For the monster exhibit, NeckFace created a suite of drawings replete with blood-puking tots, amputees, and a raunchy cast of zombies, all arranged on walls covered floor to ceiling with gory crime scene photos of murder victims torn from Mexican pulp magazines.

His show was complemented by a display of pointy-toothed chrome masks exhibited on a pile of dirt covered with life-size caskets against a garish traffic-cone-orange wall.

In the haunted house, NeckFace's relatives, who gathered here from California for the frightful shindig, attempted to spook spectators while a phalanx of skateboarders zipped down a soaring wooden ramp to entertain the crowd.

Canto 17 (Hell) by Salvador Dali
Canto 17 (Hell) by Salvador Dali

The Frost Art Museum closed out the year and the decade with "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama," corralling the works of more than 80 artists paying homage to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and spiritual leader.

The show, which runs through this weekend, includes works by Chuck Close, Laurie Anderson, Bill Viola, Anish Kapoor, Jenny Holzer, Marina Abramovic, and many other top-drawer names.

In the rear of the museum gallery, Bodies of Light, a haunting Viola piece, depicts male and female figures on opposing video screens that seem charged with inner spiritual energy. As viewers watch the figures dissolve, eerie glowing orbs flutter across the vanishing pair, suggesting an alien abduction.

In spite of a year hobbled by shaky arts funding, these memorable exhibits offer a remarkable reminder that at a time when many cultural institutions and galleries have closed nationwide, Miami's art community remains on solid ground.

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