Best Street Artist 2015 | Evoca1, AKA Elio Mercado | Arts & Entertainment | South Florida

Dominican-born and South Florida-based Elio Mercado, AKA Evoca1, paints walls with such elegance, it's safe to call it fine art. His figurative paintings often feature animals and individuals with such fine and stunning details that each piece tells a story rich in depth and soul. Intricate details are mixed with airy swaths of color that add an ethereal feel. He's a self-taught artist — he grew up in Hollywood — but has honed his craft well enough to get hired for projects by big brands including American Express and the J Dilla Foundation; he's also worked in London and Mexico. And it's not just the street art that's rad; his studio drawings are also impressive.

West Palm Beach-based photographer and surfer Tony Arruza has mad shutter skills. His surfing and travel shots are not only magical but capture the mood and exquisite details of the scene, offering powerful storytelling that shows why you and your iPhone will never be able to outdo the pros. His photography has been published in heavyweight glossy magazines such as Outside, Surfing, and Travel & Leisure. Aside from his shutterbug dexterity, his Surfboard Art Project — in which he brought together craftsmen and imagery to have 15 custom-made boards created that were embellished with beautiful scenes he shot over the years — is just another example of his killer style.

Two years ago, we had no idea who this guy was, and then, suddenly, Sri Prabha is everywhere: Art and Culture Center, ArtServe, FAT Village, spaces in Miami — showing his mixed-media science and otherworldly inspired works. His "Orbiting Cathedrals" show at the Young at Art Museum incorporated kinetic imagery and sound, 10,000 slides, an interactive installation, and video projections that take viewers on a trip through a multifaceted experience of science colliding with design. He truly knows how to craft a multimedia experience that is on-point and thought-provoking and, most of all, fun!

Readers' Choice: Adam Sheetz

Don't be a sucker for any scammy modeling agencies that require you to pay money to be considered or to hire their photographer to have your headshots done. Talent Direct is a legit agency, with clients that include Corona and HBO. It has placed people as main characters and extras on Burn Notice, Graceland, and other TV shows and films. If you are looking to pick up extra money and/or if you are interested in acting, or barely acting, or simply enjoy being around some film stars, check out its page and maybe you will find your way into show business.

So you can't muster the motivation to pursue a better job, or you can't get over lingering thoughts of your ex. This doesn't necessarily mean you have depression or a mental health condition — more like a low-level malaise or a nagging self-doubt. Who ya gonna call? Well, first you'll call your mom and best friend and whine for a few weeks, but when you're actually ready to take action to improve your life, try Jen. With Stifler's-mom-level sex appeal and Zig Ziglar-level mantras spilling out of her mouth, this feisty, funny, and friendly high achiever will help you "get clear" on how you must move forward. Chances are, whatever problem you're facing, she's dealt with something similar: She worked on Wall Street, tried her hand as an actress, married and divorced a millionaire, and had a kid before finding her calling as a coach. She now teaches a group class called the "Creative Insight Journey" ($575 for eight weeks), which was developed at Stanford University. She's also started a retreat company, hosted a radio show, and written a book — which she can also help you do, with her "Book Proposal Accountability Course." But the real trick? Connecting like-minded souls who come together as classmates. It's highly likely you'll come through this uplifting experience with a few cool friends to support the brand-new you.

One might assume that antique books or historical letters are collected entirely by museums and libraries, but there is a small cottage industry of people who collect and trade these treasures. Little Sages, run by Kara Accettola, collects and sells private papers, old texts, historical notes written on napkins, and offbeat pieces and matches them to collectors who will love and appreciate them appropriately. It's not the most common service, but if one is in dire need of rare books or papers, check out Little Sages.

Courtesy of Gulfstream Park

First, scaffolding started to go up. Then a dark figure began to take shape. The people of Hallandale whispered, "What is it?" It was a beast. An ancient, mythical beast. For some reason, the owner of Gulfstream Park decided to have a 110-foot-tall bronze Pegasus erected on his property. The winged horse playing with a dragon amid water fountains, which cost $30 million to build, will resonate with you — maybe in a good way, maybe in a "WTF!!??" way. Obviously, the only way to mentally process this is with a selfie.

The worst happy-hour scheme ever created is when the discount is only on a specific beer — usually the worst domestic brew on hand. But at this nascent burger and beer joint, the happy-hour special offers all beers, including a long list of local craft brews, for a mere $4. And it doesn't skimp on time either, with the happy hour lasting between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, which makes it way too easy to get buzzed during lunch and drunk after work. Well drinks and house wine go for $5. And when your stomach is aching for something solid after all those cheap drinks, a full menu is available with delicious comfort food, including a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped hot dog served on a baguette.

Readers' Choice: Bull Market

It's not every day you find a mayoral candidate mixing your Jack and Cokes. But if you sidle up to the bar top at Oakland Park's Big Dog Station when Chris Brennan is pouring the drinks, you'll be in the presence of a Broward political mover and shaker. The Fort Lauderdale-born and -bred Brennan, a former park ranger, first made a splash when he lost his gig as a water-taxi driver after speaking out in opposition to Marina Lofts, the downtown Fort Lauderdale development that threatens a 90-year-old tree. Brennan later launched a quixotic and gonzo bid for Jack Seiler's seat in City Hall. "I hate to admit this, but I know I am going to lose," the friendly candidate told New Times shortly before the election. But as long-shot as his campaign was, it gave voice to a slice of Fort Lauderdale that usually gets overshadowed by men in suits. He fought the good fight. Tell him so next time you're ordering that Miller Lite.

Readers' Choice: Lisa Radwan, Village Pub Wilton Manors

Boring holes in the walls whose big promotion is five-buck Miller Lite pitchers are dying a slow, yet just, death. As bars that haven't changed since the 1980s refelt their pool tables, places like Tap 42 continue to pick up their customers left and right. All the way from its vast assortment of crazy-ass craft beers down to the sweet potato fries, Tap 42 laps the competition when it comes to quality. It doesn't hurt that Tap 42 is located inside a beautiful building, with ample outdoor seating that gives the place a chill vibe. The owners are already planning new locations, praise be.

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