Almost overnight, it seems, Broward has turned into an art center. If you haven’t awakened to what is happening north of Miami, now would be the time. The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood has been consistently putting out good exhibits for years now, as has the Girls Club (it will be unveiling its latest year-long show from the TM Sisters later this month). But galleries have also been popping up, and now the former director of MOCA, Bonnie Clearwater, will be overseeing a new direction at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.An example of the energy that is emanating from the areas took place last Saturday, during a little art walk in what is being called the Fat Village Art District. It is small with just several galleries and pop-up shops, but it had the feel of the early days of Wynwood, before the crowds and food trucks descended. People seemed to actually be enjoying the art, and hanging out and talking.
The main draw was the exhibit at Fat Village Projects called “Rough and Tumble,” curated by Lisa Rockford. It was stuffed with art from dozens of artists, mostly sculptures and installations, a crazy array of work that felt fresh. Some resembled old-fashion mechanical devices, like the piece “Stress Test” from Paul McClelland, in which a nail is being hammered into the forehead of a male bust. The wall piece that ends the exhibit made up of drug-store figurines and covered in black paint from Lynelle Forrest was another stand-out, as was the Bug car whose interior was turned into a mini-forest. In fact it was hard to figure out what work came from which artist, but that gave it a communal, loose feel – it wasn’t screaming, “Look at me! I am art!” On a sweltering August night, the atmosphere in the mostly un-air-conditioned spaces still gave off a cool breeze.
The museum was also open, featuring the exhibits of photographer Bunny Yeager, some great masks from New Guinea, and works from this year’s winners of the South Florida Cultural Consortium, curated by Freddy Jouwayed, titled “Who Am I To You?” This annual display is always worth checking out, as the artists are generally making some of the best work around. Adler Guerrier’s wall is particularly impressive, a mixture of large geometric patterns and three photographs. Naomi Fisher also has a number of works highlighted, including video. Agustina Woodgate created a fine chalkboard piece, complete with eraser, and Broward’s Leah Brown introduces the exhibit with a huge sculpture topped by some strange creatures.
“Rough and Tumble” runs through Oct. 5 at Fat Village Projects, 523 NW 1st St., Ft. Lauderdale; fatvillageprojects.com. “Who Am I to You” runs through Sept. 15 at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, One E. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale; www.moafl.org.