Artpop!#evoke Draws New Talent to Magnetic Pompano

Fort Lauderdale's FAT Village has been Broward's art star in recent years, but it's certainly not the only game in town. Pompano Beach's cultural scene is ready to pop thanks, in part, to arts management group the Creatives and its initiative Magnetic Pompano.

Launched in May, Magnetic is an incubation venue located at the Pompano Citi Centre. It features a series of dynamic pop-up art events — exhibitions, film screenings, dance performances, spoken word, and live music. This new programming is intended to serve as a test pilot to be used later at the forthcoming Pompano Beach Cultural Center, currently under construction. The same management team is behind live-music venue the Pompano Beach Amphitheater, known locally as the Amp.

"Magnetic, it's all about attraction."

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Funded by the city and the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, the more than 7,500-square-foot cultural center will include gallery space, a digital arts and media center, and a 5,000-square-foot performance and event space. Slated for completion in early 2017 on Atlantic Boulevard just across the way from Bailey Contemporary, where popular monthly art walks take place, the new site will be the hub for the city's growing downtown cultural scene.

In anticipation of the big launch next year, Byron Swart, artistic director and curator of the Creatives, has been selecting events and recruiting emerging and internationally acclaimed talent.

"Magnetic, it's all about attraction," Swart says. "We are attracting interdisciplinary artists to build a strong and vibrant arts community."

Past art shows featured mixed-media artist Aquarela Sabol, whose mural work has recently appeared in the New York Times, and prolific Miami street artist Diana "Didi Rok" Contreras, whose walls are seen across the 305.

"Magnetic is a great arena for us to search for artists to come to Pompano. And let me tell you, there are a lot of them," Swart says.

The next to descend upon Pompano is the group art show "Artpop#evoke," which opens this Friday during the art walk, and a competitive live-art showdown fondly called Creative Clash.

Participating artists include Carrie Bennett, a painter, chalk muralist, and art director of Color the City, a youth public art initiative in Lighthouse Point. Haitian-born painter, sculptor, and installation artist Asser Saint-Val will bring his quasi-figurative images to Magnetic. And Miami-based, Nicaraguan-bred artist and Brisky Gallery director Luis Valle will contribute paintings that illustrate his beliefs that humans are inherently spiritual beings.

"Artpop!#evoke has a wonderful blend of local emerging talent," Swart says.

Opens 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 29, at Magnetic Pompano, inside the Pompano Citi Centre, 1955 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 108, Pompano Beach. Visit or call 954-839-9578. Admission is free.

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Andrea Richard