Pics get Institutionalized
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale's eighth-annual Student Photography Show offers enough visual creativity to keep even the most verbose orator tongue-tied. With 60 student pieces showcasing traditional and digital photography in photojournalism, commercial, portrait, and fine art genres, it's miles past the shaky shots you've been taking with your Kodak Funsaver. Judges from the American Society of Media Photographers will look to award the next Ansel Adams with cash prizes for creativity, technical execution, and original concept. The exhibit runs from November 29 through January 3 at AIFL's Mark K. Wheeler Gallery (1799 SE 17th St. Cswy., Fort Lauderdale). Admission is free. Call 954-463-3000, or visit www.aifl.edu. -- Paul Leone
Exhibit from the East
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In these times of quiet desperation for free thinkers, blue states and blue people must look elsewhere for inspiration and hope. Elsewhere meaning a continent away. The Norton Museum of Art (1451 S Olive Ave., West Palm Beach) is hosting 12 large-scale color photographs that document a performance by one of China's preeminent contemporary artists, Zhang Huan. Let's elaborate: Huan covered his body with bird seed, proceeded to enter a cage constructed of wood and chicken wire, and then, as the music of another contemporary auteur, Wang Guotong, played, 28 doves were slowly released into the cage. Did we mention the leafless maple tree? Clearly, words are limited. Hopefully, this exhibit of art documenting art can help ease you blue folks' despair. See? Good things can come out of red states. The exhibit is open through February 20. Admission costs $8 for adults. Call 561-832-5196, or visit www.norton.org. -- Alex Garcia
Cavemen Are My Weakness
If you get turned on by the name Johnny Damon (and who doesn't?), check out the silent auction of "Artistic Bats" at the Art of Life Gallery (11320 Fortune Cir., Ste. G-11, West Palm Beach). Some of the 50 or so baseball bats on display have been painted by local and national artists. Others have been signed by pro ball players, like Sean Casey of the Cincinnati Reds and Rheal Cormier of the Phillies. While you're browsing, pick up a World Series baseball autographed by JD 18 himself, the World Series-winning Red Sox's caveman turned grand slam blaster. The event, which runs through December 14, is a fundraiser for the Wellington 12-and-under Little League team, which is headed on a field trip to Cooperstown to check out the Baseball Hall of Fame. You don't want those munchkins to hitchhike, now do you? Call 561-793-8888, or visit www.artoflifegallery.com. -- Deirdra Funcheon Mike Gorman