Wood block prints of a city in flux made in the 1930s by artist Koizumi Kishio, currently on display in the exhibition "Tokyo: The Imperial Capital" at the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach), are the subject of a chat titled "Koizumi's Tokyo: Idealized Views of Radical Change" by James Ulak this evening at 7:00. Ulak, deputy director of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, will hold forth on the nuances of the work. The talk is free with five-dollar museum admission. Seating is limited, so call 305-535-2645 to reserve. (NK)
For some time now the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, a powerhouse of black music, art, and culture, has been throwing a monthly party in the heart of Liberty City. They call it Club Night, an evening of song and dance performed by mostly local musicians that reaches back to the days of jazz and funk nightclubs of Overtown. It has been building a steady following of people who love to dance to live music. Sometimes it's reggae, other times it's straight-up jazz. Tonight local musician Bobby Stringer will get some action going with his full-on tribute to the Platters and Motown. The evening is billed as a masquerade ball, so get creative in your dress. Feathers and shiny metallic, body-clinging spandex are greatly encouraged. The party starts at 8:00 at the AHCAC, 6161 NW 22nd Ave. Admission is ten dollars. Call 305-638-6771. (JCR)
Who was Chiune Sugihara? If you know that he rescued more than 6000 Lithuanian Jews from the Holocaust, you are one of the few. Though he may not be famous, Sugihara and his wife Yukiko performed heroic deeds when they served as Japanese diplomats in Lithuania in 1939. In the movie Sugihara: Conspiracy of Kindness, filmmaker Diane Estelle Vicari tells the story of the man who saved lives as Oskar Schindler did in a daring act of humanity. Over 50 years later, it is estimated that more than 40,000 people may owe their lives to the Sugiharas. Temple Israel of Miami and the Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial present the film and Vicari at 7:00 p.m. at the temple, 137 NE 19th St. Admission is free. Call 305-573-5900. (JCR)
Sure, your little glittery purple Toyota Corolla with the flames painted on the doors and hood is a bitchin' ride, but it's nothing like the kinds of eye-popping vehicles you'll see at Lowrider magazine's Evolution Tour, which kicks off its nationwide roll around the country from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. today at the Fair & Expo Center (10901 Coral Way). Cars, trucks, SUVs, bicycles, and tricycles will showcase custom paint jobs and that low-to-the-ground look associated with what was once an exclusively Hispanic art form based in Southern California. Now all sorts of folks are lowering their vehicles and embellishing them with murals, metals, and even fur. But cooler than that is the hydraulics competition, which measures how high cars and trucks can hop (yes, you read right, hop). Also not to be missed are performances by the Ying Yang Twins and Baby Bash, a bikini contest, and a slew of booths hawking all sorts of lowrider merchandise. Admission is $30 for spectators; $45 for vehicles who want to show, $60 for those entering the hydraulic competition. Call 714-769-7474. (NK)
Yeah, yeah, everyone's heard of the Miami Design Preservation League's Art Deco Weekend, now celebrating its 27th year, but not too many people are aware of the fact that the "weekend" actually goes on for an entire week and features a lecture series, film screenings, walking and boat tours, and musical performances all paying tribute to the sassy streamlined style and the carefree era with which it is inextricably linked. This year's theme is Mostly Moderne: Art Deco at Home. The big weekend festival goes on next week, but the Jazz Age fun begins tonight at 7:00 at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach) with a kickoff party for the film series of flicks by the great Hollywood art directors. The work of Natasha Rambova will be highlighted in the 1921 silent classic Camille, followed by a wine and cheese reception. Admission is free. Call 305-672-2014. (NK)
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What distinguishes art from life? How does one resolve the meaning of a piece of work, when that work is part of a larger picture -- namely the artist's life? In its exhibition "Art or Life," the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.) explores the issues of identity and artifice. Using six new acquisitions by American master of collage and assemblage Joseph Cornell as a center, the exhibition includes works dating from the 1920s, such as those from Marcel Duchamp, Ana Mendieta, Claes Oldenburg, Cindy Sherman, and Gabriel Orozco. Miami artists Robert Chambers, Westen Charles, John Espinosa, Luis Gispert, Jean-Claude Rigaud, and Tom Scicluna are also part of the show. Though some of the pieces may look mundane -- there will be a rendering of Eden made of discarded clothes, for example -- the specificity and/or randomness are evocative of each artist's personal journey in life, or art, or whatever. The exhibition runs through Sunday, April 4. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-375-3000. (JCR)
With wild drums and blaring brass, the original big band music of musicians like Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra really got people moving during the 1940s. Classic swing is intoxicating. It can get you lindy hopping through an otherwise ordinary day, or at best, it will get you high twirling a partner on a dance floor. Though Dorsey, the so-called "sentimental gentleman of swing," is not around to lead them, his band survives in a seventeen-person touring outfit. Led by Buddy Morrow, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra plays homage not only to Dorsey, but to this sizzling genre of American music. The Gold Coast Jazz Society presents a performance by the TDO beginning at 7:45 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets range from $18 to $32. Call 954-462-0222. (JCR)