Ten Best Visual Artists in Palm Beach County

Ten Best Visual Artists in Palm Beach County
Courtesy of Rolando Change Barrero.

5. Rolando Chang Barrero
Visit activistartista.com, or follow him on Twitter, or Facebook.
Rolando Chang Barrero is a South Florida native born in Coconut Grove. He has a BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and also attended the Oxbow School of Art, Penland School of Crafts, and has participated in various internships with paper makers and filmmakers. Barrero’s newest work is a series of paintings that explore the relationship between childhood toys and gender, in which he takes a deeper look at toys and color assignments — the feminine vs. the masculine and whether color has any impact on the assignation of gender to toys. Barrero’s awards and accolades include the Ryerson Traveling Fellowship, New Times Best Art Walk 2013, and New Times Best Exhibition 2014. “I'm pretty much a subversive artist,” says Barrero. “I create really approachable, one can say, cute images that have really serious intellectual and political context.” Barrero has also created a plethora of programs to elevate the art scene in Palm Beach County, as he is director of the Boynton Beach Arts District, president of the Florida Arts Association and Art Synergy, and owner-curator of ActivistArtistA Gallery in Boynton Beach, The Rolando Chang Barrero Fine Art Gallery in Lake Worth, and a soon-to-be third gallery called the White Box Gallery in West Palm Beach. His work can be seen currently at Art Boca Raton, Tedds Art Works in Fort Lauderdale, and the Gallery at the Center for Creative Education.

Ten Best Visual Artists in Palm Beach CountyEXPAND
Courtesy of Noelle McCarthy

4. Noelle McCarthy
Visit noellemccarthyartist.com, or follow her on Facebook.
Noelle McCarthy was born and raised in Ireland but has been living in South Florida for the past 22 years. Born in Galway, she grew up in small, rural towns and eventually caught the travel bug. She satisfied her wanderlust by participating in the Young Worker's Cultural Exchange Programme in Paris, France, and attending school there, hitchhiking around Europe, working in London, and embarking on a partial round-the-world trip to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, and Australia. When McCarthy finally settled in Delray Beach, she rediscovered her love of art by attending classes at Talin’s Tropical Studio. “I feel at home painting and would be happy painting the days away, in touch with wildlife and nature,” she says. “Color, flow, and movement are what I'm drawn to when painting.” Her work is inspired by nature, movement, and the Everglades and has been displayed at the Serenity Garden Teahouse in West Palm Beach. She was also approached to paint for the remodeling of the Colony Hotel.  She was most recently featured in the Portraits 2016 Exhibit at the Artists of Palm Beach County Art on Park Gallery in Lake Park and the Broward Art Guild's Art Florida Exhibit at Art Serve.

Ten Best Visual Artists in Palm Beach CountyEXPAND
Courtesy of Scott Jeffries

3. Scott Jeffries
Visit scottyjart.com or follow him on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Scott Jeffries moved to South Florida from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2006 and says it was the best decision he ever made. “Sunshine is a motivator,” says Jeffries. With a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, this self-taught artist truly paints from his heart. “So much our of lives is spent being so serious, and my goal is to be the opposite of that,” says Jeffries. “I want someone to walk away from me or a piece that I have created and think that it was worth the time.” Jeffries paints a variety of abstract people in the form of heads and faces as well as images of cities and flags, and digital art. He recently showed pieces at an outdoor gallery, the Hush Hush Secret Garden in Lake Worth, where his paintings hung from trees as part of a cottage tour. Jeffries is grateful for the momentum behind his current artistic endeavors and is always looking for new and interesting places to show. He currently lives and paints in Delray Beach.

Ten Best Visual Artists in Palm Beach CountyEXPAND
Courtesy of Keith Welsh

2. Keith Welsh
Visit theinfinitespark.storenvy.com, or follow him on Tumblr or Facebook.
Keith Welsh is a graphic designer by trade who came up in the punk rock scene. He works primarily with silk-screens, as well as the very beautiful and skillful craft of linocuts. Welsh was born and raised in Palm Beach Gardens, and lived in Gainesville for 15 years to attend school and tour for music. He began to note band posters, graffiti, and street art during that time and wanted to work on reproducing art and having something to say about it. “The point of the art is to remind people to turn their minds to something more than Channel One,” says Welsh. His Tumblr, “The Infinite Spark of Being,” started out as a blog of essays about experiences. Eventually he started making images and prints so that people could share and see his work publicly. “I have a print that says, ‘Wild and Free’… it’s something we can all relate to because I’ve worked in cubicles, I’ve wanted to be wild and free.” Welsh is currently working on an Infinite Spark of Being book that encompasses the same ideas and theories about art and life.

Ten Best Visual Artists in Palm Beach County
Courtesy of Vincent Lardieri

1. Vincent Lardieri
Visit vincentlardieri.com, or like his Facebook page
Vincent Lardieri is a South Florida native, born and raised in Palm Beach Gardens. With a BFA in interdisciplinary studio art from Florida State University and an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, Lardieri combines his theater background and love of visual arts in the medium of acrylic paint. His work is mostly interested abstraction and color theory, how colors interact with each other. Lardieri describes his work: “Pure acrylics, heavily manipulated with acrylic mediums, no oil paint — I build surfaces and construct the paintings rather than paint them.” Where most art is protected by museum guards or red velvet ropes, Lardieri encourages his viewers to interact with the pieces and actually touch them. “The main thing is the tactility of the artworks,” he says. “Once you invite the viewer to get close to it, they have a different relationship with the piece because they no longer have fear as a component of their experience.” Lardieri feels that art should be looked at with a positive attitude and engagement. His work pushes the dimensionality of paint as it plays with the boundaries between 2D and 3D art. Lardieri also teaches art classes at the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta. His current classes include a mixed-media workshop as well as found object and assemblage.

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