Art and sleuthing converge at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens when “The Art of Sherlock Holmes” premiered on May 10 with an exhibit and book release. This one-of-a-kind exhibition showcases artworks by 15 West Palm Beach artists that are interpretations of different short stories featuring super sleuth Sherlock Holmes.
Curated by author Phil Growick, “The Art of Sherlock Holmes” pulls together a variety of art and artists from a world-famous collage maker to a local tattoo inker. Art varies from abstract, contemporary, digital, realist, minimalist, to symbolism. The artwork has been turned into a hardcover, full color coffee table book, also entitled “The Art of Sherlock Holmes.” The first edition features the artwork from West Palm Beach artists paired with the stories Growick gave them to inspire the creation of their art. Future editions and exhibitions will be global, with participating artists contributing from all over the world.
For some back story, Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. First appearing in print in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet, the sleuths popularity went worldwide with the first series of short stories beginning with “A Scandal in Bohemia” in 1891. More tales appeared until 1927, eventually totaling four books and 56 short stories. Most are set in the Victorian era from 1880 to 1914, and are narrated by the character of Holmes’s friend and biographer Dr. Watson, who usually accompanies Holmes on his investigations. “Consulting detective” Holmes is known for his keen observation, forensic science, and fantastic sense of logic.
Growick has published two books on Holmes adventures, “The Secret Journal of Dr. Watson,” and a sequel “The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes.” His “Two Plus Two” story is included in The Art of Sherlock Holmes as well. Growick serves as Chair of the West Palm Beach Art in Public Places committee, contributes strategies for the Homeless Task Force and works with the Mayor, City Commissioners and the West Palm Beach firefighters in various capacities.
“I don’t really know what attracted me to Sherlock Holmes in the first place,” he says by phone. “As a boy I saw the films starring Nigel Bruce and I’ve always been into history. I thought about Holmes investigating unsolved mysteries like the curious case of the whether or not all the Russian Imperial Family Romanoffs were executed. The book was successful so the publishers asked me to write another. That one included classic mobsters like Bugsy Segal and Al Capone. Then I turned my attention to pairing some of the classic short stories with artwork. Being a resident of West Palm Beach, I wanted to begin this journey with artists from my community. The art created is unique, hypnotic, mesmerizing and unforgettable. Each one represents the essence of different Holmes stories. You’re presented with murder, theft, treason, betrayal, love, loss and greed. All the ingredients to make a delicious Holmes meal of mystery. In the book the art is paired with the story that inspired it.”
Participating artists include Nune’ Asatryan, Pat Crowley, Bobby Franano, Tracy Guiteau, Bruce Helander, Anthony Hernandez, Lupe Lawrence, JR Linton, Eddie Mendieta, Andy Pereira, Terre Rybovich, Vicki Siegel, Robert St. Croix, David Teal and Amber Tutwiler.
“Since I work with Art in Public Places I knew several of them,” says Growick. “They also suggested others to me. Some are through the Armory and some I met through their gallery owners. One unexpected choice is J.R. Linton of Ink and Pistons tattoo parlor on Dixie Highway. He fit in well since tattoo artists are used to creating a story for their clients. Another offbeat participant is Pat Crowley, former editorial cartoonist for the Palm Beach Post. And I really love the piece by Anthony Hernandez; he’s been doing a series of portraits that tell stories on their bodies so this was a perfect fit.”
Anthony Hernandez’s painting depicts a kid with the Sherlock tale on his own person.
”As a kid I was always fascinated with how clever and attention to detail all the stories of the great detective were,” says Hernandez. “The idea and style summarized the history and the most known colleagues and adversaries to Holmes. In a story telling collage, the important details are who have shaped not only Sherlock Holmes traits of solving mysteries but also inspiring kids and adults in the fight between good and evil.”
There will be 15 paintings exhibited in total, all for sale.
The exhibition opened May 10th and will run through June 3, 2019 at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is located at 253 Barcelona Road in the historic El Cid neighborhood in West Palm Beach. There will be an artist talk on June 1st at 6 pm with Growick and 10 of the artists at the Mandel Public Library, 411 Clematis St.
Creative Visions in “The Art of Sherlock Holmes” Exhibition