for 2004. One of the most anticipated projects this year is an interactive multimedia exploration of Western society's fear of Islamic culture titled "Oasis," presented by COFA/ Claire Oliver Fine Art, which features a carpeted Bedouin tent for patrons to relax in. A display of glass works titled "Games and Toys," featuring Latin American and American glass sculpture, is also featured this year, and several lectures are scheduled, including a discussion on collecting contemporary Latin American art and an exploration of the rising value of photography. Art Miami 2004 takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach) from January 8 to 11. General admission is $12. The cost is $9 for students and seniors; children 12 and younger are admitted free. Call 305-447-1224, or visit www.art-miami.com. -- Alexis Berkowitz
Strangers in a Strange Land
Most people think of predominantly Jewish communities as being mainly a North American, European, and, natch, Israeli phenomenon. But the Diaspora has put a little bit of Jewishness in every inhabitable (read: except Antarctica) continent on Earth. One needs no more proof of this than "El Viaje -- The Jewish Journey to a New America," the new exhibit at the Nathan D. Rosen Museum Gallery (Adolph and Rose Levis Jewish Community Center, 9801 Donna Klein Blvd., Boca Raton) opening Sunday. The exhibit includes stories, recollections, photographs, and personal items from 18 Jewish artists and poets who emigrated to Latin America and left an indelible mark on their adopted culture.
Along with the exhibit itself, the reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday features Latin food and a tango demonstration, plus a lecture by Marcia Zerivitz, founding executive director of the Jewish Museum of Florida, which first hosted the exhibit. Upcoming related events include a screening of the movie Cuba Mia on January 13 and a concert by storyteller and clarinetist Bess de Farber on February 1. Admission to the museum is free, the movie costs $10, and the concert costs $12. Call 561-852-3285. -- Dan Sweeney
Art for Teacher
Because teachers need criticism too
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Usually faculty shows get a bad rap; they're uncomfortably pretentious, unforgivably boring, or just plain lame. But where would you be without your teachers? They have artistic needs too! They're not just emotionless robots standing in front of the class spouting off about Matisse and Degas and that time they posed nude in college for money. So, Broward Community College's annual faculty show, "Changing Subjects," is a bit different. In addition to faculty art, the show features work from BCC Central's resident artists, including LaMonte Anderson, John Foster, Leo Stitsky, Catherine Leisek, and Teresa Diehl, showcasing their latest creations in the fields of painting, sculpture, and photography. Check out the exhibit at the Broward Community College Art Gallery (3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie) through February 6. Opening reception takes place on January 16 with a lecture by Teresa Diehl. Call 954-201-6984. -- Audra Schroeder
Besides having the best facial moisturizer on the planet (and that would be the Marshmallow Vanishing Creme with Mango Butter), Burt's Bees is also known for producing all-natural, eco-friendly facial, skin, and hair products. The story of Burt and his bees started in the rolling hills of Maine, where he caught a swarm of the critters and started bottling honey. Soon, his beekeeper lifestyle took him from honey to lip balm, and the rest is history. Now, you can find out what the buzz is all about with a free facial and skin-care consultation at Wild Oats, 2501 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. From noon to 4 p.m., you can sample a variety of Burt's Bees products, learn what skin type you have, and find out what natural ingredients like mint, tomato, carrot seed, parsley, and, of course, honey can do for your skin. Call 954-566-9333. And on Sunday, you can do the same at Wild Oats (7735 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach) at noon. Call 561-585-8800. -- Audra Schroeder