|Nino Liguoria, ActivistArtistA Bay Gates Project|
Urban art meets urban gardens in the Arts District
The Bay Gates project at the Boynton Beach Arts District is an ongoing outdoor exhibition started by ArtistActivistA Gallery's Rolando Chang Barrero, who, along with sculptor Rick Beau Lieu, is one of the driving forces behind the district.
Rehabbing an old warehouse space in an industrial area of the city, Barrero initiated the Bay Gates project, an outdoor exhibition of murals and paintings by local and national artists, redecorating a blighted industrial area of automotive garages with brightly colored, graffiti-style artwork and murals.
On Saturday and Sunday, Barrero will put on Paint It! An Urban Affair, a weekend of painting and planting to keep the Arts District fresh and exciting.
"My intention is to provide the city of Boynton Beach and Palm Beach County a destination site where locals and visitors to South Florida can mingle, learn about developments in the arts and enjoy participating in projects specifically designed to enrich our lives," Barrero said.Ten artists will paint 10 bay gates, encompassing more than 70 feet of wall space. The painting project, which is open to everyone to watch and participate, will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday and continue through sunset on Sunday.
Participating artists include: Bulk, Ripe, Vin Jo, Flick, Venom, Veins, Serafima Sokolov, Paul Caprio, Eduardo Mendieta, Seezone, Winkstyes, Nino Liguori and Craig McInnis.
McInnis, 40, an illustrator and multimedia artist who lives in Lake Worth, will collaborate with Mendieta, 39, of West Palm Beach, Caprio and Sokolov to paint the 70-foot wall with the theme of the tree of life.
"Rolando is doing exactly what the city needs. He puts in hard work and makes sure his ideas happen. He's invaluable and his concepts can be duplicated easily in other cities afflicted with urban blight," said McInnis, who does marketing and outreach for Jerry's Artarama, one of the event's sponsors. "The power of live art is exciting and there are always good vibes here."
Bill Milner and his wife Jayne King, co-chairwoman of the green implementation advisory board with the community garden ordinance in Delray Beach, are urban farmers. Their interests are in "all things green." They develop urban green space to make it more sustainable, develop food systems and build community around food.
"We grow anything that will grow in the Florida climate – mangoes, star fruit, avocado, collard greens, tomatoes and okra. We want to bring a green ethos to the art district," Milner said. "Container gardens allow one to garden anywhere, so there is no excuse not to bring greenery everywhere."
They will plant a variety of local species to provide raw eats and education to visitors to the district.
Debby Coles-Dobay, the city's public art administrator, said, "This urban art revitalization project keeps the district fresh and edgy, giving people new reasons to visit. The urban garden adds to community placemaking, encourages entrepreneurship, fosters innovation and nurtures humanity."
The Paint It! weekend includes live music, food and drink. Call Debby Coles-Dobay at 561-742-6026 or Rolando Chang Barrero at 786-521-1199. Visit activistartista.blogspot.com, facebook.com/BoyntonBeachArtInPublicPlaces or boyntonbeacharts.org. The Arts District is at 410 - 422 W. Industrial Ave., Boynton Beach.
Donations of the following are welcome: ladders, power paint sprayer, white outdoor house paint, 2-by-6 wood boards (new or used), vegetable and herb plants and seeds and volunteers to assist with thesactivities.
The opening reception for Dwelling Projects, a student initiative to foster awareness and appreciation for the contemporary visual arts, at the ActivistArtistA Gallery is 7 p.m. Saturday. Closing reception is set for 6 p.m. May 23.