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Alvarez: “I try to find a unifying feeling.”
Alvarez: “I try to find a unifying feeling.”
Warren H. Flagler

Ten Broward Visual Artists You Need to Know

As BroCo's tight-knit arts scene grows into a more serious place for professional visual artists to call home, the small yet ever-evolving scene continues to foster an innovative community where artists crank out impressive works and organize quality exhibitions. While Broward can sometimes feel like Miami's ignored little sibling, plenty of artistic talent can be found in our neck of the woods — you simply need to know where to look.

Luckily, we do. To help you get started, here is a trusty guide featuring ten talented visual artists to follow this year. 

Ten Broward Visual Artists You Need to KnowEXPAND
Francesco Lo Castro

Francesco Lo Castro

The Italian-born Lo Castro is a true mover and shaker. All you have to do is follow his Instagram account to see what he's up to, whether he's showing new works in major art fairs such as SCOPE Miami Beach and New York, respectively, or curating exhibitions at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood. The man is sure one creative mind committed to his dream. Lo Castro had us fall in love with geometric designs with his Geometry series, mind-blowing paintings done in a unique and skillful technique that have helped to catapult his career. 

Check him out: francescolocastro.com, and follow him on Instagram instagram.com/locastro.


The Night Lands, an installation by Sri Prabha.
The Night Lands, an installation by Sri Prabha.
Artwork by Sri Prabha

Sri Prabha

A trippy journey to the cosmos is what viewers can experience when exploring one of Sri Prabha's mixed-media installations. The Indian-born, Seattle Cornish College of the Arts educated artist, knows how to playfully introduce scientific discoveries into art making. His works, nearly fantastical in nature, explore his deepest thoughts and questions about the nature of humanity. He integrates subjects often not seen around the South Florida art-sphere, such as geology, nature, time, and human origins, into his work. A walk around his large-scale installations features a dash of sensory overload through his use of experimental sounds and abstract video projections juxtaposed with sculpture, paintings, and prints. Onlookers can take it all in, in a meditative state as the artist intended, or stargaze while enjoying a geological time exploration before heading off into another orbit.  

Check out Sri Prabha, Best Visual Artist 2015, New Times, via sriprabha.com.

A snapshot of Leah Brown's solo exhibition "Transformation of Echo," held at the Young at Art Museum.EXPAND
A snapshot of Leah Brown's solo exhibition "Transformation of Echo," held at the Young at Art Museum.
Leah Brown

Leah Brown

Dream narratives and the unconscious mind are subjects at the heart of Leah Brown's body of work. A Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) art school undergrad and University of Miami MFA grad in sculpture, Brown sculpts characters cloaked in white sheets that take on creepy and imaginative lifeforms. In last year's solo exhibition The Transformation of Echo at the Young at Art Museum, which just closed in January, the Fort Lauderdale-based artist showed how she can transform a space from floor to ceiling into an Alice in Wonderland-esque realm. The large-scale show included tree-people and a series of hybrid human-animal sculptures that told a metaphoric tale that delved deep into the artist's study of the unconscious mind. In addition, she and her hubby Peter Symons co-curate a rotating schedule of impressive shows at The Projects Contemporary Art Space in FATVillage. 

Visit Leah Brown online at leahbrownart.com.

"Porwoll's Prismatic Penetralia" 2015, ink on paperEXPAND
"Porwoll's Prismatic Penetralia" 2015, ink on paper
Ben Morey

Ben Morey

Provocative paintings, cheeky interactive installations, and cutting-edge sculptures are all part of what makes Ben Morey's work so intriguing. The South Florida native earned his BFA in interactive media from the Maryland Institute College of Art before taking up the task of curator with the alt-collective Bedlam Lorenz Assembly. He works at the fine arts department at Broward College's North Campus when he's not creating his own multimedia pieces that poke fun at issues in today's society. He describes his stylistic oeuvre as a vehicle that examines his personal experiences and take on modern ills drawing from the context of hospitals and vintage game shows, which are "distilled into objects which are presented in a detached, clinical manner in order to be objectified and analyzed." 

Visit benmorey.com to see more of his work.

"Bird in the Hand”, charcoal on paper, 33 x 24”EXPAND
"Bird in the Hand”, charcoal on paper, 33 x 24”
Virginia Fifield

Virginia Fifield

This Canadian native is best known for her stark charcoal drawings of animals, although Fifield tends to prefer to be known simply as an artist. Her ongoing series of drawings feature her animal subjects in large-scale formats that take on the size of a human. She captures so much exquisite detail of her subjects - the folds of their skin, the delicate contours of their feathers - that her drawings appear hyperrealistic. "My work aims to initiate a revision, a deeper contemplation and internal dialogue about the natural world and the relationship in which we coexist." Like her work, Fifield is elegant and soft-spoken, but her talent is a force that shines brightly. She has a BA in fine arts from York University, Toronto, Canada.

Follow her online via virginiafifield.com.

From the 2015 series "Devoided Accretions"
From the 2015 series "Devoided Accretions"
Jonathan Rockford

Jonathan Rockford

Jonathan Rockford claims that crafting got him into art; pursuits like woodworking and ceramics. Today, his approach to creating includes a focus on blending fibers and sculpture, among other things. For his latest works, he invented a process he calls 'crocheted ceramics' that involves dipping the worked yarn into porcelain. To finish the piece, he spray-paints it, adding a textile feel. His pieces, videos, installations, and new media projects have been shown at SCOPE Miami Beach and New York, the Frost Art Museum in Miami, Art Monaco, and beyond. He earned both his BFA and MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. 

Check him out via jonathanrockfordportfolio.weebly.com

"Two Blues vertical," 2015, 80 x 72", oil on canvasEXPAND
"Two Blues vertical," 2015, 80 x 72", oil on canvas
Henning Haupt

Henning Haupt

The tall and intellectual German native works out of his Fort Lauderdale studio in the up-and-coming arts district known as MASS (Music & Arts South of Sunrise), located in the northeast section of Flagler Village. A painter and an educator, Haupt teaches at the Florida Atlantic University College of Architecture, introducing the next generation to the importance of color theory in the architectural design process. He earned his PhD in artistic design strategies from Cranbrook Academy of Arts in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He regularly shows his abstract line paintings, in which he draws from his art and architecture background, at galleries and museums worldwide. You can see his work for yourself when he opens his studio to the public during the Flagler Village art walks on the last Saturday of the month.

"Neutral Gravitational Field," 38 x 25," ink jet print, 2015EXPAND
"Neutral Gravitational Field," 38 x 25," ink jet print, 2015
Samantha Salzinger

Samantha Salzinger

To get inside of Samantha Salzinger's imagination is to experience a world that seems boundless, and that's how she likes it. A Yale University MFA art grad and professor of photography at Palm Beach State College, spunky Salzinger likes to fabricate unidentifiable landscapes. She creates large-scale, tabletop dioramas that accurately resemble desolate outer-space 'scapes. And then she captures them with her trusty camera. The result is realistic photographs that play with the viewer through mood and perspective. Her work is a testament to her curiosity and imagination.  

Visit her online via samanthasalzinger.com.

Alvarez: “I try to find a unifying feeling.”
Alvarez: “I try to find a unifying feeling.”
Warren H. Flagler

Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.)

Perhaps the Broward artist with the most controversial story is painter Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.). He had a reported run-in with the law on charges of identity theft but has since moved on. To illustrate his legal woes, he has a show at the Boca Museum of Art, Portraits from Krome Detention Center, where he spent two months in 2012. The show features portraits done in ballpoint pen on paper that he created of his fellow detainees. He also creates eye-popping psychedelic wall art, which you'll find on display in the museum's lobby. His paintings explore themes of mysticism and feature intricate and wildly colorful kaleidoscopic designs sending electric vibes to spectators. 

Visit him here.

"In Our Element" for Art Prize, Michigan. 2015EXPAND
"In Our Element" for Art Prize, Michigan. 2015
Ruben Ubiera

Ruben Ubiera

Ruben Ubiera is one busy man whom we suspect doesn't sleep much at night. The Dominican Republic native is constantly announcing new commissions that we can't keep up with. One day he's painting badass wall art for a restaurant, then he's spraying the finishing touches on a wall at Broward College, and then next week he lands a gig, two, or three at a public park, city project, and a private client. He classifies his style as pop urban or postgraffism in which he draws from a graffiti aesthetic - the urban art he grew up appreciating - mixed with a touch of inspiration from comic book illustrations.  His work, like the artist himself, is bold, fierce and ever-evolving.

Check him out online via urbanpopsoul.com and follow him on Instagram here. 

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