Florida's famously sunny weather was yet again absent yesterday and I spent the morning cooped up drinking coffee and watching the Today Show. Who are we kidding? I do that every morning!
But once the tornado warnings subsided the cerulean skies peaked out once again, I decided it was time to do a bit more than laze by the pool listening to Undisclosed or reading Outlander. I threw on my sunnies, slipped on my sandals and headed to the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in the heart of West Palm Beach.
The exhibition was a bit smaller than I expected, but featured some truly fantastic work by local photographers. They don't normally allow photos, but made a special exception for me with the request that I not take direct pictures of any specific photos.
For being a small space, it is set up fantastically with plenty of benches where you can sit to really take in the photos.
It's bright, airy, and the photographs are arranged in a very organized and tidy fashion. I know that sounds weird, but I do find it distracting when I got to an exhibition and the work is displayed like it would be behind your grandma's couch. I think one of the most important things about an exhibition is that it tells the viewer where to look and gives them every opportunity to view the work without distraction.
The Palm Beach Photographic Centre does a very good job of telling you where to look, leading you through the exhibition, but still giving you the freedom to wander and pause, or breeze right through.
It's really just a very large room with partition walls set up, but you could easily spend an hour or more in there.
There is no lack of beautiful things to photograph here in Palm Beach and the residents have certainly taken advantage of it.
Palm Beach does a lot to foster and support local artists, which leads me to another thing I've been keen to share with you all. The fantastic murals you can find all around the arts district of West Palm Beach.
All painted by local artists, many of the murals are colorful, cartoony explosions that bring a little life to empty lots and otherwise blank walls.
Or random fences at coffee shops! It brings a lot of life to the area and keeps it from feeling like a stucco maze.
But, the holy grail of West Palm murals is at Wine Scene. I've walked past the courtyard multiple times and have always been interested in checking it out, but it's most often packed with people and I wanted to be able to snap some pics.
Even though they were closed, the owners very kindly let me spend some time in the courtyard, which has large scale murals covering pretty much every inch of the surrounding walls.
You can't say Florida artists are afraid of color!
While the murals at Wine Scene are all pop-inspired, they're incredibly diverse and it's a bit like spinning around in comic book where every page is done by a different artist (I'm 99% certain that's not already the case with comics, but please feel free to correct me).
I'm not sure what this one's title is, but I like to call this one "Dapper Steampunk".
And wait for it....
Another mural by my amazingly talented friend, Amanda Valdes! She has a bunch of murals all over town and every time I see one I'm like Buddy The Elf being told Santa is coming.
"AMANDA!!!!!!!!!!! I know her! I know her!" with a ridiculously huge smile on my face.
I love her Dia de los Muertos inspired pieces and the detail in this mural is incredible (and it matches quite nicely with that sassy broad next to her)
The feme wall.
And if you spin around again, you've got a very grouchy-looking melting gorilla.
And I don't know what this is, but I like it!
I have been very impressed with the availability of art in West Palm, in particular the work of local artists. The city and the community have done an amazing job incorporating art into the landscape and making it a part of daily life here.
You don't have to have a membership at a museum, or dress up to go to a gallery opening to be part of the arts scene here, you just have to be willing to walk around or sit down and have a glass of wine with friends.
And who doesn't want to drink wine surrounded by art?