MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Cat Del Buono

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Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 28 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Filmmaker, artist, and talent manager Cat Del Buono began drawing and filming at an early age, making her first Super 8 film when she was 11 years old. She received a BA from Boston College, an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and attended the graduate film program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to gallery showings around the world, she's received numerous awards, including Winner of the Baang & Burne New Works Grant, NYFA Strategic Opportunity Stipend, Best in Show at The Art Place Wynwood Miami, and the SVA Alumni Association award.

Del Buono now focuses on creating performance projects and video installations that include viewer interaction and challenge long-held gender and social norms. She hopes to encourage moving beyond society's obsession with beauty, especially its acceptance of plastic surgery. Del Buono uses inflated balloons and big candy lips in her videos to illustrate the practice's garish nature. She's got her work cut out for her in the Magic City.

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Shira Lee Abergel's Arts Wagon Is Coming to Put on a Free Show in Your Face

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Shira Lee Abergel: keeping her hands warm while counting all that cold, hard cash
Knight Arts Challenge winner Shira Lee Abergel has "always wanted to be a traveling hippie." But it took meeting a circus family while on a road trip for her to understand want this would actually mean.

"The mother was a hand balancer or a stretchy person," Abergel says. "When I asked about their lives, she told me that they go on the road, from gig to gig and whatever else they feel like doing. And wow, I thought that sounded magical."

Unlike most traveling hippies, Abergel has just won a $50,000 grant to fund the traveling carnival of her dreams. But like most traveling hippies, she will not be blowing it all at the deodorant store. Abergel -- currently on tour in New York with Miami's Rosie Herrera Dance Theater -- is a dancer, choreographer, singer, writer and actress (and, what, feline orthodontist?) whose Knight grant will go toward building a wagon that converts into a stage for music, dance and multimedia theater performances.

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Florida Man Campaigns to Build "World's Largest Underwater Peace Sign"

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Photos courtesy Peter Wolfson
Online project funding site Kickstarter is full of first novels and comics and bands trying to tour. But what about the starry-eyed hippies out there looking to donate some of that Whole Foods salary to a good cause? If you're one with the earth, the ocean, or even just love The Little Mermaid a bit too much, the Peace Reef Project is for you.

Launched September 26 on Kickstarter, the Peace Reef Project was created by Florida resident Peter Wolfson. Its goal: to build the world's largest underwater peace sign off the coast of Florida, in the waters near Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

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Wallpeople Miami 2013: An Outdoor Pop-Up Gallery That Wants Your Art UPDATED

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Courtesy of wallpeople.org
Wallpeople participating in Barcelona
Make it, tape it, and gather for a universal celebration of creative expression. That's what Wallpeople wants you to do.

On Saturday, June 1st, artists in 40 cities across the world will simultaneously turn the walls of their city streets into outdoor pop-up galleries. And yes, that includes Miami.

UPDATE: The Wallpeople venue has changed to Miguel Paredes Studio, 173 NW 23rd St., Miami, due to weather.

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Artist Patti Hernandez Setting Up Electric Lunch Radio Station in Downtown

Categories: Art, Public Art

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It used to be that downtown's most exciting option at noon was lunch at Jimmy John's. But the arts and culture scene in city center is rapidly expanding, and with it comes far more enticing opportunities.

Most recently, as part of the Downtown Development Authority's (DDA) DWNTWN Art Window , local artist Patti Hernandez has launched Electric Lunch radio. Broadcasting live from a storefront, the online station (akin to pirate radio) is designed to bring a subculture context to downtown.

See also:
- the end/SPRING BREAK Are Setting Up Shop Downtown
- MasterMind 2012 Finalists: The End/Spring Break

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ProjectLIMB's Re-Vision: Two Dancers' Love Story Transforms South Beach

Categories: Dance, Public Art
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Gabriel Forestieri and Marla Phelan of ProjectLIMB
Some artists dream of performing on stage. Others dream of carrying their craft beyond the stage to blur the line between art and everyday life. Dancers Gabriel Forestieri and Marla Phelan of ProjectLIMB fall into the latter category, and they'll be showing Miami Beach how to make a more expressive use of space when they perform their al fresco Re-Vision at Lummus Park Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m.

The duo, who are real-life lovers, say the performance is a portrayal of a chance encounter between a man and a woman during which "one completely transforms the other." Over the course of 50 minutes, the dance will travel from the intersection of 14th Street and Ocean Drive all the way to -- and into -- the water. Targeted lighting will highlight the performance and delineate spaces on the sand as the dancers' twists, contortions, and expressions unravel their tumultuous love story.

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Firefighter-Turned-Artist Shannon Defreitas Wants to Put Her Art on Your Body

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Shannon Defreitas/Carlos Ramos
A local firefighter-turned-artist will bring her unique bodypainting style to the Basel scene this week. Shannon Defreitas slathers in-your-face pigments all over the bare bodies of models, who then pose for art photos that seriously pop. You can check her out at The Art Place Wynwoood and a couple other venues this week, where she'll show you how it's done live.

As a matter of fact, Basel week will mark the one year anniversary of Defreitas' newfound hobby; the idea was first spontaneously set in motion at an Art Basel event last year.

"I've always been into painting," said Defreitas, "but last year at Basel, while some of my stuff was being shown in a gallery, I was inspired on the spot. I thought, 'You know what, I just kinda wanna put art on your body.'"

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George Sánchez-Calderón's Public Art Recalls Bal Harbour's Early Days

Categories: Public Art
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Photo by Haute Living

The idea of public art in Bal Harbour may induce thoughts of a jewel-encrusted relief or a Gucci-donned sculpture, but Miamian George Sánchez-Calderón has humbler ideas in mind.

In following a trend of erecting local public art in South Florida, Bal Harbour has chosen to kick off Unscripted, an ongoing series of commissions beginning in October, with Sánchez-Calderón, the multi-platform artist known for large-scale projects around Miami involving a degree of architecture.

Although Bal Harbour's known to most as that stretch along Collins with the fancy shops and pricey condos filled with America's retired community, Sánchez-Calderón sees the village differently. The area actually has a more timid, colorful history, and Sánchez-Calderón plans to showcase that history with his installations.

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Artist Jessy Nite on Porn, Wynwood Lovin', and Why Not To Take Art "So F***ing Seriously"

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Photo by Logan Fazio
See Jessy Nite is a Bad, Bad Girl at Primary Projects.

Late last week, we reported that according to Trojan Condom Survey, Miami residents are number one in the country when it comes to sexual satisfaction. Not just that, but we are also at the top of the list of how many times we get down and dirty each year. Really, what they are trying to tell us is that we are a bunch of floozies. (Hey, at least we are using condoms... let's hope.)

So it's no surprise that when local artist Jessy Nite decided to find her calling, it was porn. Well, porn-inspired art, anyway.

Nite, who moved from New York to Miami five years ago this month, is presenting her newest creation, "Color Me Porno," tomorrow with the help of nightlife veterans NFA Crew. Together, they are turning two giant rooms at Villa 221's Skybox Gallery into an adult-themed playground with word searches, connect the dots, and wall art that all the carry the theme of sex, sex, and more sex.

Before the big debut, we chatted with Jessy Nite about just what fans can expect this evening, her thoughts on the Miami art scene, and why everyone should let their freak flag fly.

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L.A. Artists Move to Opa-Locka With Plans to Redesign the Community

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Read also: New Public Art in Opa-Locka Promises to Break Down Barriers, Literally

Los Angeles-based designers Christian Stayner and Jennifer Bonner do not look like they belong in Opa-locka.

But when the distressed neighborhood called for artists to come install public art and start a movement, the hipster pair answered and came to the impoverished site with experience and a plan.

One year ago, the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation received a grant that would allow it to launch a project to erect public art pieces and strengthen the community's involvement with the arts. Stayner and Bonner were one of four artist teams chosen to help drive the cause.

The thing about these Angelinos, though, is that they don't plan on leaving any time soon.

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