This past weekend, ArtPalmBeach celebrated its 18th year with artworks from over 85 international galleries at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. It’s effectively the slightly Northern version of Miami Art Week. In 2013, artists and activists, Rolando Barrero, Frank Basta Jr, and Craig McInnis, came up with the concept of the ArtSynergy program, in an effort to unite the Palm Beach County‘s arts community during ArtPalmBeach. Much like the gallery exhibitions and the satellite fairs we’ve seen pop-up during Art Basel over the years, ArtSynergy encompasses special gallery receptions, open artist studios, performances, exhibition openings, lectures, tours, and art demonstrations.
This year’s ArtSynergy program included over 65 events across Florida’s Gold Coast, throughout Palm Beach County’s Historic Arts Districts – Northwood Village, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Northern Palm Beaches, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Lake Park. The Boynton Beach Art District, founded by Barrero four years ago, is conveniently tucked away right under I-95, in an industrial area. And so, we took that trip. Upon entering, you would never guess that this locale would be so vibrant and bustling with activity. Much like Wynwood, what once was just a bunch of warehouses and storage units, is a budding art scene.
The first thing you notice is the beautiful murals that are part of the ActivistArtistA Bay Gates Project (above). Admiring the scenery and visiting the seven galleries that are part of the district, were hundreds of patrons ranging from children to seniors to everything in between.
There were a ton of vendors selling art, clothing, jewelry, and, of course, food. Three PA systems were playing non-stop tunes from a variety of local performers and musicians. Everything from originals, covers, spoken word, country, rock, experimental and hip-hop. In between, dancers spun glowing staffs and rolls of fabric, creating a unique live experience that rivals any local music festival.
The variety of art and music is enough to make your head spin. Best of all, the event is free, and the locals are friendly.