Presents of Mind

Jeffrey and Dina Knapp, who live in Miami Beach, collect the lushly sequined and beaded satin flags created for use in Vodou ceremonies. They have a selection for sale in various sizes ranging in price from $20-$400. The sparkling religious banners typically depict the symbols of the Vodou spirits, at times in the form of Catholic saints; some have more abstract designs. The flags, which aesthetically and spiritually enhance any room, would also make great holiday decorations. Contact Dina Knapp through Books & Books on Lincoln Road (532-3222). Also ask artist Knapp about her own mixed media vinyl collages featuring tropical scenes and Florida memorabilia -- great gifts for Floridaphiles living out of state (starting at $300, they're available at Barbara Gillman Gallery, listed below).

Many have mourned the loss of Bianca Lanza's space on Jefferson Avenue, once the most happening stop on the Lincoln Road gallery walk. Lanza is still in Miami, sporting a new cropped hairdo, and still keeping her sharp eye out for art. One artist she likes is William Cordova, who describes the content of his intimate pictures incorporating wry messages in Spanish and English as "a tug of war between emotion and logic" ($200). Romantic wax-coated drawings of South Beach Art Deco hotels by Israeli artist Eran Shakine are available, as are his splendid shadowy charcoals of European architecture that look like memories (both $400). Works by other artists who exhibited at the now-defunct gallery can still be acquired through Lanza. Contact her at 532-1276.

Pallas Photographic Gallery is currently exhibiting Robert Torske's unflinching studio portraits and elegant documentary photographs of the Quichua people in Bolivar Province, Ecuador ($300-$400). The gallery also has a stock of black-and-white photos by Miami-based photographers including Andrew Melick's homoerotic male nudes ($350), Paul Morris's work shot in rural Tennessee and elsewhere, and a series by Deborah Gray Mitchell documenting the now-closed Nashville farmers' market. If someone on your list is interested in a specific subject -- Florida or other regions, landscapes, urban scenes, Americana, portraiture, or work by a specific photographer, Pallas will try to find the right pictures for you. Call Michelle Sas at 573-7020.

Short List
More suggestions for artful holiday shopping: The South Florida Art Center's Ground Level Gallery and the Bakehouse Art Complex: holiday exhibitions of small works by resident artists. Or take a tour of artists' studios there and at the Espanola Way Art Center. Lucio Rodrigues Gallery: Brazilian folk objects, sculpture, and primitive paintings. Barbara Gillman Gallery: small works in various media. Haitian Art Factory: paintings and crafts, tree ornaments, and other Christmas-theme items. World Resources: wooden angels, musical instruments, furniture, textiles, and objects from Indonesia and India. Museum of Contemporary Art: art books, jewelry, and objects by artists. Bass Museum of Art: cards and Art Deco jewelry. Miami Art Museum: art books, glassware, and other household items. Wolfsonian: design and architecture books, cards, and magazines. Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum: menorahs, mezuzahs, and jewelry. Historical Museum of Southern Florida: vintage Florida post cards, photography books on Florida, children's toys and games, and Seminole jewelry. Fairchild Tropical Garden: botanical drawings, prints, and posters. Consult "Calendar Listings" for addresses and other museums, galleries, and special holiday sales.

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