Sunday, August 5, 2012

Almost a year since this was written! Thanks Erika Pesantes!!

It's almost been a year and boy have things changed! During this interview I was getting ready for the Grand Opening Show that featured the work of Kim Fay and Robert Catapano, since then over 70 artists have exhibited they art at ActivistArtistA.  If it weren't for them and the musicians who continue to donate their time and talnet the District would not have florished!

Thank You, Always!


Gritty arts scene grows in industrial Boynton Beach niche

Gritty arts scene grows in industrial Boynton Beach niche

Original Blog Entry
October 28, 2011|By Erika Pesantes, Sun Sentinel
Boynton Beach — Artists and auto repair shops coexist in a gritty landscape on West Industrial Avenue with the din of Interstate 95 nearby.
But painters, sculptors and other artistic types are creating a buzz all their own.
An alternative contemporary art scene has quietly been growing over the years amid rows of warehouses where rusty bulldozers serve as easels for artwork; where abstract metal sculptures complement the industrial strip; and where a shaded sitting area next to a studio gallery offers a homey nook as big trucks zoom by.
"This is raw; this is edgy," city public-art administrator Debby Coles-Dobay said.
Now, Rolando Chang Barrero, a Miami artist who left that saturated market for more-affordableBoynton Beach, is spearheading efforts to create a more vibrant scene that draws more people.
He envisions "the district" evolving into a community where all convene for a cultural exchange of ideas; where paintings, sculptures and photographs are showcased alongside performance artists, dancers and poets.
"This is the place for a hyper-intellectual academic to break bread with a surfer dude and chat about what art is," he said. "It's creating an art experience akin to what was called a 'happening' in the 60s."
Barrero is launching his ActivistArtistA gallery on Nov. 11 with a gallery walk through the district, involving a handful of working artists who already set up there. Works from other collaborating artists also will be shown during the walk, which Barrero hopes to make a regular event.
The city designated the Boynton Beach Neighborhood Arts District in 1989 when the area was far grittier and was a dumping ground for old appliances and other junk. Since then, artists have come and gone, but new blood re-energizes the area, said Richard Beau Lieu, who petitioned the city for that designation.
"You can't grow a city without art," said Beau Lieu, who owns Neighborhood Gallery, "Every major city is loaded with art."
Barrero's enthusiasm is infectious, fellow artists say. And those who aren't artists still are supportive. The air-conditioning business donates wooden crates from A/C parts for scrap material for artwork, and and a local auto body shop helped repair a damaged sculpture.
"There's new creative energy. It's very exciting and very stimulating. You can get caught up in it," said Sage Neighbors, a scenic artist who's had her studio in the art district for nearly a decade and paints sets for Miami City Ballet and Palm Beach Opera.
More artists want in, Beau Lieu says, so he calls them up whenever a warehouse empties out and space becomes available.

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