Art Gallery 21 came into being by an act of karma. Three very special people shared a dream to one day have a neighborhood art gallery. They shared that dream for nearly ten years. Then, their “one day” arrived in November 2011 with the discovery of an under used public building: THE WOMAN’S CLUB of WILTON MANORS. The man who has come to be known as our “Gallery Guru,” Robert Gross, assembled a group of artists who helped to clean and rehabilitate the Woman’s Club building. The City of Wilton Manors made some much needed capital improvements, and, in July 2012, the first show opened and was attended by 100+ friends!
All of the artists exhibiting at Art Gallery 21 are residents of Broward County, Florida. Some are students of Mr. Gross while others discovered the gallery when they entered the annual Island City Juried Art Show. Now an annual gallery event, the juried show provides revenue and brings new artists (and, their followers) into the gallery. The gallery shares that revenue with the winning artists in the form of cash prizes and ribbons awarded for their work.
Since 2012, the City of Wilton Manors has continued to make improvements to the Woman’s Club building on an annual basis. In 2014 they installed track lighting and provided signage for Art Gallery 21 (which was much more complicated than you might imagine) and in 2015 did a complete remodel of the kitchen to provide added storage space and room for the Welcome Center. The City also supports the gallery with inclusion in their bi-monthly print newsletter, Town Crier, and weekly emails announcing the exhibitions to the local community.
Art Gallery 21 was granted status as a Florida nonprofit organization on April 1, 2015, and, applied for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with the IRS on February 7, 2016. This volunteer driven organization continues to work with the Wilton Manors Leisure Services Department to bring more art to the Art & Entertainment District and are engaged in a year-long pursuit to create a Master Plan that will take the gallery into the future.