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
Visit annettejaret.com.
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
Visit ashleydias.net, or follow her on Facebook.
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
Visit eduardomendieta.com, or follow him on Instagram or Facebook.
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
Visit mollyaubry.com, or follow her on Instagram.
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
Visit enidblechman.com.
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.
5. Rolando Chang Barrero
Visit activistartista.com, or follow him on Twitter, or Facebook.
Rolando Chang Barrero is a South Florida native born in Coconut Grove. He has a BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and also attended the Oxbow School of Art, Penland School of Crafts, and has participated in various internships with paper makers and filmmakers. Barrero’s newest work is a series of paintings that explore the relationship between childhood toys and gender, in which he takes a deeper look at toys and color assignments — the feminine vs. the masculine and whether color has any impact on the assignation of gender to toys. Barrero’s awards and accolades include the Ryerson Traveling Fellowship, New Times Best Art Walk 2013, and New Times Best Exhibition 2014. “I'm pretty much a subversive artist,” says Barrero. “I create really approachable, one can say, cute images that have really serious intellectual and political context.” Barrero has also created a plethora of programs to elevate the art scene in Palm Beach County, as he is director of the Boynton Beach Arts District, president of the Florida Arts Association and Art Synergy, and owner-curator of ActivistArtistA Gallery in Boynton Beach, The Rolando Chang Barrero Fine Art Gallery in Lake Worth, and a soon-to-be third gallery called the White Box Gallery in West Palm Beach. His work can be seen currently at Art Boca Raton, Tedds Art Works in Fort Lauderdale, and the Gallery at the Center for Creative Education.
4. Noelle McCarthy
Visit noellemccarthyartist.com, or follow her on Facebook.
Noelle McCarthy was born and raised in Ireland but has been living in South Florida for the past 22 years. Born in Galway, she grew up in small, rural towns and eventually caught the travel bug. She satisfied her wanderlust by participating in the Young Worker's Cultural Exchange Programme in Paris, France, and attending school there, hitchhiking around Europe, working in London, and embarking on a partial round-the-world trip to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, and Australia. When McCarthy finally settled in Delray Beach, she rediscovered her love of art by attending classes at Talin’s Tropical Studio. “I feel at home painting and would be happy painting the days away, in touch with wildlife and nature,” she says. “Color, flow, and movement are what I'm drawn to when painting.” Her work is inspired by nature, movement, and the Everglades and has been displayed at the Serenity Garden Teahouse in West Palm Beach. She was also approached to paint for the remodeling of the Colony Hotel.  She was most recently featured in the Portraits 2016 Exhibit at the Artists of Palm Beach County Art on Park Gallery in Lake Park and the Broward Art Guild's Art Florida Exhibit at Art Serve.
3. Scott Jeffries
Visit scottyjart.com or follow him on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Scott Jeffries moved to South Florida from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2006 and says it was the best decision he ever made. “Sunshine is a motivator,” says Jeffries. With a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, this self-taught artist truly paints from his heart. “So much our of lives is spent being so serious, and my goal is to be the opposite of that,” says Jeffries. “I want someone to walk away from me or a piece that I have created and think that it was worth the time.” Jeffries paints a variety of abstract people in the form of heads and faces as well as images of cities and flags, and digital art. He recently showed pieces at an outdoor gallery, the Hush Hush Secret Garden in Lake Worth, where his paintings hung from trees as part of a cottage tour. Jeffries is grateful for the momentum behind his current artistic endeavors and is always looking for new and interesting places to show. He currently lives and paints in Delray Beach.
2. Keith Welsh
Visit theinfinitespark.storenvy.com, or follow him on Tumblr or Facebook.
Keith Welsh is a graphic designer by trade who came up in the punk rock scene. He works primarily with silk-screens, as well as the very beautiful and skillful craft of linocuts. Welsh was born and raised in Palm Beach Gardens, and lived in Gainesville for 15 years to attend school and tour for music. He began to note band posters, graffiti, and street art during that time and wanted to work on reproducing art and having something to say about it. “The point of the art is to remind people to turn their minds to something more than Channel One,” says Welsh. His Tumblr, “The Infinite Spark of Being,” started out as a blog of essays about experiences. Eventually he started making images and prints so that people could share and see his work publicly. “I have a print that says, ‘Wild and Free’… it’s something we can all relate to because I’ve worked in cubicles, I’ve wanted to be wild and free.” Welsh is currently working on an Infinite Spark of Being book that encompasses the same ideas and theories about art and life.
1. Vincent Lardieri
Visit vincentlardieri.com, or like his Facebook page
Vincent Lardieri is a South Florida native, born and raised in Palm Beach Gardens. With a BFA in interdisciplinary studio art from Florida State University and an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, Lardieri combines his theater background and love of visual arts in the medium of acrylic paint. His work is mostly interested abstraction and color theory, how colors interact with each other. Lardieri describes his work: “Pure acrylics, heavily manipulated with acrylic mediums, no oil paint — I build surfaces and construct the paintings rather than paint them.” Where most art is protected by museum guards or red velvet ropes, Lardieri encourages his viewers to interact with the pieces and actually touch them. “The main thing is the tactility of the artworks,” he says. “Once you invite the viewer to get close to it, they have a different relationship with the piece because they no longer have fear as a component of their experience.” Lardieri feels that art should be looked at with a positive attitude and engagement. His work pushes the dimensionality of paint as it plays with the boundaries between 2D and 3D art. Lardieri also teaches art classes at the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta. His current classes include a mixed-media workshop as well as found object and assemblage.

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