Arts and Culture

By KARA FRANKER

Cultural and art institutions dot the coast of Southeast Florida and brim with one-of-a-kind features, combining eco beauty, rich history and unique works of art.

Worth a visit every time you explore Key West, the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Harry S. Truman Little White House and Audubon House & Tropical Gardens are cultural mainstays. Tour the Key West Art & Historical Society’s permanent exhibit at Fort East Martello Museum to view more than 100 sculptures created by the late Key Largo folk artist, Stanley Papio, whose works are acclaimed for their inventiveness and humor. In Islamorada, the Third Thursday Artwalk features artists, vendors and entertainment. Sails to Rails at Flagler Station is the newest Key West museum. Follow an interactive timeline of Key West history when tall ships plied the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico waters in the early 1900s to the era of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway.

As the home of Art Basel Miami Beach, the world's most prominent annual art fair held in December, Miami-Dade County boasts a variety of opportunities to experience local and international art. For highly acclaimed performing arts and Broadway-style shows, head to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Stroll down the street-art-clad avenues in the Wynwood Arts District, home to an abundant collection of local galleries as well as Tony Goldman’s popular Wynwood Walls. In downtown Miami, waterfront Museum Park boasts the Pérez Art Museum Miami, a highly regarded institution offering a taste of modern architecture and intellectually stimulating exhibits. There’s also the Bass Museum in Miami Beach, which houses contemporary art. For a different, but memorable, experience, visit the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach or the Holocaust Documentation & Education Center in Dania Beach.

Fort Lauderdale has plenty of museums, galleries and performing arts institutions to visit. Located on bustling Las Olas Boulevard, where shopping and dining abound, the NSU Art Museum of Fort Lauderdale is the perfect place to view more than 7,000 works by artists like William J. Glackens, George Bellows and Diego Rivera. Children and adults alike love the Young At Art Museum in nearby Davie. The LEED-certified 55,000-square-foot facility inspires, educates and entertains all ages with interactive exhibits, as well as fun art classes and camps.

The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County promotes a wide range of theater, dance, art, music and history in what’s known as Florida’s Cultural Capital. Located in the popular Mizner Park, the Boca Raton Museum of Art houses an array of contemporary and modern art collections. For a unique taste of Japanese arts with the picture-perfect Florida backdrop, visit the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach.

West Palm Beach is home to the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden, located at Norton's former residence where she spent the last 30 years of her life creating pieces for the garden she helped design. From her famous Gateway sculptures to pieces inspired by a trip to Tibet, the museum and garden bring the vision of this creative artist to life. Other gardens worthy of exploration include the Four Arts Botanical Garden and the Mounts Botanical Garden.

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach is one of the most renowned art museums in Florida, featuring acclaimed exhibitions, programs and a permanent collection. And, dating back to 1902, Whitehall, Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach, is a National Historic Landmark and open to the public as the Flagler Museum, featuring guided tours, changing exhibits and special programs. For entertaining shows from elegant ballets to Broadway musicals, visit the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, the Wick Theatre & Costume Playhouse and Palm Beach Dramaworks.

For something more intimate, but just as impressive, look up the playbill for the Maltz Jupiter Theater in Jupiter.