The notion of the tortured artist has gradually been reduced to a cliché by the scores of crybaby rock stars whining about how they spent all their money on cars, mansions, and all the unnecessary bling they bought to show off on MTV Cribs. It's especially hard to feel bad for rich rock stars and their "problems" when an artist like Melanie Halcomb struggles to cope with the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Halcomb currently paints and has previously performed with Innermotion, the local dance theater company that put together the InnerArt Victory Exhibition to promote the works of abuse survivors. In addition to Halcomb's work, the exhibit features pieces by Ariel Orr Jordan, husband of playwright Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues; artist and award-winning speaker MeloD, from her "Sexual and Domestic Violence" series; paintings by women in prison; interpretive dance pieces from Innermotion performers; and a poetry reading. Indeed, there are still plenty of artists who aren't the source of their own misery. The InnerArt Victory Exhibition opens today with a 6 p.m. reception at the ArtServe J.M. Family Gallery (1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). The exhibit runs through July 22. Call 954-390-7610. --Jason Budjinski
Politically strange bedfellows
An unlikely friendship between a Ku Klux Klan leader and a black female civil rights activist makes for good cinema. So it's only right that the intriguing relationship is on the roster for a film festival that focuses attention on the individuals involved in political and ethnic disputes. An Unlikely Friendship shows at 11 a.m. Sunday at Nova Southeastern's Fort Lauderdale campus (3100 SW Ninth Ave.); it's followed by Unexpected Openings: Northern Ireland's Prisons, on tap for noon. The films are being shown as part of the third-annual Common Ground Film Festival, presented by Nova Southeastern University's Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution and the nonprofit organization Search for Common Ground, which emphasizes cooperative solutions to political disputes. Also as part of the festival, a showing of A Child's Century of War will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Admission is free, though reservations are suggested. Call 954-262-3000, or visit http://shss.nova.edu/events. --Patti Roth
Or just buy some art
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If you've been a little temperamental and need a boost of good karma, here's a quick solution: Attend tonight's Art Show and Auction at Hamilton Fine Art (3601 W. Commercial Blvd., Ste. 9, Fort Lauderdale); the $10 entry fee benefits the Tubten Kunga Center for the Study of Tibetan Buddhism in Deerfield Beach. There'll be plenty of artwork you can buy, such as signed Picassos and Miros, and plenty of Tibetan craftwork, sculpture, jewelry, and more. Or you can just hang out and enjoy some Tibetan cuisine and try your hand at winning a door prize. It would really suck to come back as a toad. The night starts at 6 p.m. Call 561-988-8685. --Jason Budjinski
Sheila Pepe uses rubber bands in her art. Her airy, woven work goes on display today in an exhibition at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth). Pepe also uses crocheted yarn in her expansive, net-like pieces that are combined with wall drawings. Carrie Moyer, another featured artist from New York, makes abstract paintings that feature poured color, political symbols, and pop iconography from the '60s. Call 561-582-0006, or visit www.pbica.org. -- Patti Roth