The Big 18

Dear Pembroke Pines: Kudos for taking the former laundry facility of the old South Florida State Hospital and turning it into a residency for 18 artists. Sure, the washroom was probably awesome for the hospital folks, but now an 11,000-square-foot building gives 18 local artists affordable studios and exhibition space. In March, Studio 18 was born, and it was eight years in the making. The setup? Each artist got a studio from 102 to 242 square feet, and only one studio didn’t come with a sink. The Grand Opening Gala will showcase the artwork of the 18 in the main gallery. Among the artists are Jill Slaughter, William Bock, Erik Baquero (who focuses on film and installation work), and Maria Wieder (who creates oil paintings of beach settings). Besides the residents’ artwork, the main gallery will also host curated exhibits, showcasing the work of local to international artists.

The Grand Opening Gala is from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Studio 18 (1101 Poinciana Drive, Pembroke Pines). At the gala, acoustic guitarist Peter Betan will perform, and refreshments will be provided. Normal gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there’s never an admission cost. Call 954-961-6067, or visit
Fri., Aug. 13, 7 p.m., 2010

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Mickie Centrone