Monday, August 24, 2009

Art In Florida: Summing up the summer

Though summer is not “the season” in Florida, and the art scene doesn’t usually gear up until late fall or early winter when the snowbirds return, this summer has been a potpourri of wonderful art experiences for me.  It began in June with the Norton Museum’s exhibit Disney: The Music Behind the Magic 1928 – Today which I wrote about in my June blog.  The exhibit runs until  September 6, so if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to get there before it closes.  In fact the Off the Wall: Human Form in Sculpture exhibit is also still on until Sept. 6.  So you could see two wonderful exhibits with one visit.

Talking about museum exhibits, this summer I discovered the Vero Beach Museum of Art.  Although Vero is not that far from West Palm Beach, I don’t get up there very often, and when I do I’m usually too busy visiting with friends to take time for museums.  On my recent trip up, however, my friend Kim thought I would really enjoy the current exhibit, so in the heat of the afternoon we took refuge in the air conditioned building. 

Those of you who live in Indian River County are probably already aware of the cultural gem in your midst.  But for some who are not, the museum which is situated on the east bank of the Indian River lagoon, was expanded and renovated in 1988-89 and now features five galleries, a sculpture garden, sculpture park, and an educational wing with seven studio classrooms as well as an elegant auditorium and a museum store.  The current exhibit Rooted In Tradition: Art Quilts from the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum continues through October 25, and it is not to be missed.  The fabulous exhibit of 64 quilts is a feast for the eyes.

This summer I also discovered a new gallery in downtown Lake Worth. From cloisonné jewelry to clay sculptures, The Clay-Glass-Metal-Stone Cooperative Gallery is filled with art of the finest quality.  Flamingo Clay Studio, a non-profit arts organization whose mission is to provide affordable studio and gallery space for three-dimensional artists, is sponsoring the gallery of 25 artists who are collectively exhibiting their work.  Opening receptions featuring three of the artists are held on the first and third Fridays of each month.  This summer I attended two of the openings and enjoyed wine and refreshments while I viewed the marvelous art.

In addition to the Norton, in West Palm Beach, The Whitney a condominium and business complex offered a summer stroll of their first floor lofts, an evening of fine food and libation which I wrote about in my last blog.  Since the event, my sister, Jan, and I have been thinking about opening up our very own gallery, a fantasy we’ve had for nearly a decade.  Though we can’t afford the rent alone, we’re hoping an artists’ cooperative similar to the one in Lake Worth may be a happening thing in West Palm in the future.