By David Raterman
Nestled between two of America’s most prominent nature regions – the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades – Broward County is an overpass of humanity. Millions of people work and play here, and countless events celebrate outdoor sports. But the fine arts often have been underappreciated.
In 2002, Miami-Dade County began hosting the annual Art Basel Miami Beach, one of the world’s top art fairs. Two dozen satellite shows – and lots of parties – developed around it. Now Broward hopes to create its own signature annual cultural event that combines art and wildlife.
From May 17-June 16, Nova Southeastern University’s Davie campus hosted an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and other objets de la nature created by members of Artists For Conservation. The prestigious nonprofit, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has 500 members from 27 countries. Locally, the exhibition was promoted by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and BBX Capital Foundation.
“This was an appetizer event, proof of concept,” says Jeffrey Whiting, AFC’s president. “We want to return with a major cultural event wrapped around this.”
According to Tony Fins, executive director of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, even before the show opened, representatives from the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and hundreds of schoolchildren toured the gallery.
“It was a sample exhibit to give people – potential corporate sponsors, the public and cultural arts institutions – a sense of what this is about,” says Fins, who adds the exhibition is tentatively scheduled for February or March 2015, location to be announced. “It has far exceeded our expectations. There’s a buzz now in this community.”
For more on the art, and the artists, featured in the exhibition, go online at cityandshore.com; for more about Artists For Conservation, see artistsforconservation.org/news-media/news/new-campaign-bring-afc-south-florida