Pioneers of Modern Graphic Design: Not just a big, beautiful storehouse full of Micky Wolfson's massive collection of esoterica, the Wolfsonian has grown into a museum that presents some truly thought-provoking exhibitions. That may be why we've been patient while waiting for them to present something new. The time has come. Today the Wolfsonian (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) opens "Pioneers of Modern Graphic Design," up through April 1998. Tracing the history of graphic design from 1890 to 1945, this exhibition features more than 70 posters, books, and objects that demonstrate the interplay between graphic elements (typography, page layout, and illustration) and artistic movements such as arts and crafts, art nouveau, and constructivism. Symbols and techniques utilized by designers to create propaganda in the 1930s and 1940s will also be examined. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday; call 531-1001 for hours. Admission is five dollars. (NK)
Oktoberfest: Grab your lederhosen and polish up that beer stein. Oktoberfest -- the best global marketing campaign of all time for promoting beer drinking, heavy-duty Teutonic food, and oompah music -- marks its annual Coral Gables incarnation today through Sunday in front of Mozart Stube restaurant (325 Alcazar Ave., between Le Jeune Road and Salzedo Street). Austrian acts Die Edlser and Gifti und die Wahnsinns Five lead the bill of world-class musicians pumping out the polka. Schnitzel, pork shanks, smoked bratwurst, and apple strudel are on the menu, and local chefs will conduct cooking demonstrations throughout the fest. Wash it all down with plenty of German Warsteiner and Bitburger brew. The festivities conclude Sunday with family day. Admission is free. Oktoberfest runs today and Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from 1:00 to 11:00 p.m. Call 446-1600. (JF)
Noche Flamenca: Miami is becoming a veritable flamenco hotbed. The passionate notes of flamenco guitarists such as Arturo Fuerte and wannabe Alex Fox can be heard wafting through the air on South Beach and in Coconut Grove; we even have a noteworthy local flamenco dance company, Ballet Flamenco La Rosa. But for the real, straight-from-Spain thing, catch Noche Flamenca tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). This eight-member, Madrid-based company of dancers, singers, and guitarists has performed to critical acclaim in New York City and Los Angeles. Tickets range from $20 to $25. Call 674-1026 for information. (JO)
Carlos Capelan: In the gospel according to Uruguayan artist Carlos Capelan, wine, milk, and Coca-Cola are "the three holy liquids," and the Miami Art Museum's walls are now covered with them. No licking, please. Capelan is known for dense installations that look like dark attics or archeological sites, filled with piles of books and old sticks of furniture and his own meticulous, mystical drawings. For this show, part of the New Work Series at MAM (101 W. Flagler St.), Capelan dug around his attic, putting works by his father, an amateur painter, on display. The exhibition continues through January 11. Admission ranges from two to five dollars. For more information call 375-3000. (JC)
Pioneers of Modern Graphic Design: See Thursday.
Saturday and Sunday in the Park with Art: Another weekend with nothing to do but loiter in an air-conditioned, hermetically sealed shopping mall? Go outside, for goodness sake, and stay there. This ten-year-old, two-day festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd.) is the perfect reason. A juried fine-art show will take place, featuring paintings, photographs, sculpture, and jewelry by local and national artists, so you can shop! An array of ethnic foods will be sold, so you can eat! Classical, jazz, and Latin musicians will perform, so you can listen! And puppeteers, storytellers, magicians, and face painters will be on hand, so the kiddies can have fun too! Sounding more like the mall every minute, huh? If the whole thing gets too oppressive, escape the crowd by ambling around the gorgeous gardens. Festival hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., both days. Admission is five dollars. Call 238-0703. (NK)
Performing Arts Network Second Anniversary: People might know the Performing Arts Network (PAN) as the place where they attend dance and music classes. But PAN is much more -- namely, a nonprofit coalition of performing artists and arts organizations that facilitates, develops, and promotes -- no surprise here -- the arts. The organization is throwing itself a birthday party tonight at 7:00 at PAN (555 Seventeenth St., Miami Beach) and they want you to attend. The cornucopia of culture will include performances by Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, Drums-N-Unity, Ayabonmbe Afro-Haitian Dance Company, the Bridge Theatre, and many others. Admission is free, but call 672-0552 to reserve a spot. (NK)