By Michael Mills
For years Broward County was the Rodney Dangerfield of the South Florida art world — little to no respect, especially compared with the hoitier-toitier art scenes of Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. No more.
Museums have been reinvigorated with new leadership, galleries have popped up in sometimes unlikely places, and art walks are thriving in a handful of neighborhoods. Art is everywhere – if you know where to look. Here’s some guidance:
Art and Culture Center of Hollywood: Nearly 400 artists from 21 Florida counties submitted more than 1,000 entries to the Seventh All-Media Juried Biennial at the Art and Culture Center. Only 79 artists got into the show, which opened Sept. 18 and runs through Nov. 1. Not bad for a building that used to house a funeral home.
Two smaller exhibits run simultaneously: Autumn Casey: Waiting in Purgatory but at Least There’s Chairs and It Feels Musical, an installation combining video, sound, and sculpture; and #acchfocus, featuring 48 winners of an Instagram contest held by the center in 2013-14.
The rest of the center’s season features a series of solo exhibitions in the main gallery: Nina Surel: Sailing to Byzantium (Nov. 13-Jan. 31); Santiago Rubino: Light Out of Darkness (Nov. 14-Jan. 24); Oliver Wasow: Studio Portraits (Nov. 14-Jan. 24); Gustavo Oviedo: The New Past (Nov. 14.-Jan. 24); Michael Namkung: Levitation and Gravitas (Nov. 14-Jan. 24); Kelley Johnson: Something That Hovers and Pulses Just Under the Surface (Feb. 12-Mar. 27), Nereida Garcia-Ferraz: As Close As You Want (April 8-May 29), and Kenton Parker: Everything Counts in Small Amounts (June 10-Aug. 21).
The Art and Culture Center is at 1650 Harrison St. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat. and Sun., noon to 5 p.m.; closed Mon. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for students, seniors, and children 4 to 17; free admission for members and children 3 and under. Admission is free for all the third Sunday of the month. Call 954-921-3274 or visit ArtAndCultureCenter.org.
Art Fallout, Fort Lauderdale: Now in its sixth season, Art Fallout is a one-night celebration of National Arts and Humanities Month that draws participants from throughout the downtown Fort Lauderdale art community. This year’s event is from 5 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 17. Venues include:
· 1310 Gallery, Sailboat Bend Artists, 1310 S.W. Second Court
· Cadence Pop Up Gallery, 435 N. Andrews Ave., No. 2
· FATVillage, N.W. First Ave. between Fifth and Sixth Sts.
· Girls’ Club, 117 N.E. Second St.
· Glavovic Studio, 724 N.E. Third Ave.
· Laser Wolf, 901 Progresso Drive.
· MAC Fine Art, 833 N.E. Fourth Ave.
· Made in Broward at the Cottage, 500 N.E. First Ave.
· MASS District, N.E. Fourth Ave. between Eighth and Ninth Sts.
· NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, One E. Las Olas Blvd.
For more information, updates, open-call information, and maps, visit ArtFallout.blogspot.com.
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Fort Lauderdale: Most South Floridians know Bonnet House as a historic estate with 35 acres of subtropical gardens and a lake, all just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a great place to take visitors from out of town, and as some of the house’s former residents were artists, it’s also a cool art destination from time to time. The house’s suite of small galleries is perfect for the estate’s annual fundraiser, which in 2016 will be called Making New Impressions: A Juried Art Exhibit. The show opens on March 4 and runs through May 1.
Bonnet House is at 900 N. Birch Road. Tours are offered Tues.-sun., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Mon. Admission is $20 for adults, $16 for students ages 6 to 12; free admission for members and children under 6. Call 954-563-5393 or visit BonnetHouse.org.
Broward Art Guild Gallery, Fort Lauderdale: The oldest arts organization in Broward County, the Broward Art Guild (BAG) is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year with a members’ show at the Broward County Main Library’s Gallery Six, running Nov. 7-30.
Meanwhile BAG will continue its monthly themed exhibitions in its own gallery in the North Beach Arts District. The Think Pink show will focus on works dominated by the color pink (Sept. 30-Oct. 23). The annual Abstractions show runs Nov. 4-19. And another annual exhibit, Small Works, runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 17 and features works measuring no more than 14 inches in any direction.
The gallery is at 3280 N.E. 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale. Hours are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m., Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Admission is free. Call 954-537-3370 or visit BrowardArtGuild.org.
Coral Springs Museum of Art: In its 18 years of existence, Broward’s most overlooked museum has nevertheless hosted more than 600,000 visitors and students and exhibited the work of more than 200 artists, specializing in art by contemporary Florida-based artists. The museum recently appointed a promising new director from within, promoting its Education and Public Programs Director Julia Black Andrews to run the facility.
An artist known only as Renzo launches the museum’s fall lineup with works inspired by his experiences among the indigenous peoples of Australia, Costa Rica, and Mexico, rendered in a style known as Lucid Realism. The show, which opened Sept. 12 and runs through Nov. 21, consists of 27 paintings and 15 bronze sculptures and will occupy the museum’s spacious, light-drenched main gallery.
Running simultaneously in the smaller galleries are two other solo exhibits: John Bowen, featuring watercolors in the artist’s self-described “realist expressionism” style; and Melinda Trucks, which brings together paintings from the last 20 years by this West Palm Beach-based artist. The guest curator for this show is Trucks’ fellow Palm Beacher Bruce Helander, a collage artist who also put together the selection of eight artists’ work that makes up the concurrent Recent Acquisitions exhibit.
The museum is at 2855 Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Sunday. Admission is $6 per person; free admission for members. Call 954-340-5000 or visit CoralSpringsMuseum.org.
Girls’ Club, Fort Lauderdale: Not just for girls – although this privately funded alternative display space has often focused on the work of women artists, guys are allowed, too. The gallery, founded nearly a decade ago by South Florida art-world luminaries Francie Bishop Good (an artist herself) and her husband, David Horvitz, Girls’ Club hosts special events such as lectures, workshops, and readings. Programming also includes exhibitions, with each major show staying up close to a year.
The next exhibition is Self Proliferation, which opens Nov. 12 and is drawn from the collection of Bishop Good and Horvitz. Among the artists included are John Baldessari, Tracey Emin, Annette Messager, Wangechi Mutu, Cindy Sherman, and Jessica Stockholder.
Girls’ Club is at 117 N.E. Second St., Fort Lauderdale. Hours are Wednesday-Friday, 1 to 5 p.m., or by appointment. Admission is free. Call 954-828-9151 or visit GirlsClubCollection.org.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale: After a bewilderingly minimal name change — from NSU Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale to NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale — the museum, under the creative control of director and curator Bonnie Clearwater, continues with the eclecticism she brought with her when she left the embattled Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami.
With a nod toward one of the collections for which it’s known, the museum launched the 2015-16 season with William J. Glackens: A Modernist in the Making, which opened Sept. 4 and continues through Aug. 31 next year. The show focuses on works from the Glackens Collection that recently returned from a traveling exhibition.
Another of the museum’s permanent collections, its Picasso ceramics, is in play for Pablo Picasso: Painted Ceramics and Works on Paper, 1931-71. The show, which has been up since March 12 and will run through Jan. 10, includes 72 objects, including more than a dozen 1930s etchings from the famous Vollard Suite.
From Oct. 4 through Feb. 12, The Indestructible Lee Miller examines Miller’s life as a photographic model, an artistic muse and collaborator, and a photographer in her own right, known for her World War II work.
Avant-garde art from the 1940s to the mid-‘70s and how it influenced TV is the focus of Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television, which runs from Oct. 25 to Jan. 10. Saul Bass, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Allan Kaprow, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Eero Saarinen, Ben Shahn, and Andy Warhol are among the top-shelf artists covered.
Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968, which runs from Feb. 7 to June 5, continues the museum’s post-World War II preoccupation with a survey of fashion during the same era as the rise of – and influence of – Italian cinema artists such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, and Luchino Visconti.
Chuck Close Photographs presents a painter known for his use of photography as a fine art photographer himself. Nearly a hundred works demonstrate Close’s work with black-and-white portraiture, oversize Polaroid composites, and even old-fashioned daguerreotypes. Run dates are March 20 to Aug. 28.
For Animal Culture: Cobra and the Popular Imagination, the museum turns mainly to its own Golda and Meyer Marks Collection, the largest assemblage of Cobra (Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam) art in the U.S. The show is from June 26 to Sept. 25.
The museum is at One E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; closed Monday. Admission is $12 for ages 18+, $8 for seniors and military, $5 for students; free admission for members, children 12 and under, and NSU students, faculty, and staff. Call 954-525-5500, or visit NSUArtMuseum.org.
The Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery at Broward College Central Campus, Davie: Broward College’s small but noteworthy art venue, the Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery, has been around since the 1960s and regularly showcases the work of the school’s faculty and students. The gallery serves up its 2015 Fall Faculty Exhibition, opening Oct. 8 and running through Nov. 10.
Artists included are Teresa Diehl, John Foster, Jan Johnson, John Kaufman, Jim Lansing, Catherine Leisek, Lisa Rockford, Leo Stitsky, and Niko Yulis. Media represented include painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography, video, installation, and performance.
From Nov. 19 to Jan. 20, Thresholds pairs artists Scott Ross and William Ruller. Then there’s the Winter Faculty Exhibition (Jan. 28-Feb. 24); Step Right Up: 38th Annual Student Exhibition (Mar. 10-Apr. 13); Immediate Impressions: Kandy Lopez, Florin Hategan, and Curtis Bartone (Apr. 21-May 18); Interface: Michael Arrigo and Jake Rowland (May 26-June 22); and Potters’ Guild Invitational (June 30-Aug. 10).
The gallery is on the A. Hugh Adams Central Campus of Broward College at 3501 S.W. Davie Road, Bldg. 6, Room 101, Davie. Hours are Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Sat., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wed. , I a.m. to 8 p.m.; closed Sun. Admission is free. Call 954-201-6984.
Third Avenue Art District, Fort Lauderdale: Once a year, the artists of the Third Avenue Art District on the fringes of downtown Fort Lauderdale open their studios for one of the longest-running art walks in the area. This year it falls on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 6 to 10 p.m.
The studios are north of Broward Boulevard, on or near N.E. Third Ave., between N. Andrews Ave. and Federal Highway. Free trolley service is provided. Visit ThirdAvenueArtDistrict.com.