Every now and again an event or party will really stick with the community. Starting as a whisper, these great ideas become fully evolved concepts that start to screamingly draw people from all walks of life under one roof. You grow to love these events so much that you wonder what the area would even be like without it. ArtServe's RedEYE has turned into this sort of beloved beast.
Branded as a "Reboot," RedEYE featured just about everything possible that appeals to the senses. In the evening open air, couples enjoyed a wildly diverse mix of live music. There was everything from a West African drummer to a fire and dance performance to the coos of local singer Corey James Bost, no stranger to the Fort Lauderdale arts scene.
Just outside of the building a smattering of graffiti artists worked on various works onsite. As cars drove past ArtServe and down Sunrise Boulevard, they caught a glimpse of the evening and looked puzzled. What was going on? Who were all of these people? Why hadn't they heard of this clearly massive event? Those seeds were planted, and we're sure that anyone who saw the action surely went home and Googled "ArtServe." They'll be back next year.
Inside of the building, the art exhibition showcased some real gems. A mannequin with a cutout over the heart appeared to be a commentary on the twisted fashion world and its beauty standards. But upon closer inspection, the cutout actually allowed attendees to peer inside of the mannequin, revealing handwritten quotes on gender, sexuality and virginity.
In another room, artist Erin Bassett talked to attendees about the process of creating her installation which looked like an aquatic daydream. She explained it was actually photos of flowers and actual pieces of the installation itself. Essentially, she created the installation as she went along, photographing certain portions of the work, manipulating it, photographing it again, etc. Totally meta.
ArtServe even managed to drum up some short films and documentaries for the movie buffs, as well as a room dedicated to spoken word, for those who think in slam poetry.
South Florida's own Todd the Painter was unfortunately in a VIP "Art Pop Lounge" which essentially meant that you had to buy a VIP ticket in order to see his live art. While it is a crying shame that people couldn't access certain works due to different paid tiers, we recognize VIP tickets as a necessary evil for some events. Just maybe not this event.
Unless you stayed for the full four hours, it was impossible to see everything at RedEYE Reboot. There was simply too much going on. Thankfully, the exhibition stays up and is open to the public until August 15. Whether the night was too ambitious or not is irrelevant. The point is that RedEYE again provided the South Florida scene some much needed stimulation that wasn't just taking place in the smokey caverns of a bar or club.
"We really need more than just bars and parties," Erin, an actress from one of the short films, told us. "Creative people need more options."
Personally, we liked that the night was ambitious -- South Florida needs more chutzpah.
The RedEYE Reboot exhibit is open to the public until August 15. ArtServe is located at 1350 E Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. Visit artserve.org for hours.
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