Girls' Club and Museum of Art Brunches Brought Art Basel to Fort Lauderdale

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Hans Morgenstern
Julian Schnabel with a Willumsen

Though it seemed like everything was happening in Miami this past Art Week -- from protests shutting down the Julia Tuttle Causeway to dozens of art fairs and plenty of poppin' parties -- there was no need to count out Broward County's cultural offerings.

Two marvelous art-focused brunches were the highlight in Fort Lauderdale this past Saturday at both Girls' Club and NSU Museum of Art. One marked the unveiling of a new mural from local artist Julie Davidow and the other brought legendary painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel into town and center stage.

See also: How Flagler Village Became Fort Lauderdale's Cultural Core

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Peter Marino's One Way at Bass: Luxury and Leather Done Right

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The name "Peter Marino" was on the well-moisturized lips of every privileged attendee at the New York Times-hosted International Luxury Conference at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami this week.

And why wouldn't it be? Of all the people on display during the Art Basel Miami Beach fair, the architect, art collector, and Warhol protege Marino seems to know about living most luxuriously.

By "on display," we mean quite literally, too. Marino's personal collection was curated thoughtfully by Palais de Tokyo's Jérôme Sans, at the Bass Museum of Art's One Way. But front and center sitting pretty is a wax sculpture of the often leather-clad Marino, hand tipping his hat at every passerby.

Every news outlet around the world seems to be frothing at the mouth for a tiny taste of Marino and his extravagant lifestyle. It's a bit odd that while most people can't afford rent, the art world still laps up the extravagant like its starving.

See also: From Wynwood to South Beach, Galleries Bring the Heat to Basel

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Upper Room Art Gallery Elevates Life's Discards on Las Olas

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Don Parchment

The Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk isn't exactly known as a mecca for high art. "It just goes to this weird lowest common denominator," says artist Robin Merrill. "Really beautiful, intrinsically valuable work has never had a great history on Las Olas."

But with the Upper Room Art Gallery & Mission Gifts Fair Trade Store, Merrill is hoping to change that. The space, tucked into the riverfront near Art Bar, is adding bona fide culture to the tourist-heavy strip, with pieces of work from halfway around the world that sell for $1,000 and more.

But the Upper Room, Merrill says, isn't about making money. "[The artists] are all represented by existing galleries. But commercial galleries weren't really allowing us to speak spiritually."

See also: How Flagler Village Became Fort Lauderdale's Cultural Core


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Evil Dead: The Musical Adds Raunch, Gore, and Humorous Tunes to a Classic

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Vampires are passé these days; it's zombies that are all the rage. With the popularity of AMC's Walking Dead series, the prevalence of city-sanctioned zombie walks in every major town across the country, and the recent 2013 remake of the cult classic Evil Dead, the wobbling undead are experiencing a resurgence in pop culture like never before.

And what could signify that these once-living hobblers are at the zenith of their popularity more than the fact that people are flocking to see them sing, dance, and run bloody amok in a musical theatrical production?

Yes, it's true, highly improbable though it may seem: Sam Raimi's cult classic Evil Dead franchise has been reinterpreted for the stage as Evil Dead: The Musical. Turns out, this ghoulish theatrical creation is quite the hit.


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Dave Muller Melds Music and Art for a Rockin' Exhibition

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By Ciara LaVelle

Some artists stage stuffy openings for their exhibitions, events where black-clad art experts somberly wander a gallery nodding and squinting silently at the walls.

Dave Muller is not one of those artists. He's here to rock 'n' roll. "Music is my world, in one way or another," the L.A.-based artist says. "I tend to think of music as the lens through which I see things."

That makes "Rock 'n' Old," Muller's music-heavy art exhibition opening at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood this Saturday, a peek inside the mind of the artist, DJ, and record collector. Through a series of works, including listening stations and a flow-chart mural that traces the rise of rock 'n' roll, "Rock 'n' Old" explores the influence of music -- both in the larger realm of popular culture as well as in the lives of individuals. Muller's unconventional portraits, paintings of album spines, aligned as if sitting on a shelf, are based on the top music picks of the portrait's subject.

"We were able to get Iggy Pop to give us his top-ten list of albums," says Jane Hart, curator. "Without giving it away, some of his choices were very unexpected."


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Carrie: The Musical: Scares Are Few and Far Between, but the Message Resonates

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In 1974, decades before bullying became a national cause du jour, Stephen King created the issue's avenging spokesperson: Carrie, the sheltered, ungainly high schooler who begins menstruation at the wrong place and wrong time, is tormented by her classmates, learns how to move things with her mind, and, when humiliated at her prom, leaves her school's gymnasium ablaze.

You know the story, but you may not recall that horror literature's most enduring telekinetic arsonist also inspired one of Broadway's most notorious disasters. Carrie: The Musical, an idea that seems as unlikely now as it did in its 1988 unveiling, ran for just 16 previews and five critically roasted performances.

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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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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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