Thursday, September 25, 2014

Palm Beach Post Today: Boynton Beach Art District to Celebrate 4th Anniversary



Artists Rolando Chang Barrero (left) and Richard Beau Lieu sit in the midst of the Boynton Beach Art District on Aug. 30, 2014. Beau Lieu founded the district in the 1980s, and Barrero helped it to blossom beginning about four years ago. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)


Boynton Beach Art District
"Where art comes Alive" Every 4th Thursday of the Month


Upcoming....

Special Presentation: Paint it Re-paint it! October 5, 2014
Unveiling of ActivistArtistA's Bay Gates Project 2014-2015 
Open to the Public, 24 hrs a day

Anniversary Art Walk, October, 23, 2014 | 6-11 pm

Art Synergy: Art Week 2015 Art Walk January 24, 2014 6-11 pm


BOYNTON BEACH — 
Artist and appraiser Richard Beau Lieu remembers what it was like in 1986 when he first opened a studio on Industrial Avenue in Boynton Beach.
It was quiet. He was the only artist around. He was a sculptor.
He tried his best to let the public know he was there.
“It wasn’t back then an area known for art,” Beau Lieu said. “Now it is.”
What is now known as the Boynton Beach Art District was once called the Neighborhood Arts Gallery. With the help of artist Rolando Chang Barrero, Industrial Avenue has become a vibrant art scene which in October will celebrate its fourth anniversary.
Around the same time, the district will do its yearly change of the murals that line the outside walls. The artists are taking proposals and have already decided the theme for the murals will be WPA Propaganda posters* (unveiling October 5th, 2014).
The art district has 11 artists who rent studios on Industrial Avenue. The public is invited to walk around the area to view the outside murals or stop in and meet the artists. The district also offers a popular Art Walk. The walk — which also includes food trucks, music and performances — was briefly canceled over the summer because of a permitting issue but came back Aug. 28. The next walk is today.
“It’s good. It’s a good place to be. Art in Public Places is extremely well developed here,” Chang Barrero said. “When I first got here I couldn’t draw two people in here … and they were like ‘Where’s Boynton Beach?’”
Chang Barrero came to the district four years ago and re-branded the area.
Beau Lieu remembers when Chang Barrero asked if he’d be stepping on his feet in trying to market the district.
“I said ‘Hey, listen, I expended all my energy years ago. If you want to go for it, just go for it,’” Beau Lieu said. “He’s brought a lot of attention to the area.”
So Chang Barrero contacted his friends from throughout the county and told them about the district.
Chang Barrero said it was clear how important the place has become to the public when the city canceled the walk.

A mural by Craig McInnis in the Boynton Beach Art District. (Mark Edelson/The Palm Beach Post) - 
The art walk had been going on without a permit for a while and when Chang Barrero expressed plans to expand it, the city said something else had to be done. The solution is for Chang Barrero to obtain a $250 yearly permit.
“The whole township rallied behind me and the city, I guess, realized how important it was to really find a quick resolution to it,” Chang Barrero said.
Even before that, it seems the city has always in, a way, been behind the concept of an arts district.
Beau Lieu said back when he first came to the area, he fought to keep a sign up at the entrance of Industrial Avenue announcing an art gallery. Businesses would take it down and he went to city officials for help. The officials ended up siding with Beau Lieu and helped with the signage.
Chang Barrero said Boynton was a perfect fit to develop as an art district.
“Boynton Beach was prime. It was a prime area for the development of the arts,” 
he said.


Boynton Beach Art District Art Walk:
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: 406-422 West Industrial Ave., Boynton Beach