Sometimes Hollywood, Florida, is a weird place. Sometimes you see things there that you never thought you'd see. Sometimes the streets are desolate with nothing but the neon lights and bits of music bursting from storefronts, lending breath to the boulevard. Sometimes the streets are packed beyond recognition. Wine-drunk and liquor-drunk folks strolling side by side. The place is sometimes a siren.
Opening night at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood for Echos Myron -- a musically focused exhibition curated by Holly Hunt's Beatriz Monteavaro and Kreamy 'Lectric Santa's Priyadarsini Ray -- was a song that lured the most colorful young culture-seekers to Harrison Street. They came from both Broward and Miami to witness a brazen showcase of artists who make music and musicians who make art.
But really, is there a distinction?
Echos Myron -- the name came from a Guided By Voices song -- shows different generations of artists, including those who remember the '90s as young adults, and those who were still in diapers during the Clinton years. All produced works that reflect their personal visions and the South Florida scene, which has long included both visual and audio expressions of art.
Besides being a fantastically curated show, it was a walk down memory lane for those of us who grew up down here. Photos and flyers of shows past created a link between the older and the younger scene-makers who made and still make our scene so vibrant and interesting.
Illustrators such as Amanda Castillo and Eddy Alvarez combined the written word and hand-drawn images to create narratives. Both exuded some sort of New Wave Shel Silverstein dynamic that combines the oddities and heartaches of life with simple renderings for emphasis.
Next to Ricardo Guerrera's set of collages was Rick Diaz's stunning work. Simply a written note, he apologizes for coming across as a "shithead" as he tries to live his own life paired with an ink blotted cat.
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The smaller corridors, filled with mostly 2-D works, spilled out into a larger room packed with interactive pieces as well as sculptures, video works, and found art. The most hands-on sculpture was a pair of contact microphones encased in plaster by 3PQ. It was appropriately beaten to hell by anyone brave enough to approach the block by a giant plaster bone. Evidence of this joyfully violent creation could be found in plaster dusted footprints throughout the gallery as well as in echoes of the sound of smashing throughout the gallery.
The piece paired well with Gavin Perry's Death Goes to the Winner -- the other half of the Holly Hunt duo -- which also relied on industrial materials to tell its story. The luminescent resin glowed against the stark white platform it was presented upon, playing on the negative space in the room. The room though was buzzing with chatter and smiles and even babies. Live music was an element of the opening too, as acts like Miami trio Snakehole and Bank of Christ took to the floor, mesmerizing a captive audience.
At some point in the evening, it became apparent that even those with the most to discuss had said everything they needed to say and the roaring conversational tone spilled out on to the lawn in a cloud of smoke and leather boots. It was soon whisked away, back to the center of it all, Churchill's Pub, for post-opening festivities.
In true Hollywood form, Echos Myron showed us things we hadn't counted on, including the reconstruction of what seems to be a promising cultural bridge between Broward and Dade, as well as a softer side of musicians who really just melt our faces when they're on stage.
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