Bailey Contemporary Arts in Pompano Beach offers a space like no other in South Florida. Qualified artists can rent studios here for affordable rates: $205 to $415. The two-story building was a hotel when first erected in 1932, and now, renovated but still airy, it breathes inspiration at every turn. The space feels fresh and cozy in a way that connects folks. Be sure to check out the "Lyrics Lab: Poetry, Beats & Soul" event on Wednesdays, which Ian Caven hosts. Brave participants are backed up with live musicians, on drums and keyboards, to keep the beat going.

Readers' Choice: Norton Museum of Art

Young at Art Museum
Monica McGivern

When you're looking for cutting-edge artists and museum-quality exhibitions with a touch of weird, check out anything curated by Bedlam Lorenz Assembly, a nonprofit alternative projects group. This innovative collective brings out South Florida's arguably most eccentric talent in cohesive exhibitions that wow. Did they really show porn during Art Fallout? Yes. Its "Third Annual Interest" 2015 exhibit showcased works by Broward's (and some of Miami's) best local artists: Leah Brown, Francesco Lo Castro, Guerra De La Paz, Christopher MacFarlane, Lisa Rockford, Peter Symons, Michelle Weinberg, and others.

Step to the right and see an interactive performance piece in FAT Village; walk a block north and see a show by designcentric architecture firm Glavovic Studio; head to Andrews Avenue to visit a major collection at the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale; stop and grab a cocktail at a drink cart. Art Fallout is the largest art walk in all of Fort Lauderdale. For one evening in mid-October (2015 will mark its sixth year), nearly every art and cultural institution in Fort Lauderdale is open and connected by trolleys that deliver visitors from one venue to another. The synergy is amazing. Thanks for organizing this, Girls' Club!

In terms of things to not do, trying to jump a shark is pretty high on the list.  But that doesn't mean you can't name your venue after the phrase, which apparently comes from a 1970s TV show. (Everybody said Happy Days started to suck after an episode in which the Fonz, wearing water skis, jumped over a shark.)  Despite that many people in the local scene call JTS "The Bubble" (its former name), owner Garo Gallo appears to be sticking to his guns with the name change.  The revamped venue hosts live music, performance artists, comedy nights, and more.  Some nights, there are cover charges, and other times, it's free. Beers come from a tap or in bottles. The space is not open on a regular schedule, so sign up for the FB page and get notifications if you wish to find out what surprise lurks tonight.

FAT Village generally gets all the credit in Fort Lauderdale.  The enclave of warehouses has trendy kids, fancy film equipment, people paying insane rents, and nice defined borders. But the FAT is part of a bigger area that includes the so-called MASS District (for Music and Arts South of Sunrise; this area incorporates Laser Wolf and Jump the Shark), the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District, and Midtown. During the Flagler Art Walk on the last Saturday of each month, you can hop on a trolley and visit Glavovic Studios, Girls' Club, the Guild 5 Forty Five, and more — including the cool kids in FAT V.

Coral Springs Museum of Art

Every once in a while, if you're blessed, you will meet someone so immersed in the world of art that she knows all the artists, knows all their work, and brings it together in a way that it captivates and inspires artists and viewers alike. Lenore Stern Morris, based in Boca Raton, has curated exhibits and galleries from Boca to Miami to Russia, running the gamut from pop art to high art. Her goal, as she often puts it, is to show that art is for everybody. Most recently in Broward County, the art dealer/lecturer/consultant curated the "ComicPop" exhibit at Coral Springs Museum of Art, taking attendees from actual comic-book art to socially conscious pop art, demanding the attention of children and adults simultaneously.

Kelcie McQuaid experienced her parents' divorce and sought solace in art when she was still in her single digits. By age 7, she was helping paint murals in South Florida. By 16, she was interning with the Broward County Cultural Division. She lived with her father — but when he went to live with another woman and left her alone as a teenager, she poured herself into her work, which has resulted in fascinating examinations of how women make their way in the world: their vulnerabilities and their strengths. McQuaid exhibited more than 200 new mixed-media artworks in 2014 and has been featured in more than 80 group shows and three solo shows, including her debut series, "Universe Expanding." We'd say she's finding her way just fine.

kelciemcquaidart.wordpress.com

Dominican-born and South Florida-based Elio Mercado, AKA Evoca1, paints walls with such elegance, it's safe to call it fine art. His figurative paintings often feature animals and individuals with such fine and stunning details that each piece tells a story rich in depth and soul. Intricate details are mixed with airy swaths of color that add an ethereal feel. He's a self-taught artist — he grew up in Hollywood — but has honed his craft well enough to get hired for projects by big brands including American Express and the J Dilla Foundation; he's also worked in London and Mexico. And it's not just the street art that's rad; his studio drawings are also impressive.

evoca1.com

West Palm Beach-based photographer and surfer Tony Arruza has mad shutter skills. His surfing and travel shots are not only magical but capture the mood and exquisite details of the scene, offering powerful storytelling that shows why you and your iPhone will never be able to outdo the pros. His photography has been published in heavyweight glossy magazines such as Outside, Surfing, and Travel & Leisure. Aside from his shutterbug dexterity, his Surfboard Art Project — in which he brought together craftsmen and imagery to have 15 custom-made boards created that were embellished with beautiful scenes he shot over the years — is just another example of his killer style.

arruza.com

Two years ago, we had no idea who this guy was, and then, suddenly, Sri Prabha is everywhere: Art and Culture Center, ArtServe, FAT Village, spaces in Miami — showing his mixed-media science and otherworldly inspired works. His "Orbiting Cathedrals" show at the Young at Art Museum incorporated kinetic imagery and sound, 10,000 slides, an interactive installation, and video projections that take viewers on a trip through a multifaceted experience of science colliding with design. He truly knows how to craft a multimedia experience that is on-point and thought-provoking and, most of all, fun!

sriprabha.com

Readers' Choice: Adam Sheetz

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