Visual Arts

September art shows stretch from highways to the cosmos

A selection of works by painters known as the Florida Highwaymen, including this oil on graphite by Harold Newton, is on display in September at Nina Johnson Gallery.
A selection of works by painters known as the Florida Highwaymen, including this oil on graphite by Harold Newton, is on display in September at Nina Johnson Gallery.

If you’re ready for a moment of storm relief, head into a local gallery or museum. It’s a great month for magical paintings and other artworks that will transport you far from Hurricane Alley.

FLORIDA HIGHWAYMEN

Nina Johnson Gallery, 6315 NW Second Ave., Miami; ninajohnson.com

Some of the earliest Florida artists were called the Highwaymen. An informal grouping of African-American painters, they traveled the roads in the mid-20th century, captured an idyllic, tranquil — though at times melancholic — landscape during a time of rapid change. Like their white counterparts of the time, they were searching for the American dream — but with a Highwaymen twist. Because of Jim Crow laws, they were unable to show in established venues and instead sold these quickly produced landscape dreams from the backs of trucks to the newly mobile middle-class. The gallery is exhibiting just some of these distinctive 200,000 paintings created during this period. Sept. 6 - 28.

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A detail from Carol Prusa’s “Nebula,” on display at the Boca Raton Museum of Art through Jan. 19, 2020.

CAROL PRUSA: DARK LIGHT

Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; bocamuseum.org.

In a very timely exhibit, 50 years after humans first landed on the moon, the Boca Raton museum is featuring a solo exhibit of Florida Atlantic University art professor Carol Prusa. The show features Prusa’s explorations of the mysteries of the cosmos — and the not so mysterious female astronomers who played a crucial role in getting us into space. A metalpoint and silverprint artist, Prusa intersperses speckled domes, glowing orbs, plexiglass and metal leaf in exquisite pieces that mimic the cosmos. Here, she pays homage as well to women explorers, such as the 18th-century astronomer who led an all-female expedition to Colorado to witness a total solar eclipse; and instrumental women scientists who worked in the Harvard Observatory. Her own, new works of exploration run through Jan. 19, 2020.

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Paintings by Canadian artist Brian Rideout open Sept. 21 , 2019, at Tile Blush.

BRIAN RIDEOUT PAINTINGS

Tile Blush, 8375 NE 2nd Ave., Miami; tileblush.com

Canadian artist Brian Rideout’s work fits perfectly within the theme of the Tile Blush gallery, mixing fine art with architectural and design elements. His sumptuous paintings of upscale interiors filled with modern painting and sculpture and period 20th-century furniture that they seem to have come straight out of magazines such as Architectural Digest. According to notes from the gallery, “He is interested in art as document, as decoration, as ideological accessory, as technological or functional support.” You’ll think you’ve walked into a vintage interior playground. Sept. 21 through Nov. 9.

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Reginald O’Neal’s work is among that featured in the South Florida Cultural Consortium show at MOCA North Miami through Oct. 20, 2019. Jeff Wiseknave

CULTURAL CONSORTIUM

MOCA North Miami, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; mocanomi.org.

This year curated by the Frost Art Museum-FIU’s Amy Galpin, the South Florida Cultural Consortium show is a feast for anyone interested in digesting local fare. The consortium grants ($7,500 and $15,000) are the largest government-sponsored regional awards in the country. Awardees come from five South Florida counties, who work in painting and sculpture, photography and video, covering the spectrum from Conceptual to contemporary figurative art. The more dynamic the region becomes, the more enticing and robust this annual exhibit. The 13 artists this year include Felecia Chizuko Carlisle, Domingo Castillo, Jennifer Clay, Reginald O’Neal, Miseal Soto and Agustina Woodgate. Sept. 5 through Oct. 20.

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Jessie Laino reworks and reimagines everyday objects to create minimalist, contemplative sculpture, on exhibit Sept. 7 - Nov. 2, 2019, at LnS Gallery in Miami.

JESSIE LAINO

LnS Gallery, 2610 SW 28th Lane, Miami; lnsgallery.com

Miami-native and New World School of the Arts grad Jessie Laino has left an indelible mark on the local art scene through her reworking and reimagining of everyday — some would even say ugly — objects, like mufflers or chunks of rock. In the essay for the exhibit “Form / Function / Power,” arts writer George Fishman writes, “Whether wrapping unruly bundles of hay in plastic, stripping abandoned Christmas trees or polishing a junked muffler, Jessie Laino re-animates the discarded artifacts of her world.” But while she is fascinated by the real refuse of the urban landscape, she also becomes part of it — that marble slab or wooden block are actually made from foam and resin. And though she works with “junk,” the show is set up to be minimalist and contemplative, not junky at all. Sept. 7 through Nov. 2.

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