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Best Visual Artist Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2009 - Janet Gold

It's hard to keep track of Janet Gold, which is part of what makes her one of the most compelling presences on the South Florida art scene. One day, you may catch her at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where she has taught courses ranging from illustration to creative thinking. Another day, you might find her squeezing in a museum visit. Or hauling a friend off to discover a new gallery. Or taking in an art lecture. Or putting in an appearance at an opening, either for herself or in support of another artist friend. And yet she still finds time to spend in her studio on the fringes of downtown Fort Lauderdale, where she shares a space with fellow artist Tobey Archer and from time to time even takes on nonartist collaborators. There she has long engaged in her equally varied work, which includes pastel paintings, abstract photography, and, most recently, delicate collages. Given such scope, you never know where her work will turn up either. In the past year alone, she has taken part in a faculty exhibition at the Art Institute, the latest round of the South Florida Cultural Consortium for Visual and Media Artists (a fellowship she has won twice), an exhibition of triptychs at a gallery specializing in lowbrow art, and a show focusing on handmade books (another current interest) at the Broward County Main Library. You get the picture. She's all over, in a good way.

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