At The Frank, a new exhibition space in Pembroke Pines, curator Jill Slaughter invited 15 artists to interpret the title, What’s Wonderful, for the inaugural exhibition announcing The Frank’s arrival.
Artists Virginia Fifield, Flore, TD Gillispie, Henning Haupt, Frank Hyder, Marcus Jansen, Marcus Kenney, Monique Lazard, Kerry Phillips, Lori Pratico, Peter Symons, Valeria Yamamoto, and Robert Zuckerman – examined the broad interpretation of wonder through site-specific installations and multi-disciplinary works that explore passion and persistence, along with unsentimental images of nature.
“People want an opportunity to connect,” said Slaughter at the April 27, 2017 opening celebration that drew approximately 400 people to the exhibition space and party at city hall plaza “I’ve seen that here ten- fold.”
Slaughter aims to present a diverse body of work while creating a public space to foster connections as well as promote intimate cultural exchanges and innovation. The two-story art gallery is named after Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank C. Ortis, honoring his decades-long commitment to the cultural arts. The upper level space showcased the work of artists with disabilities.
On opening night, Pembroke Pines resident Lianne Gill explored Henning Haupt’s 24-foot long installation, White Forest with her children Zoe, 9 and Max, 7.
In another gallery, painter Carrie Smith’s People of Pines portrayed residents of the city in saturated hues. Recorded interviews with the residents played over the hubbub of conversation.
“It shows the diversity of Pembroke Pines,” Smith explained as she greeted gallery visitors.
Mayor Ortis was recognized by Slaughter and other speakers during the event for his civic accomplishments, which enhanced the cultural life of the city.
Support from many organizations made the facility possible. A $462,350 Tourist Development Tax Capital Challenge Grant from Broward County was awarded to help fund the construction of The Frank and City Center’s Great Hall, recognizing that these cultural facilities will enhance Broward County as a tourist destination. The city’s cultural committee was another driving force in the gallery’s creation.
The Frank’s mission is to generate cultural innovation and foster community connections with no barriers to participation. A community engagement wall encouraged gallery-goers to write down what they think is wonderful on a sticky note and post for all to read. The opening weekend included activities to appeal to a variety of ages. Lectures, film series, and arts-related workshops will enhance the exhibition program.
The Pirate Island exhibit from the Miami Children’s Museum is scheduled at The Frank from June 15 through August 19, 2017.
Admission to The Frank, 601 City Center Way in Pembroke Pines, is free. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. For more information about The Frank: thefrankgallery.org – tel: 954.392.2129