Four years ago, up-and-coming artist and gallery owner Rolando Barrero had a vision to turn a rundown industrial park west of 1-95 in Boynton Beach into a little artists' hub. Back in 2010, the area now known as the Boynton Beach Arts District consisted mainly of storage units that housed machinery, used carpets, and old car parts, with many units sitting empty. Since that time, Barrero has become a beacon for Palm Beach County's arts community with his brainchild, BBAD. Now housing ten artists, he transformed this unlikely spot into one of South Florida's leading artist enclaves north of Wynwood.
A key to BBAD's success has been its well-staged monthly art walks, which most recently received top honors as New Times' best art walk for Broward and Palm Beach counties. That's why we're scratching our heads at the news that the city decided to shut down this event.
Why would Boynton Beach prevent the continuation of this positive, vital event that's been making serious inroads in the arts community and bringing family-friendly events to an area that once stood drab and idle?
"Boynton Beach finally did something before Miami and Delray Beach: It banned its own signature, award-winning art walk. Go figure that one out," Barrero told New Times in an interview this morning. "Our art walk is the only event where all our studios are all open. It's our bread and butter, when we make the most sales and establish the most contacts." More »