She’s making downtown arty

West Palm gallery owner hopes to fuse Miami, Brooklyn art scenes with outdoor CANVAS show


Take the heady VIP festival vibe of Miami’s Art Basel and the colorful bold murals in that city’s Wynwood district, and then move them up the road into West Palm Beach.

What you’ll get is CANVAS Outdoor Museum Show, a 14-day event that will turn the buildings, parks and public spaces of downtown literally into canvases.

And the show’s creator hopes it becomes an impetus for a thriving movement in our backyards.

“I want this to be a fusion of all of those events, from Art Basel to Brooklyn. I think that would fit really well here,” says gallery owner Nicole Henry, who came up with CANVAS as a way of “breaking down barriers by bringing museum-quality work to outdoor spaces, where it’s not intimidating.”

Twenty large-scale murals will span much of downtown, from Clematis Street south to Fern streets, and from the Flagler bridge west to Rosemary Avenue. Murals will be painted on condo towers, a hotel, a city garage and the Royal Park Bridge, where artist Sean Yoro is painting on the underside of the span.

The artists are a truly international group hailing from Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and all across the Unites States. The show is being funded by CANVAS Art Charities, a organization that Henry founded out of Nicole Henry Fine Arts, her Fern Street gallery.

“The whole idea is to bring art to public places and to promote arts education,” she says. “My goal has always been to push boundaries and make art accessible to everyone.”

That art includes the bright Pop Art-influenced murals and sculptures of Miami’s Registered Artist (yes, that’s what he calls himself) who draws on sources like Roy Lichtenstein’s crying ladies and “Speed Racer”; noted London graffiti artist and hip-hop poster artist Zeus, who is creating a large-scale “Streetopoly” board game for CANVAS, and photorealist Case.

But there is also local artists involved: Seven local artists will participate in a Canvas event in the city’s Northwood neighborhood on Nov. 13, where they’ll each paint a garage door.

Besides the art on the walls, CANVAS is intended to be a full community event, with VIP events on yachts and at Henry’s gallery, as well as art education and live art showdowns to determine the lineup for CANVAS 2016.

Henry says she’s confident that West Palm Beach can one day have a thriving art scene, since “you have to remember that there wasn’t really an art scene in Miami until Art Basel, and the evolution of Wynwood. I believe it can expand.”

Staff writer Tony Doris contributed to this report.



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