Girls' Club's Art Fallout: A Trip Through Lauderdale's Arts Scene

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Photo by Christina Mendenhall
It's that time of year again, when a romp through Fort Lauderdale's contemporary arts scene explodes for a one-night affair on Saturday. Art Fallout, the 954's largest art walk, features pop-up art shows in and around downtown's environs -- FAT Village, Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, Third Avenue, and the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Attendees can hop on a free trolley to get around and take it all in. Or better yet, ride a bike for a true adventure.

This artsy shindig, started in 2010, was founded by the contemporary arts and alternative space Girls' Club Collection as a means to provide the area with a taste of culture, a bite-sized explosion somewhat like an acid trip that lasts for four hours. The event occurs from 5 to 9 p.m., so just be sure not to go too far down that rabbit hole!

In its first year, roughly 200 attendees came out, and by the following year, attendance had nearly doubled. As the draw increases, so do the participants. To fill us in on what's in store, Girls' Club gallery director Sarah Michelle Rupert gives us the skinny on what's new this year and how the concept came about.

See also: Photos from 2013 Art Fallout in Fort Lauderdale

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Artist Kelcie McQuaid Has a "Desire to Build a Better Scene in Fort Lauderdale"

Categories: Arts & Culture

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Scott Munsey
Kelcie McQuaid

Kelcie McQuaid's excitement about her third solo show in her first year as a full-time painter was apparent even over the phone.

"I have been an artist for many years, showing and selling work for about five now," the 25-year-old says. "However, this is my first year taking it on as a full-time occupation. My work is art. It's my bread and butter. It is my passion."

Her work reveals a desire to express herself and connect with humanity, combining abstraction and portraiture. "Everyone has problems, but I express them through my art, and it helps a lot," she says with a laugh. "I tend to be a very emotional person. Even speaking to you now, I've already choked up twice thinking about the things that I'm reflecting on and the problems I have in my life. I deal with them in paint." She pauses to let out another laugh before continuing: "It allows me to look into myself and find the solutions that I need to get through."


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Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale's Café Dolly Exhibition Shows Works by Picabia, Schnabel, and Willumsen

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In the fall of 2013, when former MOCA North Miami curator Bonnie Clearwater, now of the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, saw the "Café Dolly: Picabia, Schnabel, Willumsen" exhibition in Denmark, she knew she had to bring it to Florida. The show features paintings by three major art players: the late Francis Picabia and Jens Ferdinand Willumsen, and the still-living edgy filmmaker and internationally acclaimed artist Julian Schnabel.

The elegant and well-heeled Clearwater was no stranger to Schnabel's work. The New York native, raised in Texas, is known for adhering broken plates onto canvases, creating evocative, textured paintings. His film credits include Academy Award-nominated The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Before Night Falls, and Basquiat.

"I've worked with Julian Schnabel for many years on various projects, including a major exhibition in the 1980s and a folklore exhibition in Germany about his work," Clearwater recounts.

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Arts Garage Launches Women's Theater Project

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Lauren Gunderson

Since the beginning of live theater, women have gotten a raw deal. For an embarrassingly long time, from the ancient Greek to the English Renaissance period, women couldn't even take the stage to play women. Cross-dressing men took those roles -- a tradition that continues today in Japanese Kabuki theater.

Recent studies have suggested that despite its myriad punctures, a theatrical glass ceiling remains intact. A study in U.K.'s The Guardian that exhaustively surveyed the 2012-13 English theater season found a persistent two-to-one male-to-female ratio, from the actors onstage to the playwrights commissioned to the executives in charge. Narrowing its focus strictly to playwriting, the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative found in a 2011 study that just one in five plays produced on Los Angeles-area stages was written by a woman. Similar numbers appeared two years earlier in a town hall discussion at the playwriting hub New Dramatists in New York.

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The Art World Finds a New Home in Broward County

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Sølve Sundsbø

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.


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Florida Geek Scene Hosting Panel Discussion at PalmCon 2014

Categories: Arts & Culture

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Scott Schlazer is a well-known member of South Florida's '90s music underground. Some might even say a bit of a provocateur. Affectionately referred to as Joo Scott or El Judio Peligroso, Schlazer was one of the more prolific zine-makers of the time period and was known for his opinionated stand on the punk rock/metal and hardcore scenes. This even spilled into an amicable war of words with fellow zinesters Rob Cleves (Mulch) and Amy Fleisher (Fiddler Jones) that played out in the folded, 8 ½-by-11-inch black and white Xeroxed works.

Since, he's relocated to Central Florida, where he operated a brick-and-mortar comic book and collectibles store for a little more than a decade before turning his attention to his all-inclusive website for comics, toys, film, music, and complete nerdiness: Florida Geek Scene (FGS). No stranger to conventions and trade shows, Schlazer and his editors routinely set up shop at cons for panel discussions concerning the objects d'geekiness that they love.

See also: PalmCon Probably the Most Depressing Comic Book Convention in History


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Macabre Drawing Time: Asylum Sessions at Undergrounds Coffeehaus

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By MR Sheffield

It's 9 p.m. in a dark room behind a local coffee shop. A statuesque young woman with blue and pink hair poses on the stage holding a Styrofoam skull with nails driven into it, a mask partially obscuring her face, a plastic dagger sheathed at her side.

It's not a haunted house or an insane asylum, it's Asylum Sessions, a weekly drawing class that allows artists to delve into their dark sides. Most drawing classes are sterile, uptight, focused on nudes and formal technique. Not so here where the models are culled from the crowd and all are encouraged to put pencil to paper to see what twisted nightmares they may create.


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Beatriz Monteavaro and Priya Ray Curate Echos Myron Exhibition with Art by Musicians

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Bleeding Palm Untitled, 2013

Art and music have long collided within South Florida. Well before Miami became linked with Art Basel and certain neighborhoods were taken over by galleries, South Florida's arts scene was alive and vibrant, maybe not as in your face as it is now, but there nonetheless. Two artist/musicians who have seen the region's growth have been former Floor drummer, Holly Hunt's Beatriz Monteavaro and Kreamy 'Lectric Santa's Priyadarsini "Priya" Ray.

As members of seminal Florida bands, their names will forever be etched into the canon of Florida's underground music scene. Both women happen to be visual artists, and as such, offer a unique perspective on the cross-genre work of musicians creating visual art and visual artists creating music.

The upcoming Echos Myron exhibition at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood takes its name from a Guided By Voices song. This group show concentrates on the creative collectivity of a particular and diverse group of artists, drawing from a pool of over three decades worth of work. We had a chance to speak with Beatriz and Priya about the show.

See also: Our series on the visual side of South Florida musicians.

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FAU Honors Visionary Philanthropist, Founder of Center for Book Arts: Arthur Jaffe

Categories: Arts & Culture

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A cultural resource unique to Florida and rare anywhere in the U.S., Florida Atlantic University's Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts is the product of one man's genuine enthusiasm. Arthur Jaffe's 1998 donation of his personal collection of artist's books has grown to become the centerpiece of a nationally known, multi-faceted arts enterprise that draws more than 4,000 visitors each year to the school's Boca Raton campus.

See also: Susan Joy Share: Performance Book Art at FAU

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Silver and Velvet Musical Meditation Combines Flute with Higher Consciousness in Dania Beach

Categories: Arts & Culture

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Photo by Ana Graves, Courtesy of Laura Sue Wilansky
Laura Sue Wilansky plays with Fernando Perdomo.

I took in the scent of paint and candles as the group closed its eyes and drifted off. Some of us sat on the floor, pillows under our butts, our feet were bare. A few others perched on couches behind our backs.

After meditating to live flute music performed by Laura Sue Wilansky, the sound of a gong brought us back to reality. It was time to sit in a circle to share what we'd all experienced at the Silver and Velvet Musical Meditations. This being my first time, I wasn't quite up for sharing, but I listened to others talk about what they'd felt or seen while meditating or painting to the live music.

Some had experienced specific colors during their meditation and purple seemed to be the color of the day because a few people chimed in about having a very purple meditation. There was talk of peace and changing the world. A few griped about the woes of watching the news and seeing the mess we're in, not just locally but globally.


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