Alex Mijares and South Miami's Capretto Handbag Collaboration: Exotic Totes as Canvases

Categories: Art, Fashion

Despite what some might argue, fashion is art. But when exotic, skin-covered handbags start becoming paint-covered canvases, the art in fashion gets taken to a whole other level. For Jason Salstein of South Miami's luxury brand boutique, Capretto, and Miami-based artist Alex Mijares, such levels should be challenged.

The unveiling of the store's private label handbag collaboration with Mijares last week lured designer hoarders and loyal customers to Capretto's quarters of exclusivity.

See also: The Five Best Sneaker Boutiques in Miami

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Reading Queer: Poet L. Lamar Wilson on the Struggle to Love God, and Each Other, Freely

Courtesy José A. Villar-Portela
On Saturday, Miami's first gay literary festival, Reading Queer, hosted its headlining event at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, where poet and scholar L. Lamar Wilson read selections from his award-winning collection of poems, Sacrilegion. A Marianna, Fla. native, Wilson's poems have appeared in African American Review, Callaloo, jubilat, Los Angeles Review, The 100 Best African American Poems, and other publications.

The event opened with words from founder of the series, Neil de la Flor, the director Jose A. Villar-Portella, as well as Wilson on how he came to be involved in the series. Upon discovering Wilson, they fell in love with his voice and reached out to ask if he would consider headlining the series, with a "perfect ensemble of voices," says Villar-Portella.

See also: Reading Queer: Literary Festival Explores '80s Gay Cruising Culture

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Leonor Antunes' PAMM Installation Is an Airy Interpretation of South Florida

Categories: Art

Portuguese artist Leonor Antunes, currently based in Berlin, is no stranger to lofty goals.

As a site-specific artist who relishes research in the creative process, it would be hard to imagine the comparisons between her sculptural installation at PAMM with past works of a similar nature in Europe and South America. However, upon further reflection there is something concrete and rich to Miami's "shorter" history as a city.

Weathered by its geographical location in regards to the Caribbean and the Americas, its isolation in relation to the contiguous United States, and the incessant flux of immigration and many other examples of Miami's constant evolution, Antunes must've had her hands full in allowing the research to guide and develop her take on the Magic City.

See also: Ada Balcacer: One-Armed Genius at PAMM

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Summertime Art Geniuses: Emma Carascon's Bizarre Sketched Characters

Categories: Art

Courtesy Emma Carascon
Although she was born on an island, Emma Carascon grew up far from South Florida's tropical climes.

"I was born in a very, very, very small village in England, about an hour northwest of London," the 34-year-old, self-taught artist says. "There is literally one road in and out. No shops, no pubs, no traffic lights, but we do have a park and lots of cows, sheep, and horses."

Carascon moved to Florida in 2002 after earning a tourism degree from the University of Derby. She worked at Disney World and often drove to Miami and the Keys to relax with friends. "We would come for minivacations and loved being by the ocean and seeing the sun every day, something we definitely don't see much of in England," she laughs.

See also: Summertime Art Geniuses: Painter Enrique Machado's Deeply Textured Waters

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Summertime Art Geniuses: Painter Enrique Machado's Deeply Textured Waters

Categories: Art

Courtesy of Enrique Machado
As a teenager, Enrique Machado was captivated by the tactile nature of water. "At the time, I was attending New World School of the Arts and started making these ice sculptures of people that I would hollow out and place a light source inside," the 28-year-old Miami native recollects. "I was interested in working with concepts relating to the transfer of energy."

After graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute with a degree in sculpture, Machado found a job working in the art department at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind in Little Havana, where he taught visually impaired adults and children arts and crafts.

See also: Summertime Art Geniuses: The "Hidden Magical Worlds" of Jose Tonito

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Summertime Art Geniuses: The "Hidden Magical Worlds" of Jose Tonito

Categories: Art

Courtesy Jose Tonito
Pandemia in red, 2014
It's August and the galleries are mostly closed or operating on short hours. The big-name artists have hightailed it for cooler climes. So how to get your art fix? Try these three off-the-beaten-path geniuses.

In the lavishly landscaped yard behind his Hialeah home, Jose Tonito waves his arms like a symphony conductor while Cuban music plays in the background.

As the plaintive guitar wail sweetens the air, the 53-year-old artist fans colored ink across photo paper. Now and again his fingers skip across the surface to highlight patterns within the emerging forms.

Tonito, who was born in Havana in 1961, moved to Hialeah with his family in 1978 and studied photography at Miami-Dade Community College. After graduating with a BFA from Florida International University, he went on to a long career as a fine art photographer who also shot artworks at local galleries and museums for many years.

See also: Miami Artist AholSniffsGlue Sues American Eagle Outfitters for Intellectual Property Infringement

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Phone Dad: A Discussion on Fathers and Familiarity in the Art World

Categories: Around Town, Art

"Phone Dad was born of a desire to expand the standard art conversation a bit and expand it to [hopefully] do two things: make it more participatory, and draw in insights that [are] a bit outside of the fairly well-worn talking points that art talks often fall into." Cara Despain's roundtable discussion at Locust Projects this Thursday is the psychological staple of female adolescence when little princesses cease to be and become independent women.

Her discussion is a litmus test for where we generations divide us. Fathers have always been "squares." For all the oil changes, doll-house construction, and beating up on no-good boyfriends, there will always exist the questionable fashion choices, inability to function with certain technologies, and the befuddlement of halter tops.

Fathers will remain eternally unhip.

See also: Become a Mermaid at Locust Projects' Maritime-Themed Living Photo Booth

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Photographer Richard Sexton Coming to Miami to Discuss Latest Work, Creole World

Courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection
Street scene near the Marché de Fer; Cap Haitien, Haiti, 2012; ©Richard Sexton, from "Creole World: Photography of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere"
The concept of "Creole" is far more complex than most people who only had a passing interest in their 8th grade history courses might recognize. To most Miamians, it's a language spoken in Haiti and among the burgeoning Haitian population of the city. That's far too much of a simplification, even if you only want to look at Creole languages, which are defined in one Wikipedia line as "a stable, full-fledged language that originated from a mixture of two or more languages." And while that's a simplification as well, it should give you a sense of the greater scope of culture and people that the term "Creole" encompasses.

From the island of Haiti, to the parishes of New Orleans, to the mountainous villages of the Central American isthmus, the roots and tendrils of Creole identity in the Americas and the Caribbean have been growing and becoming more and more a part of their respective home cultures.

That process and the results thereof have been of great interest to Richard Sexton, a photographer and resident of New Orleans for almost 25 years, whose most recent work is called Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere. Saturday night, he'll give a reading at Books and Books in Coral Gables. New Times sat down and got acquainted with Sexton in order to get you acquainted with Sexton.

See also: Little Haiti Country Club Brings Community to Growing Art Scene, Won't Last Forever

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Herradura Invites Artists to Make Tequila Barrels Masterpieces for a Chance at $10,000

Categories: Art

Courtesy Herradura
Barrel by 2013 Barrel Art Collection winners Micah and Whitney Stansell.
Fiberglass peacocks, warehouse walls, even recycling bins: Miami artists have embraced their fair share of non-traditional canvases. Now, it's time to add tequila barrels to the lineup.

Herradura is inviting artists from seven U.S. cities (including Miami) to craft a masterpiece from the brand's oak barrels for a chance to win $10,000 (which, incidentally, would buy a lot of tequila).

See also: Ten Best Miami Artists to Follow on Instagram

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Miami Gifted Piece of Berlin Wall for Permanent Display

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
A bit of German graffiti will soon join our own.
Miami is about to get a piece of world history, just in time for the Art Basel madness to come this winter. German officials announced that Miami will receive a two-ton piece of the Berlin Wall to join our city's sprawling public art presence.

WLRN reports that the chunk of wall will become a permanent exhibit across Biscayne Boulevard from the Freedom Tower.

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