For those of us who couldn't afford to take out a second mortgage to purchase a piece of Art Basel greatness, there is hope for that still-barren living room wall. In its 31st year, the Miami Beach Festival of the Arts promises paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, ceramics, and other handcrafted (affordable) goodies from more than 150 artists. Creative folk from as far away as Canada will be showing their most coveted canvases as they compete for $6000 in prizes.
The festival will not only feature works of the stationary and displayable, but also those with some entertainment value. Street performers, dancers, and musicians will perform throughout the two-day event, and there'll be art activities and storytelling for the kids. Even young adults pried from their PlayStations for a dose of fresh air will be offered a diversion, as the VERB Anytour will be on hand with various energy-expunging, sports-themed activities.
A free concert in the bandshell will kick off the festival tonight at 7:00. Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Rudy Perez has organized the show, which will include performances by Victoria, Monte Rosa, and Michael Angelo (yes, that is his real name, and yes, it's a coincidence he will be performing as part of an arts festival). The concert also marks the beginning of what will become a series called North Beach Nights, the second Friday of each month. Get your art on from 10:00 to 6:00, February 12 and 13, along North Beach's Ocean Terrace (Collins Avenue and 73rd Street). Admission is free. Call 305-865-4147. --Jessica Sick
If you're one of those people who watches Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, This Old House, and everything HGTV has to offer, you probably feel ready to begin renovating your casa. Get your project under way at today's Coconut Grove Home Design and Remodeling Show. Watch Discovery Channel's "Toolbelt Diva" Norma Vally demystify do-it-yourself with an inspirational talk. Feng shui expert Elyse Santoro will reveal everything you need to know to bring Zen to your living space, and expert gardeners will be available to give landscaping advice. Tool around the Coconut Grove Convention Center, 2700 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove, from February 11 through 16. Admission is eight dollars. Call 305-667-9299, or visit www.homeshow- specials.com. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
My Buddy Valentine
Queens of the ball
You can watch a movie, have dinner, run a marathon, or go to a nightclub all by yourself, but it really does take two to tango. For the first time, South Florida's gay and lesbian community will have its very own Valentine's ball, "2 2 Tango," tonight at Xanadu (630 NE Fourth Ct., Miami). Dance, dine, and be entertained by the Miami Contemporary Dance Company, Charles Reynolds, Roberto Ferreira, David Vance, David Kingery, Craig Simms, Scott Lappin, and Ray Yanez. You can rumba, salsa, waltz, and tango the night away. There will also be a silent auction (with everything from gym memberships to vacation packages) and colorful costumes, with plenty of prizes and surprises, as well as snacks and cocktails. Grab your partner tonight from 7:00 to midnight. Tickets cost $80, and all proceeds benefit the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Call 305-673-9090, or visit www.glbt-friendly.com. --Gary Thoulouis
Young and Talented
Kicking it in the park
Get on your feet and give a shout out to local performance students at the Cornucopia of the Arts festival today at the Deering Estate at Cutler (16701 SW 72nd Ave., Palmetto Bay). Throughout the day, dedicated young artists will be singing, dancing, and tooting their own horns to showcase their talents, and it wouldn't be a festival without food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and activities for the little ones.
The Afro-Brazilian music-and-dance group Nego Gato will bring its mix of the martial art capoeira and the Orixa dance to the stage. Kids will love the powerful performances, accented by brilliantly colored costumes and nimble acrobats. Let the rhythm of sticks, drums, and lilting flutes get you clapping and shimmying from 10:00 to 5:00. Admission is seven dollars for adults; four dollars for children ages six to twelve. Call 305-755-7948, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks. --Lyssa Oberkreser
For the Western New Year, you made out with a stranger, drank yourself into a stupor, and spent the next day hurting bad. For Chinese New Year, celebrate by revitalizing your body, mind, and spirit. At the Acupuncture and Massage College (10506 N. Kendall Dr., Kendall), the Year of the Rooster means great freebies for one and all. Work out at free yoga and qi kung classes, unwind with a free massage, take in free lectures covering a variety of topics related to Chinese medicine, get your palms read, and then eat a free lunch. Yes, there is such a thing. Come on down today from 10:00 until 3:00. Call 305-595-9500. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik