Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend arts picks: Oct. 9-13

I Love Lennon, by Sharon Koskoff.

Art: Beatle John Lennon would have turned 69 today, and at Old School Square in Delray Beach, artist and author Sharon Koskoff has been creating several large-scale murals to coincide with the Cornell Museum's exhibit of Gerry Deiter photographs from Lennon and wife Yoko Ono's legendary bed-in for peace in Montreal in 1969. Koskoff's 42-inch-by-120-inch painting, I Love Lennon, will be auctioned tonight at 9 p.m., two hours after the beginning of a Lennon birthday bash that will feature live music, a bed-in "re-creation" with look-alike actors, and the singing of Give Peace a Chance. Admission to the event and exhibit is $5. The Old School Square Cultural Arts Center is located at 51 N. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach. For more information call (561) 243-7922.

Grant Strawcutter at work recently in Pietrasanta, Italy.

Grant Strawcutter's love of art began in elementary school, but first he had a career as an award-winning designer of safe playgrounds. He sold his company in 1996 and since then the Fort Lauderdale-based sculptor has been pursuing his dream of being an artist. On Saturday, West Palm Beach's Palm Gallery will feature some of Strawcutter's work, which he says is inspired by the work of great masters such as Michelangelo and Bernini. Strawcutter will be at the opening reception Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Palm Gallery is located at 6758 North Military Trail in West Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 494-2330.

Beach Overlook, Lantana Beach, by Robert Swinson.

Three dramatically different shows open tonight at the Armory Art Center: a photography exhibition, ceramic cup show and a juried mixed-media exhibition. Vanishing Florida, a photography exhibition from the Armory’s Photo Salon photographers, features shots of eroding beaches and run-down trailer parks, down-home people and vintage architecture, and are intended to remind people “of the beauty that brought us here and keeps us here.” The exhibit will be open until Oct. 29 and then will travel to four other venues in Palm Beach County. For more information, visit

Drink Up! Ceramic Cup Invitational features vessels made by locally and nationally renowned artists including Armory ceramics director Helen Otterson, Meredith Host (Kansas City, Mo.), Stephanie Stuefer (Sarasota), Jenni Brant (Lincoln, Neb.) and John Britt (Bakersville, N.C.). Women In The Visual Arts - Artistic Visions: On, Over, Off the Edge of Our World displays a variety of juried work including paintings, photography, sculpture and fiber art by both sexes. Women In The Visual Arts, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation whose focus is to promote interest in the visual arts in South Florida through its programs, activities and scholarships. The opening reception for the exhibits starts at 6 p.m. today and is free for members and $5 for nonmembers. For more information, visit, or call (561) 832-1776. -- K. Deits

Libby Larsen. (Photo by Ann Marsden)

Music: On Saturday, one of the best-known, most respected classical composers in the country has a world premiere at Florida Atlantic University. Libby Larsen, who has been in residence at the Boca Raton school, has composed The Encircling Skies, a piece for chorus and large ensemble consisting of the FAU Symphony and Wind Ensemble, plus soloists including three pianists. The work is based on a poem by the American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, and premieres at 7:30 p.m. at the University Theatre on the FAU campus in Boca Raton. Admission is free, but a $10 donation is suggested. For more information, call 297-3820.

Violinist Mikhail Simonyan.

Meanwhile, Michael Tilson Thomas opens the new season of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach with music from Russia and France, as violinist Mikhail Simonyan (who can be heard in recital Feb. 24 at the Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach Community College) solos in the Violin Concerto of Alexander Glazunov. Also on the program: Berlioz' Roman Carnival overture, Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, and the Suite No. 2 from Maurice Ravel's score for the ballet Daphnis and Chloe. At Lincoln Theatre, Miami Beach. Tickets: $30, $50. Call 305-673-3331 or visit

The Delray Baroque mini-festival closes this weekend with Camerata del Re, the St. Paul's Episcopal Church house Baroque band, in music from England by Henry Purcell (Violin Sonata in G minor, Three Fantasias for string trio), Handel (Trio Sonata in B-flat), Stephen Storace, James Nares and Walter Claggett. 4 p.m. Sunday, St. Paul's, Delray Beach. For more information, call 278-6003 or visit

On Tuesday, Lloyd Mims leads the first seasonal concert by the Palm Beach Atlantic University Symphony at the Borland Center in Palm Beach Gardens. On the program is the Concerto in F of George Gershwin, played by soloist Anita Castiglione. 7:30 pm Tuesday. Tickets: $10 general admission, $5 for students. Call 803-2970 or visit for more information. -- G. Stepanich

Dance: Maria A. Konrad runs a dance company called Reach at the Atlantic Arts Academy in Jupiter. This Sunday, the company presents a jazz ballet called Alice: Traditionally Twisted, an irreverent take on the Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland stories. Choreographed by Konrad and Devon Shearsby, the ballet is set to music by Sean Demis and songs by Neil Diamond and Massive Attack, among others. 3 pm, Eissey Theatre, on the campus of Palm Beach Community College in Palm Beach Gardens. Tickets: $16-$21. For more information, call 561-575-4942 or visit

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