Rolando Chang Barrero at his new art space on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach.
By Sandra Schulman
A new multi-dia gallery space and a wildly imaginative and interactive installation will rev up the summer arts in West Palm Beach.
The Box Gallery: Rolando Chang Barrero, who has a gallery in Lake Worth — Rolando Chang Barerro Fine Arts — and runs a gallery/studio at the Boynton Beach Arts District, will be opening his third space, called The Box, on Belvedere Road in June.
Chang Barrero is a longtime South Florida figure in the arts and has received a congressional Letter of Commendation for his contributions in the advancement for the arts. He is the president of the Florida Arts Association and the co-founder of Art Synergy. He is constantly reaching out and bringing in new artists of all types — visual, filmmakers, writers, poets — to join in on the fun.
The Box Gallery, slated to open June 3-5, is a 4,000-square-foot multimedia exhibition space that will serve the art community and art patrons with exhibitions, projections, performance art, and installation art. The three-day grand opening of the gallery will showcase the potential and the possibilities of the space.
Beginning June 3, the space will spotlight the All-Florida Exhibition from 7 to 11 p.m. The exhibition continues June 4 with a series of projections and performances from 6 to 11 p.m.; finally on Sunday, June 5, from 3 to 5 p.m., there will be “State of the Art Presentations” by creatives and visionaries who have shaped the landscape of the Palm Beach County art scene.
“So far we have compiled a very powerful list of performance art, award- winning shorts, a feature-length film, two previews of national projects, previews of national projects not yet released, and more surprises are being developed as the submissions roll in,” Chang Barrero says. “The Box Gallery is created to enhance the burgeoning art scene of Palm Beach County. The 4,000-square-foot space is designed to be flexible to allow, 2D, 3D, performance art, installation art, and time-based arts. With the exception of a photography cove on wheels, which also serves as a projection screen, and 20 chairs, the space is to basically remain as a blank canvas.”
Chang Barrero said the grand opening of his new gallery “is being very carefully organized to show the potential of space.” The Box Gallery also will be the headquarters of Art Synergy and The Florida Arts Association.
The spinning tops of Los Trompos arrive June 2. (Photo by Jonathan Hillyer)
Los Trompos whirl into town: Joining a love for Mexican crafts, children’s toys, and art that only comes alive when participants sit, play, and spin around on it, the West Palm Beach Waterfront will come alive this summer beginning Thursday, June 2, and running through Aug. 28 with a playful and colorful art installation that has been turning heads — and bodies — around the country.
That’s when Los Trompos — 20 three-dimensional brightly colored, larger-than-life structures inspired by a famous spinning top toy — land to continue the fun interactive public art installations the city and Art in Public Places have been providing.
Contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena created this interactive installation , which lets kids and adults jump on the individual spinning tops and collaborate to spin the works and bring Los Trompos to life. Each top has a unique shape inspired by both nature and traditional Latin American design, weaving, architecture and Mexican folk art.
“Only through this interaction and collaboration will the work come to life and be complete,” said Cadena.
“The concept behind Los Trompos is based on an approach of traditional toys, their colorful expression and the way they are constructed. We wanted to talk about the traditions and skills of the craftsmen in Mexico, as an inheritance of our culture. We like the idea of translating these techniques into new symbols” Esrawe said.
Los Trompos continues a multi-year initiative by the city to activate the outdoor space and engage visitors in a meaningful art experience, carrying on the success of last years The Pool downtown, and The Musical Swings on Clematis a few months ago, which drew tens of thousands of visitors to the formerly empty, unused lot.
Esrawe and Cadena work together at their interdisciplinary design firm E+C® in Mexico City and have participated both individually and together in various projects around the United States and Mexico. Los Trompos was created during the designers’ residency at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.
“It’s a fun, really joyful installation,” said Sybille Welter, who coordinates the city’s Art in Public Places Program, which is funded from real estate developer fees. The plan is to disperse the tops to public parks throughout the city after their three-month merry-go-round spin on the waterfront to keep the vibe going.
Los Trompos will be available from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily on the West Palm Beach waterfront from June 2 to Aug. 28.