Johnny Laderer, "When the Ripe Fruit Demands Attention"

Johnny Laderer's "When the Ripe Fruit Demands Attention" is part of "I-95 South," ArtCenter/South Florida's new exhibit featuring works from Miami and Brooklyn artists. (ArtCenter/South Florida/Courtesy / August 8, 2013)

Artist Johnny Laderer's fruit stand in the window display at ArtCenter/South Florida carries an attractive bundle of colorful lemons, limes and oranges, and one other detail that may give Lincoln Road shoppers some pause.

Every piece of fruit in Laderer's display, titled "When the Ripe Fruit Demands Attention," is made of concrete. During frequent road trips from Miami to his hometown of Bartow in Central Florida, the installation artist would spot roadside fruit vendors touting ripe bounties of Florida-grown citrus. When Laderer pulled over to examine the fruit, he discovered the ruse: Some produce were created with hand-painted balls of concrete, which triggered the amusing idea to re-create the phony fruit stand at ArtCenter.

"I see concrete as a symbol of development and change I grew up around, so seeing these roadside attractions was like a loaded image to me," says Lederer, 26, whose fruit display is part of the Miami Beach gallery's new "I-95 South" exhibit opening this week. "Concrete and citrus are two representatives of industry meant to sell people on the idea of Florida, so I created this display in an amusing storefront way, the way most businesses on Lincoln Road might do -- kind of demanding attention."

Lederer's bogus citrus, created by halving tennis balls and filling each with concrete, rests near Brooklyn artist Tyler Healy's floor installation "Apples and Cinnamon," a gridlike display of real apples and cinnamon sticks. This fruity juxtaposition inside the ArtCenter's Richard Shack Gallery is hardly a coincidence to exhibit curator Susan Caraballo, who says "I-95 South" is designed to bridge the works of emerging artists with studio workspaces at Brooklyn's Navy Yard with those living in Miami.


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"There's such a clear-cut connection between Miami and New York in the art community," says Caraballo, ArtCenter's artistic director. "We share our artists so much that there's definitely constant communication between the two cities, especially since Art Basel. So it's not surprising that many of the artworks came from found objects. They are grounded in a sense of place."

Miami artist Gustavo Oviedo's "Periodic Table" depicts a series of hieroglyphs displayed on a 10-by-10 grid, accompanied by a legend for visitors to translate each symbol. Nearby is Oviedo's "Coladas," a bag of coffee-stained Styrofoam cups once filled with cafecito, each of which were drunk by Oviedo during the creation of "Periodic Table," Caraballo says.

Close to Oviedo's works is Miami-raised artist Evan Robarts' sculptural installation "Schoolhouse," a series of overturned black chairs whose legs are so bent and twisted they lose functionality. Meanwhile, artist Luis Pinto's charcoal drawing "To Send Someone Off" depicts a bear crawling over a nude woman curled in the fetal position.

"Much of my work is about eastern Buddhist philosophies about how states of beings are attached to the universe," says Pinto, 32, of Miami. "I think the drawing is about the woman giving birth to the bear, because the bear is one of the earliest figures to be found in ancient mythology."

"I-95 South"

When: Through Sept. 29

Where: ArtCenter/South Florida's Richard Shack Gallery, 800 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach

Cost: Free

Contact: 305-538-7887 or ArtCenterSf.org.