#loveart

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Airscape Moon Reflection No. 2 by Robert Gross

It’s the month of love and we’re loving the art in our newest exhibit which opens Saturday, February 4th at 7 PM when you can meet the artists  … Robert Gross, Celia Diaz, Dirk Eberle, Errol Gross, Natalee Jones and Louise Meredith! They will all be on hand to meet you and talk about their work or anything else you’d like to discuss. Our artists are among the most sociable folks you’ll ever meet!

This exhibit is a showcase of some of the finest local artists there are here in Broward County and their work will be on display through March 4, 2017.

Art Gallery 21 is located in the former Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors, 600 NE 21 Court, in the heart of the Arts & Entertainment District. Gallery open Saturdays through February.

 

#thewayweworked

Last fall we announced that Art Gallery 21 had been selected by the Florida Humanities Council to serve as a host site for the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, “The Way We Worked,” through the Museum on Main Street program. We were so excited at the prospects and have since been working with our partners to coordinate and plan and reach out to the community to welcome this amazing opportunity to connect with each other about something as important as what we do for a living.

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Tomorrow and Friday, Todd deJesus (Wilton Manors’ Capital Projects & Grants Manager) and I will drive to Dade City, Florida to participate in the Exhibit Installation Workshop for “The Way We Worked” at its first site, the Pioneer Florida Museum. The exhibit panels come in containers that are hauled on a tractor trailer from location to location. The photo shows a bit of what it looks like. As the second host site, we will see the arrival of the exhibit on or near March 21st.

There is an unintended consequence to traveling to a workshop to learn a task such as this, and that’s what I’d like to share here, if you don’t mind … that ‘unintended consequence’ is the camaraderie that exists when a project is shared by a group of people. It’s that thing that Margaret Mead references in her work and is often quoted, about the power of a small group of people. Anyway, we will have the opportunity to work elbow to elbow with other small nonprofit business managers who are trying to make their little part of the world a better place by bringing a Smithsonian exhibit to each of their communities, including Lake Wales, Tarpon Springs and Bartow. THAT is the best part of all this … making the connections to others who share the philosophy that art and culture really do matter and we’re willing to work to make it happen. Somehow, you make new friends, learn new things and make discoveries of delight that make the “work” memorable. And, the best is yet to come!

Stay tuned!

“The Way We Worked” is a traveling exhibition brought to you by the Smithsonian Institution and the Florida Humanities Council, based on photographs from the National Archives. The exhibit will be at Art Gallery 21 from March 24 to May 6, 2017, and will be available for viewing Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 Noon to 8 PM. It is free to the public.

 

 

The art walks have returned!

Tomorrow night, the event formerly known as the art walk will return to the Wilton Manors Art & Entertainment District. Now called Wilton Manors Art & Entertainment Expo, it will be held the third Saturday of the month, January through March this year.

Art Gallery 21 is pleased to be a part of the WMAE art walk and we hope to see you tomorrow night, January 21, 2017! If you haven’t seen the current exhibit, now’s your chance! Maybe you have friends or family visiting or are just looking for a fun evening out … if so, this is a really good alternative to the movies or bowling! Browse the local businesses showcasing individual artists as well as our galleries, then have a drink and a bite to eat. Our weather is fine this time of year, perfect for an art walk!

Artists interested in participating in the February art walk can find details and artist registration information at http://www.wmae.org/

Wilton Manors Art & Entertainment Expo is presented by WMEG and the City of Wilton Manors.

Happy New Year!

They say, “time flies when you’re having fun,” and it’s true for us at Art Gallery 21, too! In 2016 we presented eight art exhibits, showcasing the work of  57 local artists! We obtained 501(c)(3) tax status with the IRS making us a bonafide nonprofit organization and we secured our first grant from the Florida Humanities Council to serve as a host site for the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, “The Way We Worked!” All in all, we think it’s been a very good year!

We are super excited about  what’s coming in 2017! Beginning with our January exhibit featuring the winners of the fifth annual Island City Juried Art Competition, we will be hosting our art openings on Saturdays! We did an informal survey and it turns out that more folks would come to the gallery openings if they were held on Saturdays, so, ask and you shall receive! Add the return of the art walks on the thirds Saturdays of the month in January, February and March and we’ve got a recipe for art mania! LOL! Artists interested in participating in the Wilton Manors Art Expo can sign up here!

We will see the addition of the Wilton Manors Welcome Center come to life in January! It took a while to identify volunteers to serve as our Good Neighbor Ambassadors, but, we finally have enough wonderful folks signed up to greet visitors and newcomers to the island city, and we know we’ll be adding more in the new year! The art gallery is the perfect place for people to come and find out what we’re all about here in Wilton Manors … a diverse community of cultural aficionados eager to share our joy with others!

If you’re in the neighborhood, please come by and meet “The Winners” when their show opens on Saturday, January 7, 2017! Angie Riserbato, Tedd Davis, Rodger Helt, with Susan Marie David and Jyotsnaben Patel will be on hand to talk about their creative process and their work. We will open the doors at 7 PM and you’re welcome to come join in the celebration of art and community! We serve refreshments along with our fellowship and we’d love to see you again or meet you for the first time!

Featured image: watercolor painting of the First Place Winner, Angie Riserbato, titled “Ladies Lunch.”

 

Celebrate the season with art!

Art Gallery 21 is super excited about the show scheduled to open Friday, December 9th! Come celebrate the season with us and meet the exciting lineup of artists!

We have an exciting new artist whose work is very impressive: R. R. Robinson. We’ve seen the art and we can hardly wait to meet the artist! Her work is reminiscent of watercolor illustrations in a storybook and we think you’ll be as charmed as we are!

jose_time_imaginary_time_1We’re thrilled at the return of an artist that has been in our gallery family since we opened our doors in 2012: José Herazo-Osorio! His work has evolved since the last time we had the privilege of showing his art and we’re truly moved by the passion and love of the human form he shows in his new paintings.

20161202_193632-webA past juried show winner, Pat Wahl, is included in the exhibit along with her daughter-in-law, Jean Wahl. We love it when art runs in the family! We are extremely fond of Pat’s beautiful Cypress Forest painting that she’s submitted. It’s a dreamy work of art!

And, last, but, certainly not least, is Luz Valencia, a woman filled with laughter who creates art filled with color and light.

As is our tradition, we will celebrate the spirit of the season on Friday evening, December 9th beginning at 7 PM! We would love to have our friends and followers join us! If your busy holiday schedule prohibits you joining us, have no fear! The gallery will be open Friday evenings from 7 to 9 PM throughout the month of December.

Do pay us a visit! We’d love to see you again or meet you for the first time!

Thanksgiving is only a week away and leaves me breathless and wondering where September and October went! It has been a truly busy autumn for Art Gallery 21 and I feel the need to pause and express my gratitude to the multitudes of people who have helped us to be the best little neighborhood art gallery in town!

I owe an immense amount of thanks to Bob Gross, our curator, and his assistant, Dr. Celia Diaz. When you visit the gallery and walk along looking at the art, you may not realize how much care and thought goes into creating an exhibition that flows for the viewer. As you move from one work of art to the next, you will notice that each piece is carefully placed so it stands on its own, not influenced by nor influencing the surrounding artwork. The level at which they are hung is done with consideration and the information provided on the 3″ x 1″ wall tags is carefully crafted so as not to detract from the art. These are some of the many details that Bob and Celia have attended to, month after month, year after year, and I am truly grateful for their creative influence.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to Patrick Cann, Director of the Leisure Services Department, and his entire staff. They include capital improvements to the Woman’s Club building in the annual budget each year and have been the ones who get stuff done, whether it’s fixing a burned out light bulb or waxing the floor before an opening. They respond quickly to email requests and phone messages and bend over backwards to fulfill our requests, whatever they might be. It is a fantastic partnership for which I am extremely grateful.

There are a few individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of artistic duty since we opened the doors in 2012. Mary Panzella, Angie Riserbato and Monika Hurter were among those who scrubbed, painted, cooked and cheered us on in the first year. Thank you. Carol Finlayson, Dirk Eberle, Carl Phillips and Patti Maceri have served the gallery in more ways than I have room to mention, each lending their talents (and, sometimes the talents of their family and friends) to making the gallery what it is becoming. Thank you.

And, to the artists … ALL OF THEM. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your work in Art Gallery 21. Whether you showed one painting or 20 paintings, we could not be what we are today without you. THANK YOU.

To our visitors and our patrons, thank you for stopping in and seeing what fabulous talent we have all around us. Art reflects the times we live in and the values we share and can often speak to the heart and soul in a way that no other medium can. It’s our reason for being and we look forward to all that is yet to come.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Constance Ruppender, Founder

What we did on our summer vacation…

kitchen-remodel-2Art Gallery 21 has been closed since early June for capital improvements to the Woman’s Club building, the home of Art Gallery 21. The City has remodeled the kitchen and now it is truly the perfect catering kitchen! A new fridge and microwave, food warmers and our own ice machine make it a great small space for cultural events. And, it’s beautiful, with new cabinetry and granite counters. With the reconfiguration of the kitchen, we now have more storage space, too, something every good cultural center needs!

kitchen-remodel-1With these interior improvements comes a new addition which you may have heard about. In the front corner of the building, we are establishing the “official” Wilton Manors Welcome Center. And, we’re very excited about it!

Earlier this year, we reached out to local business leader, Nick Berry. We were wrestling with how to sustain the art gallery and help the Woman’s Club evolve into the cultural center we envisioned. Nick’s answer was simple. “Open a visitor’s center.”

We thought about it. For about 20 minutes. Then, a phone call to City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson revealed that she thought it was a good idea, too.

We made a plan. We met with the Board of Directors of the Wilton Manors Business Association and, after explaining our idea, we asked for their support. They enthusiastically responded with “Yes!”

proposed-coverOur graphic design team created a mock up of the Visitor & Newcomer Guide that will be published in October. The volunteer staff of Good Neighbor Ambassadors will hand the guide out to visitors and newcomers to help them find the fabulous things about Wilton Manors that makes life better here. (“Beach Day,” a watercolor painting by Angie Riserbato, resident artist of Art Gallery 21, graces the first cover.)

By now, you’re probably asking how a Welcome Center can sustain the art gallery, and, it’s a good question to ask.

The answer is accessibility. Since we opened in 2012, our hours of operation have been limited to Friday nights and occasional Saturdays. The Welcome Center’s hours of operation will be Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 12 Noon to 8 PM and Thursday from 12 Noon to 6 PM, a total of 30 hours per week.

Since the Welcome Center occupies space with the gallery, it creates an inviting space for newcomers and visitors, a charming place where they can find out about our island city and all that is offered here. It’s a win for the businesses in the City and a win for Art Gallery 21.

Oh. And, original art is the second most purchased souvenir of travelers after tee shirts.

NOTE: Interested in serving as a Good Neighbor Ambassador? Email us at artgallery21wcwm@gmail.com or complete the Volunteer Application on the City’s web site here. Interested in advertising your business in the Visitor & Newcomer Guide? Email us at artgallery21wcwm@gmail.com. We usually respond within the hour. Thanks!