The local centric art pop up Continuum WPB, organized by the founders of ArtSynergy along with the Downtown Development Authority planted itself to electric, eccentric effect in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach’s hippest Clematis Street block during Art Week coinciding with ArtPalmBeach (January 21 – 25) and one additional week (January 26 – 30). Continuum WPB purpose was to attract local and out of town art buyers to a source of local art, and host a series of events and lectures to give even more depth to the scene.
The nice buzz ArtSynergy had at it’s booth at Art Palm Beach in the Convention Center followed over to the large space at 522 Clematis, a multi-room venue just used for this years show as it will soon be home to The Station Theater.
Continuum WPB art show was juried, ribbons hanging on various pieces gave the winners a chance to shine. Best in Show winner Greg Matthews is more well known for his wild life photography and the workshops he gives, as well as his Big Panther Printing Company that makes posters and prints for local companies. But the piece he won for is a decidedly urban scene of dogs lined up behind a bright yellow fire hydrant on a wildly painted block of Wynwood in Miami. Clever and droll, the work alludes to function over form, and how one persons outdoor art gallery is something else entirely to a dog.
I was drawn like a moth to a glowing flame to the piece by Gary Kroman, another award winner. His multi-layered glowing lightbox was a real standout, with painted plexiglass, flickering LED lights, gorgeous decorative patterns and other things that make the object hang in the space like a beacon. A New York City native, Gary Kroman began working independently as a freelance illustrator in 1972. Gary worked extensively for ad agencies and magazines, he created volumes of posters, magazine covers, album cover art and tee shirts. His posters are licensed and sold to various worldwide companies.
He came to his current technique after seeing glass paintings and liked the “floating” aspect of an image. After some experimentation he began using plexiglass as it provides more dimensionality.
A brunch and panel on the last weekend of the show was moderated by Barbara Cheives who hosted panelists Durga Garcia, Gregory Dillard, Jane Grandusky, JoAnne Berkow, the DDA’s Raphael Clemente, Robert Guerrier and Suzanne Redmond. Cheives promptly stumped the panel loaded with artists, arts administrators and city officials with the question ‘Well, what is art?” This led to a lively discussion of what it is and what is means to people and a city.