Review of the Palm Beach Cultural Council Exhibition!
By JAN SJOSTROM
DAILY NEWS ARTS EDITOR
Updated: 9:25 p.m. Saturday, May 26, 2012
Posted: 5:13 p.m. Saturday, May 26, 2012
One of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council’s jobs is to promote the work of the county’s artists. The council hopes to do a better job of fulfilling that responsibility in its new home in Lake Worth, where it’s currently using its 2,500 square feet of exhibition space for its first juried art show and two solo exhibitions featuring Palm Beach County artists.
Nearly 150 artists submitted close to 400 works for the group show. These were whittled down by the judges to 22 artists and 26 works, including photography, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media art and paintings.
The space fills a niche that isn’t served by the county’s commercial galleries or museums, said council chief Rena Blades. “Our space is neither commercially motivated nor motivated by scholarly or collections concerns,” she said. “Our space is focused on helping artists create careers.”
In addition to organizing exhibitions, the council sells local artists’ work in its store and plans to open an artists’ resource center eventually.
The help is much appreciated, said TD Gillispie, one of the artists whose work was selected for the group show. “You try over and over again to get shows, but if you don’t have a big name, it’s too challenging,” she said. “This is a great opportunity.”
Only professional artists were considered by the jury, which consisted of Rolando Barrero, director of ActivistArtistA Gallery Studio in Boynton Beach; Jamnea Finlayson, owner of JF Gallery & Framing in West Palm Beach; and Kenneth Plasket, of Kenneth Plasket Gallery in West Palm Beach.
Gillispie, for example, has exhibited at Whitespace, The Mordes Collection in West Palm Beach; Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta; and the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s juried show for Florida artists.
She’s showing Combat Cupie, a painting depicting a Cupie Doll wearing combat boots and standing on a box of Tide.
The painting, which is part of a series called Playthings, references the sex, violence and profanity to which youth are exposed through American advertising and pop culture.
“At first glance it’s cute, but when you look at it closely, it’s not so cute,” said Gillispie, who lives in West Palm Beach. “A lot of things in life are like that.”
Photographer Steve Horan didn’t have far to go to shoot his contribution to the exhibition. He snapped Gutter Art, which the council used for the postcard announcing the show, right outside the council building during Lake Worth’s annual street painting festival. He was walking the street in the early morning when his eye was caught by a rainbow-hued segment where leaves had gathered.
Horan divides his time between Lake Worth and Yellowstone National Park, where he’s in the third year of a project shooting black-and-white portraits of people affiliated with the park.
The council’s new solo shows offer artists an opportunity to exhibit their work in greater depth. Participants must be council members and pay $500 for a month-long show.
Elle Schorr is exhibiting her spin on street photography and Mark Forman is showing abstract paintings.
Schorr, of suburban Lake Worth, took up photography seriously after she retired from a career in social work.
Her show focuses on Manhattan sights, but one, titled Glam, was shot on Worth Avenue. The image combines a palm tree, studio lights, a mannequin, a chandelier and building facades.
No, it wasn’t done with Photoshop. Rather, like the other works in her show, it’s part of a series Schorr shot of reflections in windows. “It’s all exactly what I saw,” she said. “It’s just a different way of looking.”
The council’s work on behalf of artists hasn’t gone unnoticed, Schorr said. “Everyone is watching to see what they will do next and how it will develop,” she said.
IF YOU GO
What: 'PBC: Art’ featuring 22 Palm Beach County artists, and solo exhibitions by Mark Forman and Elle Schorr
Where: Palm Beach County Cultural Council, 601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth
When: Through Aug. 4; solo shows through June 2
Information: Call 471-2901 or visit palmbeachculture.com
For More information visit ActivistArtistA.com