Ten Best Visual Artists in Palm Beach County

When most locals think of Palm Beach County, they imagine posh luncheons and swanky shopping on glamorous Worth Avenue or attending a trendy happy hour down on Clematis Street. But beyond the cityscape of craft coffee shops and expensive croissants lies a cultural mecca for fine dining, entertainment, and the arts. West Palm is home to a rising and growing community of visual artists and is host to fine arts galleries, unique museums, annual art fairs, and street art.

Here is our list of ten visual artists in Palm Beach County to see and experience, along with your fancy latte.
10. Annette Jaret
Annette Jaret was classically trained as an oil painter at the age of 12 by Spanish painter and mentor Anthony Trujillo. Later, she studied at the Pratt Institute in NYC, where she received her BFA. Originally from New York, she worked as a jewelry designer for many years before seeking out talented artists and taking workshops to learn more about her craft. Jaret works in two types of mediums: photo-based digital paintings and multimedia collages. Of the first, “I take photographs, merge, paint, and colorize them using Photoshop to create my own landscapes. These pieces have a painterly quality to them, printed on art papers,” says Jaret. More recently Jaret has been concentrating on the collages, which begin with discarded photo prints that she tears, paints, and laminates together. “The energy and direction of these pieces, I call Spirit Dancing. [They're] based loosely on nature, specifically tree trunks, as forests offer an array of intertwining forms, textures, and color. [It's]a more physical endeavor than sitting at a computer desk,” says Jaret. She is inspired by the colors of Florida and says her process is continually expanding. “Not only do people enjoy my pieces, but they are drawn to touch them. I find that satisfying; I am appealing to two senses.” Jaret exhibits regularly at the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum, and will be in the Gallery at Eastern Hay in Pawling the latter half of the summer. Recently, she exhibited locally at the Coral Springs Museum with the Boca Artist Guild. Currently, Jaret can be seen at the Artisans Gallery in Lake Worth.
9. Ashley Dias
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Ashley Dias is a self-taught artist originally from Brooklyn, New York. Her love of art began by drawing characters from her favorite cartoon shows, which eventually turned into creating her own characters and style. “I eventually moved from the traditional pencil and paper to the computer with a new interest in graphic design,” says Dias. In this way, Dias was able to expand her craft and in 2012, she received a degree from Florida State University in Information Technology and Communications. She began a career in marketing and design in West Palm Beach; shortly thereafter, she began putting her imagination to canvas and found passion with the acrylic medium creating her own blend of contemporary pop art. Dias was most recently featured in Exhibit Treal, We Got Dat LIT! Group Art Show
8. Eduardo “Eddie” Mendieta
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Eduardo “Eddie” Mendieta was born in Union City, New Jersey, but has been living in South Florida for the last 25 years. He began painting graffiti as a kid in New Jersey, but the move to South Florida inspired a transition to canvas and digital design. “The public was always my first love,” says Mendieta, locally known as Emo. “Now, most of my work is large-scale murals; the style is a blend of raw urban art and graphic design.” The murals are striking, large and impressive works of art that can be found anywhere from housing areas to stairwells to building walls. Mendieta has public murals throughout South Florida; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In Florida, his murals can be seen in Miami, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach. Mendieta also currently works with two galleries: Gallery 2014 in Hollywood and Arthouse 429 in West Palm Beach. He has two public art projects coming up soon in Delray Beach and Ocala.
7. Molly Aubry
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Molly Aubry grew up in South Florida, but has spent a lot of time abroad for art residencies. She considers herself blessed by the opportunity to have learned from many excellent teachers . She totes a BFA from the University of Florida and has studied at the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Greece, the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach (where she now teaches occasionally), the Penland School of Crafts, and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. As a child, Aubry spent a lot of time outside, “obsessively collecting and drawing found objects,” she says. She describes her artistic process: “My work inhabits a space between drawing, sculpture, photography, assemblage, and painting. Humble found objects — sticks, seaweed, plastics, peeled paint, discarded metal scraps — which I carefully select for some hidden, poetic potential
— provide the seed of an image.” She uses both organic and mechanical processes to explore these objects and their deconstruction. With a Surrealist vocabulary and dream-like logic, the work investigates the boundary between documentation, memory, and imagination. In sum, “I make art to record and expand my perception and understanding.” Aubry currently resides in Lake Worth. “The art community is wonderfully supportive, and it always feels great to return.”
6. Enid Blechman
Enid Blechman is originally from New York City and moved to South Florida ten years ago. Blechman received her second master's degree in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design on an honors scholarship, as well as an MA in studio art with honors from the State University of New York and a BFA in drawing/painting/graphics from Ohio State University. Her work asks “how to make sense of images that alternately throbbed with life and gasped for breath,” according to her artist's statement. “I grew concerned for the survival of so much beauty and began to worry about our natural resources and maintaining the splendor of my new state,” says Blechman. She recently showed work locally in West Palm Beach and at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage, Alaska, and will soon be leaving for a month-long painting residency in Vermont. Blechman is currently working on an installation piece, an army of deep sea explorers searching for an alternative energy source. She recently completed a guide to microscopic life in the deep sea. It is 124 feet long and made of thousands of individually painted microscope slides. She currently resides in Juno Beach and is delighted to have put down permanent roots in the state that inspires her work.
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