If the goal of progressive art spaces in downtown Fort Lauderdale is to nurture the city’s creative identity, Girls’ Club is one of the area’s undisputed leaders, an establisher of many local precedents. The size and scope alone of the gallery’s collection validates such a claim: It includes international and local, historic and contemporary artists alike, from Ana Mendieta to Beatriz Monteavaro. But it’s the Club’s mission that’s its biggest pull. An open dialogue between artists and their community is key, with the establishment of such a public resource featuring talks, workshops, and community outreach programs.
On October 6, in time for National Arts and Humanities Month, Girls’ Club will host the third annual Art Fallout event. In keeping with Girls’ Club aforementioned role as one of the most vital art spaces in the Tri-County area, Art Fallout will connect several of Fort Lauderdale’s contemporary art venues for the evening: 1310 Gallery at the Sailboat Bend Artists Lofts, the Museum of Art, Tandem Gallery, Glavovic Studio, and FAT Village are the participating spaces, and Green Room – a sometimes-gallery itself – will host an afterparty. All of the venues will feature open studios, talks, and public performances, along with displayed visual art from artists both established and unknown.
National Arts and Humanities Month is a laudable, near-political cause with which to align an event, but Art Fallout is more than that. Explains Girls’ Club’s Gallery Director, Sarah Michelle Rupert, “Girls’ Club creative director Michelle Weinberg thought of the project as a way to connect all of these independent spaces for contemporary art that we saw developing downtown. Each space was presenting interesting projects … [but] there was no real unifying event or dialogue.” And that’s a pity, considering Girls’ Club’s own popularity. “Many of Girls’ Club’s visitors,” Rupert adds, “a large portion of whom are from Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, knew little … about what else was happening here in Fort Lauderdale.”
So, in 2010, Girls’ Club teamed up with Leah Brown, the curator of FAT Village’s Project Spaces, and Lisa Rockford of 1310 Gallery, to present Art Fallout. “Each year, the event grows – both in our visitor count and the participating venues – and has really helped to create a sense of community in the area,” says Rupert.
As for Girls’ Club’s own Art Fallout event, they will host an open-call exhibition “open to artists of all ages and skill sets.”
“Pretty much everything submitted gets installed, [with] no filter, no theme. We want to discover new art and new artists and give our local artists a great platform … for open discussion,” says Rupert. A group of art professionals will give feedback for the work, which is wonderful because, as Rupert states, “Outside of art school, there are few platforms that offer direct feedback for artists.” The other venues and open studios all sound promising, such as Misael Soto’s Picnic Blanket, which will make an appearance at Huizenga Plaza weather permitting. Shuttle buses will be available to carry visitors between spaces.
Where: Participating venues in the downtown Fort Lauderdale area include: Girls’ Club (117 N.E. Second St.), 1310 Gallery at Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, (1310 S.W. Second Court), Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, (1 E. Las Olas Blvd.), FAT Village, (N.W. First Ave. between Fifth and Sixth Streets), Glavovic Studio (724 N.E. Third Ave.), Tandem Gallery (435 N. Andrews Ave., No. 2), Huizenga Plaza at Las Olas Blvd. and Andrews Ave. for Misael Soto’s Picnic Blanket, and Green Room (109 S.W. Second Ave.). See map below.
When: 5-9 p.m. for most events, Saturday, October 6; Green Room’s afterparty begins at 9:30 p.m. Shuttle buses run from 5-9:30 p.m.
Contact: Visit artfallout.blogspot.com and girlsclubcollection.org for more information.