January 14, 2021
Fort Lauderdale Art & Design Week
The Broward County art world has always been overshadowed by its glitzier sisters in Miami and Palm Beach. Where is Broward’s Art Basel? Its Wynwood district, its Norton Museum of Art? You can find cool pockets here and there, like Flagler Village in Fort Lauderdale and a few street corners in Hollywood, but as South Florida’s geographic middle child, Broward has always had to fight a little harder to get noticed.
Attention can be paid Jan. 16-24, during Fort Lauderdale Art & Design Week. The third annual event spotlights Broward County's artists and arts & cultural institutions with self-guided tours and other programming intended to establish Fort Lauderdale as an international cultural destination. It’s a
collaboration by a number of key Broward entities, including the Downtown Development Authority, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and Business for the Arts Broward.
“It’s a platform for getting people to discover the arts and get people engaged in art,” says one of the week’s promoters, Evan Snow. The self-described “art advocate and creative entrepreneur” is co- founder of Choose 954, a marketing and media platform promoting events such as the Art Fort Lauderdale waterfront art fair. Snow and partners Andrew Martineau and Frances Antonio-Martineau also built Zero Empty Spaces, which rents vacant commercial property to artists so they can “create and
collaborate at an affordable price.”
The global pandemic suspended Art Fort Lauderdale and Choose 954’s other events, but Art & Design Week goes on since it takes place in controlled settings with small groups. Perhaps not as
dynamic as Art Basel (which also got suspended by the pandemic in 2020), but perhaps more meaningful: It’s actuallyabout art, not partying or flashing your wallet.
The week unites artists, collectors, dealers and those who simply love art. This year’s programming includes museum exhibitions, artist studio tours, gallery openings, get-togethers, events, architectural walks, roundtables and professional encounters.
Among its more intriguing happenings is artDISCOURSE, which Snow calls “access to brilliant minds.” Discussion leaders explore the meaning of art and creativity and how it’s expressed in the visual arts; there’s also a session on “Business for the Arts of Broward” by prominent Colombian artist Federico Uribe.
DISCOURSE talks are virtual, primarily on Zoom – which, ironically, makes them more accessible in this time of so many restrictions on gathering. You only have to go the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood’s Facebook page to join a Lunchtime ArtTalk, for instance. (Well, as long as you first RSVP at the artDISCOURSE page.)
Snow is encouraged by Broward’s growing interest in the arts. “Unfortunately, Broward has been behind Miami and West Palm Beach but we are catching up.” “Art has always been important and probably now more than ever. Art is how communities can tell their stories and have a creative community.” For more information, a complete schedule of events, updates and tickets for Fort Lauderdale Art & Design Week, visit www.ftladw.com.
Museum & Studio Exhibits
Exhibit: Duality; The Dichotomy of Being – Pembroke Pines’ Studio 18 presents this virtual exhibition examining the experience of living in a dualistic world. Nine artists share their personal exploration of the topic and how being in a world of seemingly opposing viewpoints leads to an examination of the self and our place in society.
Exhibit: Super Natural by Cheryl Mader – Fine art photographer and video installation artist Chery Mader showcased a collection of her beloved works, new and old, focused on her core of
connection to self, each other, and to all other life forms.
Exhibit: Transitions & Transformations – This exhibit transforms Remember to React, the previous installation of NSU Art
Museum’s collection, with the addition of new acquisitions, other works from the collection and works on loan to the Museum. Many works incorporate the element of time or suggest the passing of time. Others represent physical transformations, as well as turning points in the history of contemporary art.
Art Studio Tours – FTLADW’s studio tours invite art lovers into to meet the finest artists working in Greater Fort Lauderdale while getting a glimpse of their creative process in action. The line-up includes RosenFine Art Studio, and Zero Empty Spaces locations in Galt Ocean and Hallandale Beach. Studio tours are free and open to the public with RSVP.
Special Events & Tours
ARTCATION – This unique concept gives artists a one-week complimentary residency at boutique hotels throughout Fort Lauderdale from January 16-23. Participating artists will document their 8-day/7-night stay via social media as they create a unique art piece inspired by the hotel and its surroundings. Final pieces will be revealed during a socially distant reception
taking place at each property.
AIA Architectural Fair: An Architectural Bicycle Tour of Fort Lauderdale – Perfect for architecture afficionados, this tour explores significant buildings in the Colee Hammocks neighborhood, Downtown, and the Museum and Arts District of Fort Lauderdale.
Mural Tour of Downtown Fort Lauderdale – Led by community builder, arts advocate and Choose954 co-founder Evan Snow, this leisurely bike ride tours the famed street art murals through Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Riders will pedal socially distant and safely while gaining a better appreciation for the street art landscape in the Downtown area and its surrounding arts districts which have contributed to city’s redevelopment boom.