Nov. 15, 2017 – The visual arts are taking centerstage in Greater Fort Lauderdale this season for visitors and residents alike looking to feed their creative side. The destination will host the highly anticipated Frank Stella: Experiment and Change exhibit at the NSU Art Museum, on view now through July 8, 2018, and Project COAT, a new initiative pairing emerging and established artists together to transform a series of walls in a warehouse district in the downtown Fort Lauderdale area and other locations.
“It’s an exciting time right now in Greater Fort Lauderdale as the destination continues to transform with young professionals, entrepreneurs and artists fueling the rise of art galleries, mixed-use spaces, and eclectic restaurants and bars that are creating a new image and vibe for the destination,” said Stacy Ritter, president and CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We will always be known for our beautiful beaches, but there’s so much more to do beyond the shore.”
The Frank Stella exhibit, curated by NSU Art Museum’s director and chief curator, Bonnie Clearwater, spans the artist’s 60-year career from the late 1950s to the present and showcases approximately 300 paintings, relief sculptures and drawings offering insight into his trajectory from minimalism to maximalism. It also includes never seen before works from Stella’s “working archive.”
Project COAT (Community of Artists Transform), which is the brainchild of the Grace Art Center, Inc. is a multi-year partnership with Dillard High Adv. Placement Arts Program, professional artists and the area’s leading historical, cultural, geological and archaeological scholars to bring forth projects that create innovation and share South Florida’sdistinctive culture. One of those projects will be a series of murals within the warehouse district to give it a sense of place. Artists will be working on these murals live from November 14 through November 17.
The downtown arts district is also home to a variety of cultural programs that further exhibit the emerging artists within the destination. To index all there is to see and do in the district and throughout the destination, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Underground division is launching a new initiative called Underground Create, developed to promote the overall “creative universe” in Broward County as a destination.
Underground Create gives visitors and residents an opportunity to explore the creative universe in Greater Fort Lauderdale, including events, festivals, tours and so much more. Later this year, the new pocket-size map of all creative scene “STOPS” in Broward County will be unveiled. Visitors and locals can explore these sites as well as utilize the Underground Create pass (UCP) that comes with the map. The UCP provides discounted added value entrances as to encourage tourism and locals to discover the creative facet of Broward County.
Casual art lovers and connoisseurs will find the Underground Create map useful because of the many events happening on any given day year-round. A sampling of the destination’s art events, activities and walks, include:
Downtown Hollywood Mural Project is the largest walkable outdoor mural project in Broward County featuring the works of local and renowned artists such as Kenny Scharf, Tatiana Suarez, Rone, The London Police, Jessy Nite and Logan Hicks. Every third Saturday of the month from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., visitors can take a guided tour of the murals and see artists in action.
Flagler Arts & Technology Village (FATVillage) is an evolving four-block creative district north of downtown Fort Lauderdale where artisans and entrepreneurs ply their trades, and photo and video shoots are the norm. Organizers host an Art Walk on the last Saturday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (excluding December) that allows visitors to stroll through art galleries, open artist’s studios, prop warehouse, and even enjoy a street puppet show or a play in one of two theaters.
North Beach Artwalk is a free event held the third Thursday of each month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Atlantic Beach & Neptune Beach Town Centers. With more than 55 participating artists, Artwalk is a diverse art destination & shopping experience for the entire family.
The MASS (Music & Arts South of Sunrise) District Artwalk occurs the last Saturday every month from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. showcasing local and unique artists in the district along with one of a kind food trucks.
In January, Greater Fort Lauderdale will once again host Art Fort Lauderdale (January 25 – 28). This four-day curated art fair transports attendees on a journey along the famed Intracoastal waterways via water taxi and private yacht with stops at vacant multimillion dollar waterfront properties that feature emerging artists exhibiting various styles and methods of art that reflect the past, the present and the future.
For more information on arts and culture in Greater Fort Lauderdale’s, including events, venues and exhibitions, visit www.sunny.org.