Labor Party

Sail over to Las Olas for some grade-A art.

Most of us workin' folk hurry home at the end of the day so we can plop down in front of the telly. Relaxing, sure, but it's not for everyone. For those tireless souls we call artists, the end of the 9-to-5 day brings, alas, more work -- albeit a much more creative type of work. And now that Labor Day is upon us, it's time to check out what some of these artists have been working on for the past year -- at the 17th-annual Las Olas Labor Day Weekend Art Fair.

The fair, which includes a juried art show, features the works of nearly 200 artists, mostly from Florida, who were chosen out of hundreds of applicants. So you know there'll be enough artwork available to fill the biggest SUV. Take your pick from countless paintings, photographs, life-sized sculptures, handcrafted jewelry, pottery, ceramics, and digital art -- there's a good chance you'll walk home with a new piece for your living room. And you need not be a millionaire to purchase anything; no need for the Benjamins -- Jackson will suffice. Of course, if you want more than just earrings and ashtrays, you should hit an ATM machine beforehand.

Because this is an art fair -- not a gallery exhibit -- the artists will be present to answer any questions you may have about their work (like: "Would ya trade that nifty panorama of the Last Supper for a like-new '94 Plymouth?"). Some of the South Florida artists featured include Jim Holehouse, Sue Painter, and Beau Tudzarov. Holehouse's untitled water color painting was chosen for this year's art fair poster. With its waterfront imagery and colorful, impressionistic brush strokes, the piece oozes Fort Lauderdale. It was Holehouse's upbringing in Ohio, with its snot-freezing winters, that inspired him to seek refuge in painting palm trees and tropical landscapes -- and eventually inspired him to relocate to South Florida. Also mired by the balmy climate and beach-oriented lifestyle is Sue Painter (go ahead -- get your pun out of the way now). The pottery maker designs what she calls beachware pottery reflecting her Florida-centric outlook. Eschewing the brush and palette for mouse and keyboard, digital artist Beau Tudzarov uses his craft to explore the physicality of different wines. While most wine aficionados care about taste and cost, Tudzarov is intrigued by the look. He examines the substance itself, as well as corkscrews, glasses, and other transparent, image-skewing objects.


The Las Olas Labor Day Weekend Art Fair

Las Olas Boulevard, between SE Sixth and SE 11th avenues

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 4, and Sunday, September 5, Call 954-472-3755

While this may sound like one big stretch of art booths, there's more to the art fair than the swath of visual arts vendors. Topping off the artists' personal collections are more than 50 stylishly adorned rocking chairs created for the "Las Olas Rocks" charitable campaign, which benefits local children's funds. Plus, you'll hear the sounds of Middle Eastern and Caribbean music, courtesy of sitar player Stephen Mikes and steel drummer Doug Walker, respectively. So mosey on by, check out some art, and when the day's finally over, you can go home and veg out in your La-Z-Boy, Homer Simpson-style. -- Jason Budjinski

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