Home Sweet Home

SUN 9/14

Are you tired of predictable art exhibits? Tired of staring at a piece of white paper with a black line for at least half an hour, only to realize that you don't understand it and that you're hungry? The upcoming Roberto Juarez exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Joan Lehman Bldg., 770 NE 125th St., North Miami) wants to reel you back into the vast and remarkable world of contemporary art with a simple theme: home. Juarez creates complex intellectual scenarios with easily identifiable real-world significance in an exhibition titled "Roberto Juarez: A Sense of Place." The exhibition features a series of more than 35 mostly large-scale paintings as an artistic timeline. The works illustrate how the artist's outlook and aesthetic has changed while working in decidedly different markets such as New York City, Miami Beach, and Rome and how the city one lives in affects so many aspects of one's self. "Sense of Place" highlights the different types of personal alterations that are brought about by change in location and the feelings about people, places, and art. Juarez is able to document both the external change that is thrust upon you by new surroundings and the much more complicated interior metamorphosis that takes place when the fabric of one's inner self is altered. Juarez's past experiences, pleasures, and pains blend with fresh stimuli and eventually produce a new sense of self.

Juarez, who was born in Chicago in 1952, is a case study like no other. His paintings, as they evolve from year to year, city to city, visually evoke a certain understanding and emotion in the viewer that 1,000 words could never achieve. Leave your home behind for a night and stop by MoCA for a preview from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Otherwise, the exhibition officially commences on Sunday, September 14, and opens at noon with a talk with Juarez himself. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students with ID. Call 305-893-6211. -- Alexis Berkowitz

FRI 9/12

Brownie at 100

Kodak Kicks It Old School

In 1898, George Eastman asked Frank Brownell, his camera designer and manufacturer, to come up with the least expensive camera possible. Eastman realized that if the cost of a camera could be reduced, more people, especially children, might take up photography. Brownell came up with the Brownie Camera, which was launched in 1900, at the bargain price of $1. The early 1900 advertisement for Kodak's Brownie states that it's so easy to use, it is "easily operated by any school boy or girl." Indeed, a look at the camera now is laughable, compared to new-fangled digital contraptions. But the Flagler Museum (1 Whitehall Way, Palm Beach) believes good ol' Brownie deserves its own exhibit. "The Brownie at 100" explores the influence of the Brownie through ads, early orders for the camera, and illustrations of the manufacturing. It also features 75 Brownie cameras. The exhibit runs through November 30 and is a must for any photography buff, or at least anyone who remembers the good old days ("When I was your age, film took nine hours to develop -- and we liked it!"). Call 561-655-2833. -- Audra Schroeder

FRI 9/12

School's In

FAU's faculty flaunts its art

Time to roll out the red carpet, or perhaps the red canvas, and see what your teachers are up to. FAU's "Biennial Faculty Exhibition" presents works from more than 20 full-time and visiting faculty members from Boca, Jupiter, and Broward campuses in areas such as painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, architecture, and graphic design. Carol Prusa, associate professor of painting and one of the featured artists, has even been awarded one of three 2003 Researcher of the Year awards by FAU, and Tammy Knipp was nominated for the 2003 Rockefeller Foundation New Media Fellowship. Other artists featured include Blane de St. Croix, Stephanie Cunningham, Robert Watson, John McCoy, and Amy Broderick. The exhibition can be found in the Schmidt Center Gallery, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. The opening reception takes place at 7 p.m. Friday. Admission is free. Call 561-297-2966. -- Audra Schroeder

THU 9/11

Drink o' the Month

Smoking and drinking: two halves of the equation. Without both, you have only a half, an incomplete, an x factor without the variables needed to solve the equation. Perhaps the authors of the Florida smoking ban realized this on some level -- after all, they made it OK to light up at bars that make less than 10 percent of their profits from food sales. But for places with a large bar crowd and a kitchen, the effect is disastrous on many levels. The folks at Cathode Ray (1307 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) may have found a solution, though. And it doesn't involve closing down the kitchen. Instead, soak tobacco leaves in vodka (similar to the process discussed in last month's DotM on fusion martinis), let sit overnight, blend in a few other liquors to cut that "chewing tobacco" taste, and you've got yourself a nicotini! Now you never need to step outside into the sweltering humidity to suck down that butt. Blacken your stomach instead of your lungs! Call 954-462-8611. -- Dan Sweeney

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