Photo by Rolando Chang Barrero
Boynton Beach Neighborhood Art District offers an alternative sceneMaxine Schreiber: West Palm Beach Fine Arts Examiner
Last Thursday evening the Boynton Beach Neighborhood Art District was buzzing with artists and art enthusiasts happy to be exploring the warehouses on Industrial Avenue in Boynton Beach,which are bursting with art. Many were there for the opening of Packaging Nature, the new exhibit in ActivistArtistA Gallery, 422 Industrial Avenue. Most took advantage of the Art Walk visiting the other studios and galleries that fill the warehouse spaces.
Rolando Chang Barrero, the artist owner of ActivistArtistA Gallery, left the saturated market of Miami Beach with hopes of creating a vibrant art scene in Boynton Beach. He and Rick Beau Lieu, sculptor, painter, and a founder of the City’s Art in Public Places Program, share the warehouse space. Rick’s Neighborhood Gallery was established in 1988, and in addition to his own work, the gallery represents over a dozen other recognized artists. Their collaboration has drawn other artists to the area and has developed the monthly Art Walk bringing new life and energy into the “District.”
In the Packaging Nature exhibit and the other surrounding studios, the artwork is not consistent in the level of technical skill. In fact, some of the pieces are reminiscent of work done by art students – imaginative, innovative, and daring – but also immature. Still the overall atmosphere is exciting, and Barrero’s enthusiasm and openness to new and alternative forms of art is refreshing. One can only appreciate the fact that the City of Boynton Beach recognizes the worth of having an art district and is supporting the efforts of the artistic community.
City Commissioner Bill Orlove was on hand to express his support as was Debby Coles-Dobay, Boynton Beach Public Art Administrator. “This is the first and only industrial arts district in Palm Beach County,” she proudly states. “It’s edgy and offers a forum for emerging artists to meet and show their work.” Let’s hope the community continues to support this endeavor.
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***© 2012 all rights reserved Maxine Schreiber.
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