Secondhand Roses

Clothes make the men

FRI 10/8

Consider: That gravy-stained tank top, the unhip hot pants, and the balloon dress you never should have bought in the first place might be the stuff of art. At least, that's how Guerra de la Paz looks at it. Guerra de la Paz, which with wonderful serendipity translates as "War of Peace," is a collaboration between Cuban-born artists Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz, who now live in Miami's Little Haiti. That two such singular talents have found each other is the first miracle; the second is what they do with cast-off clothing, creating installations of deep beauty, wit, intelligence, and political savvy. The artists drew inspiration from rag shops near their studio that collected junk clothing for resale in Haiti. Their latest installation, titled "The Four Seasons," at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St., Hollywood), depicts summer, spring, winter, and fall. The artists draw on impressionistic technique and use old clothes, with their still-perceptible ghosts, as their raw material. "We believe that human energy is embodied in these garments, and when they are gathered in large quantities, you really feel their presence," de la Paz has said. Opening reception is at 7 tonight. Call 954-921-3274. -- Gail Shepherd

Write It Out

And the winner is...

SAT 10/9

Once upon a time, gay writers were destined to haunt the margins of the lit biz; small publishers printed 500 copies of your novel and sent it straight to the remainder bin. These days, queers are fording the literary mainstream in droves, scaling the bestseller lists, and scarfing up movie options. And organizations like Lavender Writes are giving new gay scribes a boost. LW began as a small critique group and has evolved into a full-blown, soon-to-be nonprofit. Tonight's Pride, Prose, and Poetry reading celebrates winners of the organization's third-annual contest for gay and lesbian writers from South Florida with a reading at Borders Books and Music (2240 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). The top three entries -- selected from more than 40 -- will also be published in the Independent. Reading begins at 7 p.m. Call 954-993-4025. -- Gail Shepherd

Princess Diaries

And other personal items

SUN 10/10

It's been seven years since the tabloids lost their favorite royal subject to a lethal mix of drinking, driving, and fleeing the paparazzi. Though the gossip rags managed to squeeze plenty of juice out of Princess Diana's short life, there's more to her legacy than what she looked like in a bathing suit. So check out the exhibit "Diana, a Celebration" as it opens today at the Museum of Art (1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Featuring 150 items from the Spencer family's Althorp Estate, the exhibit includes Diana's personal possessions and correspondence, as well as family jewels, heirlooms, and other artifacts the sleaze hounds couldn't get to. The exhibit runs through December 31. Call 954-525-5500. -- Jason Budjinski

DIY Theater

FRI 10/8

Jenny Kuvin wrote the play, wrote the music, and acts as all three characters in Shine, Sista, Shine -- which is about, Kuvin says, "a 25-year-old Jewish poet with writer's block who finds the help of a spirit guide. The interesting part is that her spirit guide was her husband in a past life when she was an African-American blues singer." Kuvin shines at the Cuillo Center for the Arts (201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach) through October 24. Tickets cost $20. Call 561-835-9226. -- Deirdra Funcheon

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