Friday, October 3, 2014

The Art World Finds a New Home in Broward County - posted by FFAB

                                                          Sølve Sundsbø

The Art World Finds a New Home in Broward County
By Andrea Richard Tue., Sep. 30 2014

New Times

Two years ago, anyone who invited their friends to Artwalk in FAT Village would have gotten a few blank stares. Just one year ago, you couldn't have signed up for an arduino, AKA robotics, class at Makers Square, a communal tool shop where circus music blares in the background. 

But now, Miami has snagged serious international art-world cred with the annual Art Basel Miami Beach, and cultural opportunities spawned from it have crept northward. Some art professionals are making the pilgrimage here because rent and studio spaces cost less than those in the 305. That gives Broward, the attention-starved misfit, its time to shine.

Major cultural institutions paved the way, and those are still kicking: The ­Broward ­Center for the Performing Arts recently expanded its downtown facility and has been bringing audiences major ­theatrical ­productions and ballet spectacles for decades. The little church-turned-arthouse movie theater, ­Cinema Paradiso, will host its 29th International Film Festival this November. And the longstanding NSU Museum of Art | Fort ­Lauderdale, which critics had called mediocre at best, is transforming into a serious institution with acclaimed curator Bonnie Clearwater now at the helm. 

The Museum of Art this year started a club for the young and hip, ages 18 to 30. The JETS get together the first Thursday evening of every month for live music, hip-hop dance workshops, and DJ sets at the museum, followed by an after­party and a free drink at Bar Stache. Upcoming exhibitions at the museum include a show by New York contemporary artist Julian Schnabel, the exhibit "American Scene ­Photography," and, in February, works by early-20th-century Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. 

Some city governments are even joining in the frenzy. In suburban Pembroke Pines, the city's curator of special projects, Jill Slaughter, has done some cool street art projects and is working on Inside Out, a global project, this fall. Downtown Hollywood has become like an outdoor arts safari thanks to the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project. Program manager Jill Weisberg has brought in street artists -- including Tatiana Suarez, 2Alas, Jessy Nite, and the London Police -- to do murals. The TM Sisters are slated to create one in January. "They're taking a big parking garage and putting a beautiful sunset mural on it and will change the complete look of that block on Tyler Street," Weisberg says.

Jane Hart, curator of the hip, contemporary Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, is psyched about the explosion of culture: "Together with the Girls' Club; the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, with Bonnie ­Clearwater at the helm; Young at Art; Bedlam Lorenz Assembly; Downtown Hollywood Mural Project; and FAT Village, Broward is becoming a hotbed of contemporary art." 

Hart's venue will host a December exhibition by Los Angeles artist Dave Muller, whose work, she says, "is very much focused on the history of music in all genres. He will be here for nearly two weeks creating a site-specific installation, as well as individual works, sound stations, and sculpture. For one new painting being made for this exhibit, we were able to get Iggy Pop to interact directly with Dave."

Read the full article here
Fat Village website 

I see great things happening across the County.  Artists are being valued and local governments are doing all they can to court artists to establish "art zones" in the more blighted areas of town. Larger art organizations and museums should continue to reach out and partner with local artists to share marketing opportunities.  GL

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