And, the winner is …

Saturday, September 30 is more than the last day of the month. It’s also the day we will announce the winners of the Sixth Annual Island City Juried Art Exhibition and present them with ribbons and cash awards!

the-mask-by-ray-arcePlease join us at 7 PM Saturday evening at Art Gallery 21 as we unveil this year’s spectacular showcase of work created by 30 of our finest local artists. Local African American artist and teacher George Gadson served as our jurist, selecting 45 wonderful examples among the entries we received to grace the walls of our little art gallery. The mediums are diverse; from oils, watercolors, acrylic and pastels to photography and mixed media. Large and small, we have it all. And, the majority of them are for sale!

We will celebrate with music by Cindy Curtis & Company, and refreshments provided by Nick & Shawn’s Courtyard Cafe. Come meet the artists. You’ll make new friends and you may run into old ones. After all, we’re your neighborhood art gallery. We mean it when we say we’d love to see you again or meet you for the first time!

THE MASK by Ray Arce | Mixed Media | $800

Nature in Art. Or, is it Art in Nature?

Let’s be honest. We live in Paradise.

Yes. The traffic is awful. And, yes, the buildings seem to be increasing in height and number. Oh. And, yes. We each harbor a secret desire to keep all this beauty to ourselves. But. We are compelled to share it! We cannot help ourselves!

Here at Art Gallery 21, we are always watching and listening to discover who the next “big” designer is and what the next “hot trend” will be. But, as Alexander McQueen says, “There is no better designer than Nature.” Boy! Did he get that right!

Please join us this Friday evening at 7 PM when Art Gallery 21 will unveil the first annual Art in Nature Photo Contest and announce the winners of the competition! Sponsored by the Environmental & Sustainability Volunteer Group of Wilton Manors, visitors to the gallery will discover a beautiful collection of images from all over and around the island city. Given our abundant waterways and plethora of parks, we are truly surrounded by Nature on all sides and we are eager to celebrate it!

As we do for all of our gallery openings, there will be refreshments and good company throughout the evening and we’ll look forward to seeing you again or meeting you for the first time!

Photos on exhibit from July 28 to August 26. Gallery open Saturday from 7 to 9 PM and by appointment. Featured photo by Meghan Pearson of the fox kits in Richardson Park in spring of 2017. 

There’s something about the Smithsonian.

Maybe it’s because it’s the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centers, and affiliates around the world.

Maybe it’s because it was established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” and is administered by the Government of the United States.

Or, it could very well be that we love the idea of the Smithsonian being “the nation’s attic” for its eclectic holdings of 154 million items that chronicle the history of these United States of America.

Art Gallery 21 continues to be amazed at the depth and breadth of the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, “The Way We Worked,” available for viewing through May 6th. The gallery has seen a steady flow of visitors, each with their own stories to share, because this exhibit connects to everyone as only the Smithsonian can do.

Women taking place of men on Great Northern Railway at Great Falls 1919There are hundreds of photographs depicting everything from the uniforms we’ve worn to the rate of change across the nation as we moved from being an industrial to a technological economy. The exhibit delves into immigration, the history of gender in the workplace,  and child labor, and illustrates the story of the American workplace through videos, audio recordings and an eclectic collection of artifacts as only the Smithsonian can.

Don’t miss it! Exhibit hours are 12 Noon to 8 PM on Friday and Saturday and 12 Noon to 4 PM on Sunday at Art Gallery 21, 600 NE 21 Court in Wilton Manors, Florida.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council and the Smithsonian Institute. Paid for by the U.S. Congress. #NEHmatters

The Smithsonian is here!

It is with great pleasure that we write those words! “The Smithsonian is here!”

If you remember from our earlier blog entries, we’ve been “under construction” as the City installed a new ceiling in the former Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors, our home. As is the rule in this life, it took longer than everyone thought it would, so, we were biting our nails and praying it would be done before the opening of our photo exhibit, “WILTON MANORS WORKS” and the Story Slam on March 18th. While it wasn’t completely finished, it was close enough that we were able to host a lovely evening at Art Gallery 21 with the unveiling of 26 charming photographs of people working in Wilton Manors, and our neighboring cities, Oakland Park and Fort Lauderdale.

Story Slam
A storyteller and her attentive audience.

And, the Story Slam … what an incredibly interesting experience for all of us! What courage it takes to stand in front of a group of people and talk about yourself. Yet, the idea of “working for a living” is something each of us can relate to, and, it was in that shared experience that we found common ground. The entire Story Slam was recorded by The Humanity Project, one of our grant partners, and as soon as we have access to the podcast (coming soon!), we will post it here and share it on our Facebook page.

On Wednesday, March 22nd an 18-wheel tractor trailer pulled up at Art Gallery 21 and unloaded 12 very large crates marked “SMITHSONIAN.” Imagine our excitement that it was finally here! We inventoried everything and used “the sticks” to determine where the exhibit would be placed. “The sticks” are, in fact, officially known as Exhibit Patterns. They’re similar to one of those folding rulers, but these sticks we could lay on the floor to determine the footprint of the physical exhibit which helped us to figure out the placement of each of the five sections. It may not sound very exciting, but, what a very clever tool! Indeed!

Smithsonian crates containing the exhibit.

Art Gallery 21 officially opened the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit to the public at noon on Friday, March 24th and the response from visitors has been delightfully enthusiastic! We saw a busy weekend for our docents and we are all looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones as we explore “The Way We Worked” together throughout the month of April! The exhibit is free to the public thanks to a grant from the Florida Humanities Council and the Smithsonian Institution. And, thanks to all our partners, especially the City of Wilton Manors! This is the kind of thing that makes life better here!

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EXHIBIT HOURS: Friday & Saturday 12 Noon to 8 PM | Sunday 12 Noon to 4 PM

 

Diversity, Equity & A Paycheck

There are 26 photos, framed and hanging on the walls of the gallery.

Chairs are gathered ’round a microphone, awaiting the stories that will be told. A pith helmet stands ready to gather the names of the storytellers, written on little slips of paper. A straw hat awaits the names of the judges. A few refreshments, a prize for the winner and wonderful weather, all upon a Saturday night.

Will they come? And, if they do, how many will they be? Will they like what they see? And, will they stay and share their stories?

So many questions, but, alas, the answers must wait. Until Saturday night. The doors open at 7 PM and we look forward to seeing you again or meeting you for the first time! Meanwhile, enjoy this music video of “Workin’ For A Livin'” from 1982. It’s just so apropo!

Featured photo: August 9, 2016 | Wilton Manors City Hall Selfie Day | From Wilton Manors Works, on exhibit at Art Gallery 21 through May 6, 2017 | This project is sponsored by The Florida Humanities Council and The Smithsonian Institution through Museums On Main Street.

 

#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.

way_we_worked_st-_louis_mo_2011

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.

 

 

Won’t you join us?

Artist's Materials-smallWe are super excited! This Friday, February 12th we will present the awards to the winners of the Fourth Annual Island City Juried Art Competition. Now, this is not done in a vacuum. Presenting cash prizes and ribbons is serious business, so it’s done during the whirlwind we call an “Art Social!”

The great thing about our art socials is that we offer refreshments, there’s always someone to talk to, and we showcase the work of some of south Florida’s best fine artists, so there’s lots of eye candy! We’re thrilled that this year’s juried competition brought in a diverse selection of art, including watercolors, acrylics, oils, mixed media and photographs. There’s absolutely something for everyone and we sincerely hope you’ll have a few minutes to come by and see for yourself how wonderful this show is!

A huge shout out to our jurist, Tyce Marshall! He is an award-winning artist who graciously agreed to work with our gallery curator, Robert Gross, to select the winners. He spent a lot of time looking at the individual entries, studying color, technique and subject matter to choose the best of the best, ’cause there’s not a bad piece in the bunch!

The festivities will begin at 7 PM Friday evening and we anticipate the winners will be announced between 7:30 and 8 PM. Come join the fun! You always have the option of walking one block west to Wilton Drive and grabbing dinner at one of the many fantastic eateries located in the City’s Arts & Entertainment District, so make a night of it! We’ll be so happy to see you again or to meet you for the first time!