"I know the painting is finished when it sings," says artist Mary Lou Siefker, describing her work slated to be on display during the annual Third Avenue Art District Art Walk in Fort Lauderdale. She, along with the seven other founders of the art district, will open the many rooms of her studio to the art-loving public that evening. Together, they'll offer a look at works in a variety of contemporary media including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, fiber optics, video, and architectural rendering. For the first time since the event was launched in 1995, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art will participate in the art walk, offering a video event at the museum by Miami performance artist David Roem at 4:30 p.m. Afterward, attendees can hop aboard a museum-provided trolley that takes them to the first studio by 6 p.m.
That studio might be Francie Bishop Good's, where she'll have on display some of the photographs of her niece Carly that were recently exhibited at the museum. Or it might be Madeline Denaro's, where those who missed her intriguing minimalist installation "New Forms" in 1999 can see it hanging here in her studio. You can also browse the landmark studio of printmaker Rosanna Saccoccio, situated in an old wood-frame house that, in the 1926 hurricane, came off its foundations, floated down Third Avenue, and was pinned back on its site with nothing worse than the loss of a kitchen window. Plus, you'll see her floral polygraphs and also view the nature prints of her guest exhibitor, Jan Johnson.
Other founding members of the art district include mixed-media artist Tin Ly, known locally for his wall mural at the Broward homeless shelter; architectural designer Margi Glavovic Nothard, displaying renderings of her designs for the Young at Art Children's Museum in Davie and the proposed Hollywood Young Circle art park; physician Wilma Bulkin Siegel, who specializes in psychological portraiture; and fiber optics artist Tobey Archer, who is responsible for the extraordinary neon ceiling at Port Everglades' Great Hall.
The art walk is a fascinating peek into the working environment of Broward County's leading artists (five of the eight artists have won prestigious South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowships). It involves the community in the local art scene, of course, but it's also a way of carving out some more wall space for artists in need of venues, Denaro observes. "So many galleries have closed that there's a dearth of places to show work," she laments. In case this display of work whets rather than sates your appetite for art, the First Lutheran Church on Third Avenue also opens its parlor to 11 other notable artists, including Hanne Niederhausen, Richard Lund, and Betty Usdan Zwickler. The art is all for sale, and "it's too far to walk" is no excuse -- a free trolley makes a continuous loop from studio to studio during art walk hours.