Gallery Shows Kick Off the Art Season in West Palm Beach
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition features several beloved rooms from the TV series, including the Crawleys’ glamorous dining room. Mrs. Patmore’s hectic kitchen. One of many rooms featured in Downton Abbey: The Exhibition

While the full blown art season is a few months away, a few galleries are getting the jump on the calendar with group shows.

The JF Gallery has announced its 7th Annual Juried Exhibit. This years Jurors were Kara Walker Tome and Sibel Kocabasi, both Palm Beach County art curators and educators. The show features some high profile names in the Palm Beach County art community – including Ilene Gruber Adams work “Movie Night Tel Aviv” a photo on metal; and Anthony Burks “Rooted Ground RED The Rhino Trio” – who won out with a smart array of paintings, photography, colored pencil and even fire burnt images.

One of the selected artists, Nolan Haan, creates something quite remarkable – hyper realistic looking graffiti painted on cinder block walls. Haan started as a painter back in the 80s, and won a competition for his depiction of an eagle. Someone asked him if he could also paint a duck. “Sure I can paint a duck,” he replied and ended up winning another competition out of 1700 entries so he painted ducks for 10 years.

Gallery Shows Kick Off the Art Season in West Palm Beach
Nolan Haan Life of the Party
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Then he made a radical shift one day looking at paint splatters on a cinder block wall.
“I had been painting birds but it was not a diary of my real life,” he says. “I had been looking at this wall in my studio for years but was not really seeing it. It was just a lowly cinder block but really it had structure, pattern, bumps and marks within that surface. I wanted to make something higher of it, because as a subject it is the least expected.”

Working on silk for months, Haan slowly developed a technique to build up layers of sheer color to look astoundingly like cinder block. After he mastered that he played with light hitting the wall at different angles, then began applying graffiti to them.

“I learned all this on my own,“ he says from his modest studio in a historic apartment building he owns in Sailboat Bend in Fort Lauderdale. “I want people to see it anew, to ignoble a humble subject. There’s abstraction within the work although it’s also hyper realism.”

The other selected artists are Renata Rodrigues and John Frazee. “We’ve been doing this show now for seven years and I love it and enjoy seeing the diverse fresh energy it brings in the gallery space that I am used to seeing only the same group of artists I represent for years,” owner Jamnea Finlayson. “It is also a chance for local artists to exhibit in the gallery once a year, since I do not take on any new artists for representation. I really enjoy opening up the space and engaging with the local art community.”

The exhibit opened September 15th at JF Gallery, 3901 S. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach.

Downton Abbey

Gallery Shows Kick Off the Art Season in West Palm Beach
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition features several beloved rooms from the TV series, including the Crawleys’ glamorous dining room. Visitors can view more than 50 of the TV series’ official costumes

CityPlace will be the exclusive host to a show of sets and costumes from the TV show Downton Abbey.

Following a widely acclaimed New York City run, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition makes its exclusive second stop in West Palm Beach in a much larger venue and expanded show. There are likely to be big crowds drawn to this one based on the hit TV series that ran for 6 seasons and was the highest rated PBS series of all time. The show won Emmys, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and now there is an upcoming feature film which started production in mid-September.

The exhibition, presented by NBCUniversal, offers a behind the scenes and an up close look into Julian Fellowes’ series about a wealthy Edwardian England estate family facing a world in upheaval. Visitors can see more than 50 of the show’s costumes of gowns and suits on display, from actors Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith, and can walk through the sets of the drama, including the hectic gossip filled downstairs kitchen, the glamorous formal family dining room and Lady Mary’s bedroom where secrets were both kept and revealed. Also included is exclusive footage and exhibits about British culture from World War I to the Roaring Twenties. For fans who can’t wait for the movie, this is a show to tide them over.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition opens Nov. 10 and runs through April 22 in CityPlace at 575 S. Rosemary Ave.

Gallery Shows Kick Off the Art Season in West Palm Beach