There’s a new art fair in Fort Lauderdale with scenic views of the Intracoastal Waterway. However, to see the art you have to travel by water taxi to homes along the city’s famed waterways.
Art Fort Lauderdale uses vacant homes on the real estate market to showcase the work of artists from Stuart to Miami, with most from Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s not the traditional art fair on the street,” said co-founder Andrew Martineau, 40. “The uniqueness of the event is that it’s on the water; other cities don’t have the waterways that we do.”
During the inaugural show in January water taxis left from Bahia Mar’s hotel marina, stopped at three houses where they dropped off and picked up people, and returned to the marina.
Fort Lauderdale resident Martineau, an artist who for the last 10 years has worked in marketing, advertising, and design, said he wants to provide a showcase for the work that local artists are doing in the city.
Working with a developer and two real estate businesses that are marketing their properties gives Martineau a database of potential collectors who might buy art displayed at the art fair, priced from $2,000 to $360,000.
Art Fort Lauderdale co-founder Evan Snow, 30, wants to advance the arts and culture in the city. Snow sees himself as a “cultural crusader” whose mission is to “make Fort Lauderdale more culturally diverse.”
The Broward Cultural Division worked with Snow and Martineau to market Art Fort Lauderdale through its ArtsCalendar.com website, newsletters and social media, and by sharing the call to artists on mutual and independent platforms.
“We help support the local arts scene and collectors are certainly part of its growth,” said Meredith Clements, Broward Cultural Division marketing manager. “Not many contemporary art shows promote local artists,” she added. “It’s really cool that they’re utilizing a new method for an art fair–a more intimate setting in people’s homes.
Artists Leah Brown, 34, and husband Peter Symons, 34, had their work on display inside a $22.5 million home on the Intracoastal Waterway built by Oscar Meyer for his granddaughter.
Brown’s startlingly lifelike half-human, half-animal sculptures are images from her dreams. She said she sculpts the figures that repeat in her dreams. “I’m acting as a historian of my dreams,” she said during a media tour of Art Fort Lauderdale the day before its opening.
Brown thinks the figures come from fairy tales and mythology and from growing up in Asheville, North Carolina. “For me, it’s all about the story,” she said.
Symons’ work, “In the Woods,” uses computer controlled lights to create “an abstraction of color and space.”
Other artists whose work was on display at Art Fort Lauderdale included Christian Feneck, Bonney Goldstein, Henning Haupt, Ivania Guerrero, Allison Kotzig, Donna Haynes, Alissa Alfonso, Jennifer (Jen) Clay, Anthony Burks Sr., Kevin Vigil, Laurence Gartel and Barry Gross.
See other blogs in this series, here on Arts Blog, for more interesting details about this unique Art Fair.