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.”


Island City Art Market: John Bowen, Artist

The Island City Art Market is a showcase of 40 original works of art, all produced by 21 local fine artists.  All art offered is framed and ready to hang.

Bowen cat on a ledge
“Cat on a Ledge” by John Bowen | 28×36 framed | watercolors | $1,150


Our friend, John, has been around a long time and we think you’ll agree that he keeps Florida history alive with his art! He has even gone so far as to donate his artwork and limited edition Giclee prints of his work to Vizcaya in his efforts to preserve the wonderful site located in Miami, along Biscayne Bay.

Over the years, John has been associated with other historical sites across south Florida, including Bonnet House, Old Davie School Historical Museum and the Fort Lauderdale History Museum at the New River Inn. He has been a friend to Art Gallery 21 since before we came to be. In fact, he was the first artist to hang his work in Wilton Manors City Hall back in 2010.

John is a signature member of Florida Watercolor Society and Gold Coast Watercolor Society. He has been published in “Watercolor Magic” magazine and “American Artist” magazine, among others. Known for his exceptional use of light and shadow in his watercolor paintings, many of John’s landscapes portray a nostalgic quality of old Florida, a time many think has passed them by.

Bowen history in the garden
“History in the Garden” by John Bowen | 28×36 framed | watercolors | $1,250

John’s history as an artist includes his military service for the U.S. Air Force which he wrote about in his self-published book, “Eleven Months and Nineteen Days.” His honest writing style is well suited for the story he tells of his tour of Vietnam as an artist where he sketched in the field and on the Tan Son Nhut flight line. His book is filled with drawings and sketches that he made during his tour of duty and there’s a sense of patriotism woven into his prose. He speaks eloquently of the challenges that faced him and his fellow soldiers upon their return home. It wasn’t easy. The transition back to civilian life in a country wrestling with the war and civil rights was difficult for most service men coming home from that “conflict” in Southeast Asia and John’s story reflects that.

Call or text 954-661-4740 if you’re interested in visiting the gallery or purchasing John’s art. Shipping is available at an additional cost.

See more of John’s work on his web site here.

The Island City Art Market: Robert Gross, Artist

Art Gallery 21 is pleased to present a buyer’s market of fine art at affordable prices. Because we are a neighborhood gallery, we are able to offer a variety of original art at a fraction of the cost associated with private for profit galleries.

The Island City Art Market is a showcase of 40 original works of art, including oils, watercolors and acrylics, all produced by 21 local fine artists, many of whom have shown their work in galleries from New York to Los Angeles.  All the art offered is framed and ready to be hung in your home or office.

Over the next six weeks we will introduce you to the artists and show you their work. We’ll begin with the work of Robert Gross!

"Morning" by Robert Gross
“Morning” by Robert Gross | 7.5″x3.5″ framed $600

Bob, as he is known to his friends and family, has been making art all of his life. He has taught adult classes for many years. His work has been exhibited in New York galleries and is in the homes of many art collectors.

Bob first came to the attention of local art aficionados in 2002 with his show “The Disappearing Pastures of Broward.” With rampant development in southeast Florida, Bob was compelled to capture the last remaining cow pastures in western Broward County before they were replaced with residential development and shopping malls. Western Broward was once home to orange groves and dairy farms, but, in the past twenty years, they have disappeared, one by one. Lucky for us, Bob has saved those images in his delicate watercolors.

"Big Cypress" by Robert Gross
“Big Cypress” by Robert Gross | 8″x4.5″ framed $650

Bob is a founding member and curator of Art Gallery 21 and his work reflects his impeccable attention to detail. His landscapes are rendered with a delicate hand and a reverence for the light and are remarkable to behold. His paintings simply must be seen in person to fully appreciate their beauty. If you are charmed by art that reflects a bygone era of south Florida, please call or text 954-661-4740 for an appointment to visit the gallery. It would be our pleasure to show you the amazing art of Robert Gross!

Introducing Art Gallery 21, Inc.

WMHS photo
Photo of Woman’s Club groundbreaking courtesy of Wilton Manors Historical Society

In 2011, the Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors retired their chapter and deeded their clubhouse to the City of Wilton Manors. Built in 1955 on property donated by Algar Hagen, it is a charming, mid-century building that feels a lot like “old Florida.”

Soon after the City took possession of the property, the local neighborhood association inquired about using the building for an art gallery. Located on the north side of Hagen Park, it IS part of the Arts & Entertainment District. To the surprise of the neighborhood association and the artists, the Mayor and City Commissioners said, “Sure. Why not?”

first show - Carl Phillips artVolunteers and artists joined forces on a couple of Saturdays and cleaned and painted the interior of the building. Robert Gross, a local art teacher and nationally known artist, served as our Art Guru and Curator and in July 2012, Art Gallery 21 opened its doors with 26 paintings from six local artists. The art social, held on a midsummer Friday evening, was truly a celebration of the creative spirit and inspired us all.

On April 1, 2015, Art Gallery 21, Inc. was incorporated by the State of Florida as a nonprofit organization. In coming days and weeks, we will share more about the origins of the gallery and the people who make it tick. Please come along! We’d love to have you!