Silent Right

Practicing freedom

THU 7/1 Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the coloring book notion of patriotism swept the nation as Americans slapped "God Bless America" bumper stickers on their cars in an effort to let everyone know they're the good guys. But the freedoms our flag represent seem to elude the "God, guns, and guts" variety of so-called patriots. Not artist Tony Wynn, whose mixed-media exhibit "The Right to Remain Silent" confronts Americans' schizophrenic attitude toward liberty -- the fear of sounding unpatriotic by saying the wrong thing. Some of the pieces feature more abstract, open-ended subjects, like love or denial. Others are more direct political statements, such as Baghdad, which depicts a suitably anonymous figure in front of an American flag, mouth covered by the name of our newest international endeavor. Many of Wynn's pieces sample images of the American flag, like American Goddess, an almost dada-esque painting of a woman with flag pieces in lieu of hair. Again, the figure's mouth is obscured -- testament to how the thing we love most can smother us if misunderstood. "The Right to Remain Silent" runs from July 1 through 15 at the RaZoo Gallery at the Las Olas Arts Center (600 SE Second Ct., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-663-3888. --Jason Budjinski

New Riddims

Ching Chong album release party

SUN 7/4 Ching Chong is the latest reggae mix from Miami-based producer Troy "Troyton" Rami and Black Shadow Records. For years, Rami has fired up his MIDI and dispatched dancehall riddims into the world. Rami hit the big time by producing Sean Paul's "Gimmi the Light." Ching Chong also sounds game, with Red Fox, Elephant Man, Beenie Man, and the sweet-singing Rehka among the voices on its 19 tracks. Some of these artists will be on hand for the Ching Chong album release party at the grand opening of Sexee Sundays at Baja Beach Club (300 SW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Not sexy, but Sexee, an acronym for "Special Exotic Xperiance Each & Every Sunday," a classy weekly club mix of reggae, hip-hop, soca, R&B, and oldies. Doors open at 9 p.m. Call 786-319-1477. --Dave Amber

Patriotic Purchasing

Put your money where the wild things are

SUN 7/4 This Independence Day, celebrate America's greatest attribute -- consumerism! -- at the Fourth of July Photography, Craft, and Jewelry Fair at Flamingo Gardens (3750 S. Flamingo Rd., Davie). This nonprofit wildlife sanctuary and botanical garden has remained unchanged while much of classic SoFla has been bulldozed for condominiums. While you're there, choose from candy-making supplies, flower pens, silver and beaded jewelry, cloth dolls, functional folk art, and wind chimes. Special half-price admission for the park costs $6 and includes the fair and all garden and animal exhibits. Call 954-473-2955. --Terra Sullivan

Life Cut Short

THU 7/1 It's with tragic irony that the cute cartoon animals in Joseph Peragine's Three Small Deaths betray the film's macabre theme of children dying. Made with audio samples from motion pictures, the film is a grim reminder that parents can never know for sure that their kids are safe. The free film shows through August 29 at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth). Call 561-582-0006. --Jason Budjinski

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