Before Mike Tyson threw his aural antics into the ring, Vincent van Gogh owned the crazy ear acting award. Tonight you can learn more about what prompted the artist to cut off part of his ear and give it to a prostitute when MIAMIntelligence and the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) present "Fatal Attraction: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and the Infamous Ear Attack." You can hear Barry University art history professor Dan Ewing's fascinating lecture beginning at 7:00 at the museum. Admission is ten dollars, which includes a wine and cheese reception. Call 305-860-2499, or visit www.miamintelligence.com. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
The Beast Within
Stites gets furry and funky
Attaching body parts to furry appendages, Sara Stites has an uncanny eye for creating works of jarring intensity that are at times eerily unsettling and appallingly erotic. Her narrative riddles conjure primal associations at a deeply liminal level, evoking the stuff of fantasy or nightmare with keen originality and head-turning beauty. Stites's solo show "Phenomena" at Rocket Projects (3440 N. Miami Ave., Miami) features large drawings remarkable for their technical execution and imaginative humor. Julia, an enticingly lush piece depicting a vulva-shaped pelt on bended knees and with arms akimbo, nicely captures her flair for stroking the beast in all of us. "Below surface we are still very much animals," Stites says. "We like to think we have evolved highly, but we definitely recognize the animal inside." Through July 2. Call 305-576-6082, or visit www.rocket-projects.com. --Carlos Suarez de Jesus
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Pirates arrr cool in the Keys
Avast ye, mateys. Key West is well-known for its pirates and their golden chests, but today's bilge rats have nothing on the bearish scourge of yore nor anything resembling the fine booty the bearded ones would gather under their Jolly Rogers. However, the opening of Pat Croce's Pirate Soul (524 Front St., Key West) revives the spirit of the ole Spanish Main by combining nearly 500 authentic artifacts with vivid interactive displays -- including animatronics -- in a family-friendly re-creation of Port Royal, Jamaica. (Now to figure out how an NBA owner, sportscaster, and author turns into a peg-legged, eye-patch-wearing parrot perch.) Walk the plank daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission is $12.95 for adults and $6.95 for children. Call 305-292-1113, or visit www.piratesoul.com. --Margaret Griffis