Posted by admin on August 7, 2013
By: Vanessa Garcia
Vanessa Garcia, left, and Michelle Weinberg belong to Girl's Club, a private foundation and art space with the mission to educate the public, nurture the careers of female artists and serve as a resource for art students, scholars, curators and practicing artists. The current exhibition at Girl's Club in Fort Lauderdale is "Following the Line." For more information, visit www.girlsclubcollection.org. Photo by Kara Starzyk.
Artistic women have a place to call their own in Broward County.
Girls' Club Collection has been removing intimidation and promoting creation for artists since it opened its doors in downtown Fort Lauderdale in 2006.
The club was founded after decades of development by Francie Bishop Good and husband David Horvitz. Bishop Good, a photographer and visual artist, and Horvitz, a lawyer, both appreciated art but neither had a strong inclination to become collectors.
Though, over time, this changed as they continued accumulating pieces. Eventually their hobby transformed into a collection, tied together by a coincidental theme: The majority of pieces were by female artists. Somewhat in jest, they lightheartedly dubbed their collection the "girls' club."
Bishop Good met with friend and fellow artist Michelle Weinberg, and the two discussed a concept that would soon make a lasting impact on Broward County's arts circle.
The establishment opened its doors in an industrial building between Andrews and Northeast Third avenues in downtown Fort Lauderdale, next to Bishop Good's personal studio. The mission of the foundation is to provide exhibition and educational space, and support the local female artist community, with an environment to learn and share their work.
In 2008, Weinberg, the foundation's creative director, and Bishop Good hired Sarah Michelle Rupert, who was finishing the first year of her master's degree at New York University. Rupert joined the team full time as the gallery director during the summer of 2011 when she completed her master's in visual arts administration.
The dynamic trio have established Girls' Club's presence as a nonprofit, private foundation that educates the community through public programming, provides a yearly exhibition of work made predominantly by women and offers resources to nurture the careers of local female artists.
"[Girls' Club tries] to support other artists, take away the competition and promote each other," Bishop Good said when she described the atmosphere of the platform.
Establishing a center that provides both freedom and structure for artists is a task that requires facilitating productivity and encouraging innovation, which is what Girls' Club has achieved through a variety of outlets. One of which is an informal series that strives to provide professional development and educational opportunities. This quarterly series, "Brown Bag Lunch Talks," invites the community in for a free and informative session with prolific women in the local arts scene.
The next lunch will take place Aug. 8. It will focus on local artist residency programs and studio centers.
Speakers include: Jill Slaughter, the curator of special projects for Studio 18 in the Pines, an 11,000-square-foot contemporary art facility that offers workshops, lectures and studio space for emerging and mid-career juried artists; Dominique Breard, program coordinator of Cannonball Miami, a nonprofit art organization that provides advocacy and education through its programs; and Susan Caraballo, artistic director of ArtCenter South Florida, a venue providing affordable work space and education for visual artists in all stages of their careers.
The event is at noon and open to the public, though registration on the Girls' Club website is recommended. Parking is free, and coffee will be provided.
Girls' Club's current collection, "Following the Line," was curated by Miami gallerist Carol Jazzar and focuses on contemporary art drawings that include basic lines as the main source of inspiration. Mediums include graphite, ink and colored pencil and some hand-drawn animation and prints.
Works in the exhibit include pieces by international artists Louise Bourgeois, Alice Neel, Tracey Emin, Joanne Greenbaum, Klara Kristalova and Wangechi Mutu; and South Florida artists including Naomi Fisher, Beatriz Monteavaro and Jorge Pantoja.
Margi Nothard of Glavovic Studio, an award-winning local female architect, designed the Girls' Club's space. Utilizing movable walls in the warehouse-style building, Nothard created a unique and functional venue that provides both exhibition and event space.
In honor of National Arts and Humanities Month in October, Girls' Club will host "Art Fallout." The free, communitywide art event features exhibits, activities and open studios at local art establishments. Trolleys transport guests to the different venues for an evening of art exploration.
In addition to Girls' Club, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, 1310 Gallery at Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts, FAT Village, Third Avenue Arts District, Young At Art Museum's Bedlam Lorenz Assembly and Cadence's Pop-Up Gallery are participating in this year's event, taking place Oct. 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. More information can be found at www.artfallout.blogspot.com.
For more information about the foundation and its opportunties for artistic growth, such as their summer workshops, visit www.girlsclubcollection.org
About Vanessa Garcia
Vanessa Garcia is a writer and mulit-media artist