Wilson Sayre / WLRN

  Five-year-old Brian Eberhardt sits watching cartoons at gate D7 at Miami International Airport.

But he’s not watching them on a phone, a tablet or even the television hanging from the ceiling. The cartoons are being projected from an old-school, 16mm reel-to-reel projector.

“It looks like a camera off a TV,” says Brian, who has never seen anything like the projector in real life.

The machine lights up a portable projection screen with Goofy and Donald Duck episodes from the 1950s.

Courtesy / Fringe Projects Miami

When Emile Milgrim left Miami for Oregon in 2003, she recalls a different kind of city.

“There weren’t a lot of people living in downtown Miami, Midtown, Little Haiti, North Miami, MiMo, whatever you want to call that stuff,” she says. “And then now there are, so it looks and sounds different.”

Take the single word – sacrifice – and turn it into a three-dimensional sculpture that represents veterans, military service members and first responders like police and firefighters.

It’s a tall order. But a challenge that more than 50 Polk County high school art students took on for this year’s Platform Art competition. 

This is the second year of the three-year Platform Art project. The prize, besides bragging rights, is having the top sculpture each year, produced and permanently placed in the Lakeland's Veterans’ Memorial Park.

Nadege Green / WLRN

This is a story about a mermaid.

A vigilante-environmentalist mermaid, and she can't stay quiet any longer. She needs people to stop polluting South Florida’s waters.

“She’s the daughter of the goddess of the sea known as Yemaya in Cuba and the Caribbean,” says Elizabeth Doud.

In her one-woman show, Doud transforms into Siren Jones, the mermaid.

Art Installation Explores Human Desire For Flight

Aug 19, 2015
Eleonora Edreva / WLRN

In a room full of sand, Michael Namkung is exploring his body’s relationship to flight. 

The Miami artist’s new work “Flying Towards the Ground” is opening at Locust Projects, an art gallery in the Design District. The piece is the result of an intersection between his long history of dreams about flying and falling and 20 years of playing ultimate frisbee — a sport in which the motion of “flight” occurs often.

American Black Film Fest Returns To Miami For Good

Aug 12, 2015
Ginny Gutierrez / Courtesy

The American Black Film Fest has announced its return to Miami Beach for its 20th anniversary next year. 

Originally envisioned as a destination event, founder Jeff Friday says the festival may be ready to settle down here.

Friday cited Miami’s “culture, logistics, and accessibility” as fitting the needs of the festival’s community, and as the main reason for his decision to choose the city as a permanent home.

Ginger Photography Inc. / Locust Projects

A group of Florida teens is embracing their inner "Florida Man" with an art exhibition at Miami's Locust Projects which, every summer for the last six years, has handed its gallery over to high-schoolers for the Locust Arts Builders program.

How The University Of Miami Uses Art To Train Future Doctors

Jul 29, 2015
UM Lowe Art Museum / Courtesy

The University of Miami is adding Baroque paintings and Greek vases to its diagnostic arsenal.

Medical, nursing and physical therapy students at UM are supplementing their clinical training with visits to the Lowe Art Museum at the university’s Coral Gables campus. There, they discuss works of art in small groups and make connections to health care.

Hope Torrents, the Lowe’s school programs coordinator, calls these visits the Fine Art of Health Care. She runs the workshops, which began in 2008.

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

Alba Prieto says life with her son Daniel can be a “roller coaster.”

“One day you’re up, one day you’re down,” she says. “But at the end of the day, at the end of the roller coaster, you feel super excited about what you have been doing.”

Daniel Varela, 10, was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. It’s a spectrum disorder (one with varying degrees of severity) that can make communication and social interaction challenging. 

Classic Video Game Characters Are Taking Over Miami

Jul 21, 2015
Michael Loretta /

In the upcoming action-comedy "Pixels," classic video game characters such as Pac Man and Donkey Kong attempt to take over the world.

These 1980s characters also run amok in Michael Loretta’s digital art. He inserts two-dimensional figures from similar video game titles into high-resolution photos of Miami.



Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

The artwork at Locust Projects Gallery in the Design District plays with Miami stereotypes.

A palm tree smelling of coconut oil rests on a hammock. In the corner, the static of a television set resembles the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Opposite that lie deconstructed items taken from a strip club.

Twenty high school students made these and other works as part of the sixth-annual summer program, Locust Art Builders or LAB. LAB allows young artists from Miami-Dade County to create their own exhibition, which opened July 11.

Nadege Greeb / WLRN

Every time the young dancers at Be Dance Studios in Miami Gardens walk into class, they see a framed photo of ballerina Michaela DePrince leaping into the air hanging on the wall above the ballet barres.

But on this day, DePrince is here in person, teaching them.

DePrince is a former principal dancer with the Dance Theater of Harlem. Now she’s with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, where she’s the only black ballerina in the company.

She walks the dancers though a warm up exercise at the ballet barre.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Y'señia Almaguer’s turquoise-colored living room in her small Miami apartment doubles as her inspiration room.

A stack of art books featuring Frida Kahlo and Coco Chanel sit atop a purple and pink end table. Nearby, a towering bedazzled Santeria altar accented in gold honors Oshun, the orisha or god of love and femininity.

Adjacent to the altar is where Almaguer creates. Her painting nook is wallpapered with doodles, a portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat and a graffiti poster demanding that we all “coexist.”

Frost Museum

Art should be accessible to everyone - that is the idea being promoted by the Frost Art Museum, which is creating a space for children with special needs to explore the arts.

The museum is hosting a free community art event that will have specially designed attachments for wheelchairs and other art-making tools for children with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, and other disabilities.

Jordana Pomeroy, director of the Frost Museum, says museums should be accessible to everyone in the community.

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

Robert Battle is a Miami native. He grew up in Liberty City. He went to school there, and this is where he learned to dance.

Battle leads one of the nation’s premier dance companies, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City.

But for him, Miami will always be home, and that always factors into his work and inspiration, he says.