It's a continual challenge for Young at Art and the Bedlam Lorenz Assembly to balance their continuing focus on interactive, child-friendly artworks with their new mission to commission and show more serious pieces.

"We're trying to come up with behavior by design," Spechler says of the challenge. "I want it to be accessible in the way that I could walk up and touch it."

In its latest group exhibition, "Lexicon," which opened April 6 in conjunction with the 2013 YAA Festival of the Arts, the BLA commissioned six artists, most of them local, to install works throughout the museum with the addition of a child-friendly, interactive, or hands-on element.

From Ruben Ubiera's Sapien Experiment series.
Tara Penick
From Ruben Ubiera's Sapien Experiment series.

Location Info


Young at Art Museum

751 SW 121st Ave.
Davie, FL 33325

Category: Museums

Region: Fort Lauderdale


"Lexicon": Through May 18 at Young at Art Museum, 751 SW 121st Ave., Davie; $13 for adults, $12 for children and seniors; 954-424-0085;

For one of his pieces, titled La Charada Del Monstruo, Cuban-born, Miami-based artist Hugo Moro created his own version of the Chinese folk game that was originally introduced to Cuba in the 1800s. To go along with his graphite-on-rice-paper work depicting Westernized, consumerist adaptations of the original Chinese symbols, Moro created and distributed an informational card explaining the rules of the game, inviting visitors to play along with his work.

In Cuba, a "bookie" would select one of the numbered symbols, and the townspeople would place "bets" to see who could guess which symbol he had chosen, based on a series of clues. It's a simple game that anyone could afford to play. Coupled with his giant mural of corporate and pop-cultural symbols, it's an effective way of showing how Western culture shamelessly cashes in on young people through seemingly innocuous media.

Other interesting works in the show included Gustavo Oviedo's Periodic Table, which asked visitors to interpret various symbols using a grid system, and Ruben Ubiera's Sapien Experiment series, which brought a street-art element to the show in large, colorful, mixed-media constructions of monkeys exploding across the walls.

A loosely themed exhibition strategically spaced throughout the museum, "Lexicon" introduces the unique and distinct vocabularies of six contemporary artists, attempting to address serious topics in a fun, interactive way that children — and adults — can understand. An adults-only closing event on May 18 will feature live music, food, and libations.

It may not have worked out all the kinks yet, but the new Young at Art, with the direction and creative vision of the Bedlam Lorenz Assembly, seems poised to continue cultivating the South Florida arts community while bringing up the next generation of young artists to live happily ever after.

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icculus17 topcommenter

There are so many poor schools on the East side that no longer have art programs, YAA needs to think about in-house field trips for schools that can't afford it or provide grants to help cover the costs.  Some young kids have gone to school with absolutely no art program for more than 3 years,