The Culture Lab opens in CityPlace

The Culture Lab opens in CityPlace

Last month CityPlace received national media in a Wall Street Journal (subscription required) with their plans to transform the abandoned Macy’s into an immersive art exhibit called “Culture Lab”.

With more people moving to online shopping, malls have work harder to provide experiences that attract people. Culture Lab, a large-scale art installation by national artists, is an exciting response from the CityPlace and the Related team.

Culture Lab is open Fridays, Saturdays and, Sundays from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm

Related Group Senior Vice President, Gopal Rajegowda, announcing the Culture Lab project

CityPlace Culture Lab Website explains the project as:

Culture Lab is the first of many innovative partnerships that will support a new kind of engagement between arts & culture and consumers. It responds to the changing retail environment by turning the shell of a former Macy’s department store inside out. Inside, visitors will find retail displays replaced with interactive art installations. Outside, a mural will transform the building into a stand-alone cultural object for the District, no longer defined by the shopping that once occurred inside its four walls. Through this reinvention of the department store experience, Culture Lab will bring excitement and energy to the middle of one of the most exciting cities in the Southeast.

Sir Michael Craig-Martin is an Irish-born contemporary conceptual artist. His first US installation, and largest installation to date, “Palm Beach Parade” is hard to miss on the outside of Macy’s.

Rendering of Sir Micheal Craig-Martin’s Palm Beach Parade

“When I was young my parents took me to Macy’s to ask Santa for presents. I never thought that I would be given a Macy’s to play with.”

Sir Michael’s colorful and unique style features common objects, his goal with this project was to “try to make the architecture more interesting not less interesting.” and after seeing the exhibition he wants the viewer to “wonder how the building ever existed without it”.

On the second floor of Macy’s you’ll find Stephen Vitiello’s immersive, multi-channel sound installation “You Are the Magic”. Stephen worked inside the empty Macy’s for 3 months, recording site-specific sounds and mixing them to transform the abandoned space.

Artist Stephen Vitiello walking Mayor Jeri Muoio and Chuck Muoio through his exhibit

A sound installation is hard to describe, but as you wander through the massive empty second floor of Macy’s you will hear the eerie sounds of its previous life as a department store. Some sounds are easily distinguishable, others, not so much.

“The universal nature of sound provides a democratic accessibility, allowing you to relate to the installation in your own way. Yet, while each experience is highly individual, each one is intertwined with the whole as a crucial part of the collective artwork.”

In the south-east corner of the second floor of Macy’s, Stephen Vitiello’s “You Are the Magic” and Micheal Craig-Martin’s “Palm Beach Parade” meet in a brilliantly blue flow of natural light which streams in through the iconic curved glass windows which Macy’s stores around the country are known for. Bean bags are available for people to relax on and take in the sights and sounds.

Blinded by Blue Light

Please take the time to come out and appreciate this new addition to our downtown. Related Group has consistently hinted at the big plans that they have in store for “CityPlace 2.0”. This is the start of a new round of big ideas in CityPlace, but it won’t last forever so come on and enjoy the Culture Lab while you can.

Eddie Walker and Aaron Wormus with Artist Michael Craig-Martin

Aaron Wormus and Eddie Walker with sound artist Stephen Vitiello

Culture Lab is open Fridays, Saturdays and, Sundays from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm

Inside Out Project comes to Flagler Shore

Inside Out Project comes to Flagler Shore

The Inside Out Project is a “global participatory art project to pay tribute to the power and dignity of individuals by displaying their portraits in public spaces around the world. People share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.

Inside Out at Time Square – By JR – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The award winning French artist, JR, started out as a graffiti artist at 15 years old “using the city as a canvas”. He bought a camera and started documenting his art and his friends on their “adventures” on the tunnels and rooftops of Paris. He would then make copies of the pictures and pasted them throughout the city as his own “sidewalk gallery’s”

In 2005 during riots in Paris JR took to the streets and photographed some of the people who were involved in the riots. He pasted them at city hall, “We had ‘thug’ images which were stolen and distorted by the media, who are now taking over their own image. That’s when I realized the power of Paper and Glue.”

His next project to go to Israel and take portraits of Palestinians and Israelis. They pasted the pictures in 8 cities and on both sides of the boarder wall in what JR calls “The biggest illegal art exhibition ever, called ‘Face 2 Face'”.

Watch JR’s TED talk and learn more about his

Inside Out Project has traveled from Ecuador to Nepal, from Mexico to Palestine, inspiring group actions on varied themes such as hope, diversity, violence awareness and climate change. Each project addressed a topic that was sensitive. In West Palm Beach the topic was DACA.

Beyond any political debate about dreamers, these portraits remind us that behind the policies are real human stories that are deeply rooted in the story of this country. Inside Out/ Dreamers aims to represent the diversity and unity of people that can call America home. It is a nationwide participatory art initiative aimed at creating a portrait of America that includes immigrants and the descendants of immigrants alike.

168 pictures of West Palm Beachers were taken, and can be viewed on Flagler Shore.

The Inside Out Project was brought to West Palm Beach with help of the following city organizations: West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, West Palm Beach Arts In Public Places, West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority and West Palm Beach Arts & Entertainment District

Reflejos – Guatemalan Art and Culture at The Box Gallery

Reflejos – Guatemalan Art and Culture at The Box Gallery

Rolando, of The Box Gallery on Belvedere Rd. is hosting the #Reflejos International Fine Art Showcase at The Box Gallery. This exhibit features the work of passionate Guatemalan artists dedicated to promoting the beauty and depth of the Guatemalan culture.

The event is free and open to the public today Saturday, 4th of November.

4th of Nov from 3PM – 9PM

The Box Gallery
811 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, Florida 33405

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet with about 20 of the artists and walk them down Clematis Street to show off some of our downtown murals. We started on the 500 block, walked through the back alleys, saw the massive new mural on East side of The Alexander. And finally ended up on Flagler Shore walking to Clematis by Night.

Seeing our downtown through the eyes of people who have never seen it before is a great experience. Walking through the streets, finding small, often missed, pieces left behind by the artists, coming around a corner and seeing their faces as they saw some of the spectacularly massive pieces of art that we have was amazing.

On Friday night I went to the VIP reception at The Box Gallery to see the artists again and enjoy their work. I have to admit that I was expecting to see more of the traditional Guatemalan Folk Art, but was surprised to see such a diverse and impressive collection of art and sculpture, in every style.

The Reflejos exhibit is organized by two groups: Colectivo Cinceles & Guatemala es Guatemala.

Guatemala es Guatemala is a cultural and artistic project that began in 2014 with 23 artists. The group is open to both renowned and emerging artists who wish to participate in various branches of art. The exhibit had success in Guatemala and Italy, and the Box Gallery in West Palm Beach is it’s first time in the United States.

Colectivo Cinceles was born in 2009 following the interest of Beverley Rowley to sculpt the exquisite stones found in Guatemala. The group grew and has gathered 40 artists who exhibit every two years both in Guatemala and internationally.

All proceeds are to benefit the work of The Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund and Ak’ Tenamit – Guatemala Tomorrow Fund, Ak’tenamit, Guatemala!

For tickets and information go to:
http://thegtfund.com/
https://www.aktenamit.org/donate/

Exhibitition Curator: Brenda EstradaContact: suzanne@thegtfund.org

The Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund│PO Box 3636│Tequesta Florida 33469│561.747.9790│info@thegtfund.org│www.thegtfund.org

“12 x 12” West Palm Beach’s strategy for retail on Clematis Street

“12 x 12” West Palm Beach’s strategy for retail on Clematis Street

One of the things that I consistently hear as I’m walking down Clematis Street are concerns about the state of retail shopping on the street. Clematis Street peaked as a retail main street in the years prior to Cityplace, and many people look back at those days and wonder how we create a balance between the vibrant nightlife that we have and bring back some of the much-loved retail elements.

If you want to know what the City of West Palm Beach is doing about this, read on.

There is no doubt that with the emergence first of sprawling suburban malls and then in the last decade Amazon Prime, the face of shopping has changed forever. However the City is dedicated to creating a “Live, Work, Play” environment in our downtown, and bringing back a “Shop” aspect to that is something that the City is dedicated to make happen.

Looking to provide an avenue for retail stores to use Clematis Street to get started, West Palm Beach Economic Development Director Chris Roog and Sherryl Muriente had an idea and proceeded to win a grant from the Knight Foundation to start its implementation.

The idea is to fund 12 businesses for 12 months and to activate the vacant retail storefronts in the downtown area. The proposal was named “12 x 12 Popup to Rent“. The Knight Foundation saw the value and the economic development impact that this would have on the area and gave the City team a grant of $180,200.00.

“We were responding to vacant retail, and the concern about what is happening to downtown from a business aspect,” West Palm Beach Economic Development Director, Chris Roog said. “If we could cluster small businesses and popups to rent we can make a destination and be successful.”

Enter 314 Clematis Street

314 Clematis Street was the home to the trendy home decor store Z Gallerie before being converted in 2010 to the Off the Hookah nightclub.

Converting Z Gallarie into Off the Hookah

Off the Hookah went through many phases over the six years of its tenure on Clematis Street. It was known for its epic annual anniversary parties which often included lavish decor and live camels.

In June of 2016 the ownership of a key piece of Clematis Street changed. As reported by The Real Deal, Key Biscayne-based Ana Maria Caballero purchased the property that was anchored by the “Off the Hookah” nightclub in June of 2016 for $6.75 million. This purchase came just four years after the property was purchased for 3.2 million.

The first thing that Ana Caballero did was to call a meeting with the DDA, the Mayor and Jon Ward from the CRA to understand what is happening on Clematis Street.

“These are the kinds of landowners that we want. They care and are interested in new ideas, they don’t necessarily believe in business as usual and they want to see the street improved,” said Chris Roog.

The new owners of 314 Clematis Street chose not to renew the lease that they had with Off the Hookah, the nightclub which had been a tenant in the space for the previous six years. The 314 space was now empty and looking for a new use.

Bringing Retail to Clematis Street

Retail trends are moving towards cool, fun and funky retail areas. One of the best examples of this locally is the new work that is going into the brand new Elizabeth Ave. Station in the Warehouse District. The idea is to create a cool, fun and funky retail destination and then making sure that it is clean and safe for shoppers.

Trendy shopping at Elizabeth Ave. in the Warehouse District

314 Clematis fits into the 12×12 plan. The space has 14,000 sqft and will be subdivided into smaller retail bays for small business opportunities. The City has contracted with an architect to remodel the space and will be picking retail businesses through a contest.

Each of the new retail business will get a 2 year lease which they will negotiate with the landowners. The city will offer an incentive to start the business out with a no to low rent and then work the business up to market rent. The goal will be to help them grow and move them into one of the other empty retail spaces on Clematis Street.

“It won’t be pizza, vape, or coffee shops.” Chris Roog ensured, “We want to add a different type component and retailer to the street … What we have is a great chance to improve Clematis Street and react to what’s happening in retail and civic life.  And a lot of things that we need to respond to in order to keep our city great and continue to grow.”

One of the interesting pieces is that the City has been working to Activate the Alleyways which was started several years ago, and brought into the fore as part of the Shore to Core project. This project will open the back of the building into the alleyway and will create a natural connection between Via Jardin on the 300 block.

The city wants to create an environment for these business with events, marketing, advertising, and mentorship that will ensure that success is the most likely outcome for these businesses.

Commissioner Neering commented on the project: “This is top-notch. This is innovated and different. We have tried it [retail] for the same way for so long and  I think we have a real opportunity here, and to hear that it can be nationally replicated it goes well. I want to thank everyone that has been involved. This is the type of initiative and change that we should be supporting and I’m really excited about this.”

Downtown West Palm Beach to Paint the Town Pink for Breast Cancer

Downtown West Palm Beach to Paint the Town Pink for Breast Cancer

On October 26, 2017, West Palm Beach will be one of three South Florida cities to host the first ever “Downtowns Go Pink” in support of Susan G. Komen South Florida® and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Clematis Street fountain will light the night in pink, and restaurants and bars will offer special discounts and a portion of sales to support Komen’s local life-saving breast cancer programs and research to find a cure.

Komen has partnered with West Palm Beach’s Downtown Development Authority to engage a variety of establishments who will offer Clematis Street by Night revelers a fun evening out on the town including:

  • Avocado Grill—$2 donated from the purchase of every signature breast cancer cocktail
  • Leila—10% of the evening’s sales donated to Komen
  • Kapow—$1 donated from the purchase of every signature breast cancer cocktail
  • Dorrian’s – Proceeds from the sale of their Berry Awareness cocktail will support Komen’s efforts

More restaurants and bars are joining every day. For the latest information about participating establishments, or to learn more about Downtowns Go Pink in Delray Beach and Stuart, visitwww.komensouthflorida.org/events/gopink or email info@komensouthflorida.org.

What’s in Store at Flagler Shore?

What’s in Store at Flagler Shore?

Flagler Shore is open on the downtown Waterfront with a number of events and activities for residents and visitors to enjoy in the expanded public space.  City of West Palm Beach officials encourage the public to explore the temporary changes on Flagler Drive, attend events and activities planned for the next five months, and provide feedback of their experiences. The tactical urbanism project is a constant work in progress based on public feedback, so visitors can expect to see continual changes throughout the coming months.

Flagler Shore is a temporary design project that repurposes two lanes on Flagler Drive from Lake Avenue to Banyan Boulevard (.6 miles) to expand the waterfront public space for pedestrians, bicyclists, and merchants, as well as allow for additional programming.  Visitors can expect additional seating, bistro tables and chairs, public art, street vendors, street performers and various activities along the expanded waterfront space.  During the five-month project that runs through March 1, 2018, Flagler Drive will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes (keeping both southbound and northbound traffic flow).  Coordinated by the City of West Palm Beach and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency in partnership with the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, the Flagler Shore project constructs a short-term design that allows the community to reclaim more public space and create a more dynamic waterfront.   

To find out more about the city’s Flagler Shore project, please call (561) 822-2222 or visit www.wpb.org/flaglershore.  The city encourages public feedback on the new design and new activities via email at  flaglershore@wpb.org.

Below is listing of events and activities planned along the expanded Flagler Shore waterfront in downtown West Palm Beach.  Find updates and additional information on the website or city’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CityofWPB.

 

Coffee Outside

Mondays (Now – February 26)
7:00 to 8:00 AM

Meet at Centennial Fountain
Free

Perk up your week with coffee and a bike ride, all before going to work on Monday.  Meet at the Centennial Fountain at 6:50 a.m. and begin an easy bike ride to a secret location starting at 7:00 a.m. and concluding by 8:00 a.m.  Each Monday you can explore a new location.  Grab your bike and make your brew on the spot or b.y.o.b. (bring your own brew) – like camping out in the city.  Co-Hosted: BikeWPB & Flagler Shore Peloton. 

Lunch on the Shore

Wednesdays (Now – February 28)
12:00 to 2:00 PM

Across from 501 S Flagler Drive
Free

No lunch plans? No problem! Invite your friends and co-workers to Flagler Shore every Wednesday for Lunch on the Shore.  Bring your own lunch or pre-order food from our downtown restaurants and have it delivered to Flagler Shore through Delivery Dudes, Cravy and UberEats. There will also be some tasty local food trucks on the southend, located at 501 S. Flagler.  Co-Hosted: Gourmet Truck Expo

                  

Pedal/Run/Walk with Purpose

Last Wednesday of every month (Oct 25Nov 29Dec 27Jan 31Feb 28)
6:00 to 9:00 PM

Meet at Datura & Flagler Intersection (Across from E. R. Bradley’s Saloon)
Free

Enjoy an evening walk, run or ride after work as you meet up with friends and community members on the Flagler Shore with food trucks, music and more.  There’s fun in store each month on these themed nights.  Bring your running shoes or bike to for a quick workout.  Meetup will take place at 6:00 p.m. and the scenic ride through Downtown WPB will commence at 6:10 p.m. to a secret location and conclude at 7:00 p.m.  Co-Hosted: Bike WPB & Flagler Shore Peloton

Upcoming Dates:

  • Oct 25 – Pumpkin Walk, Run & Ride
  • Nov 29 – Early Santa Walk, Run & Ride
  • Dec 27 – Lantern Walk, Run & Ride
  • Jan 31 – Love Walk, Run & Ride
  • Feb 28 – Run of the Bulls 

Food Trucks @ The Shore

Last Wednesday of every month (Oct 25Nov 29Dec 27Jan 31Feb 28)
6:00 to 9:00 PM

On Flagler Drive from Fern to Lakeview

Enjoy a flavorful night in Downtown WPB with 15-20 of the best food trucks in town. Indulge in fusion cuisine, comfort foods, sweet treats, and much more while enjoying the water views.  Co-Hosted: Gourmet Truck Expo

 

Flagler Shore Bike Valet

Saturdays
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Downtown Waterfront (across from the Great Lawn)
Free

Start your Saturday with a healthy ride through Flagler Shore and enjoy the West Palm Beach GreenMarket.  With our complimentary bike valet there is no need to drag around your wheels while shopping, just leave your bike at the valet stationed across from E. R. Bradley’s.  A bicycle tech with supplies will be happy to service your ride including putting air in your tires, and fixing a flat tire, brakes or gears.  Helmets, lights, baskets, and other accessories will be available for purchase.  Co-Hosted: BikeWPB & ConnectWPB

 Sunrise Wellness

Saturdays
9:00 to 10:00 AM

Waterfront Pier
Free

Refresh the mind and meet up at the Flagler Shore for free yoga, tai chi, or guided meditations by local instructors. Co-Hosted: Spotlight Yoga Shala

 Made in WPB

First Saturday of every month (Nov 4Dec 2Jan 6Feb 3)
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Next to the Visitor Center Waterfront Kiosk
Free

Discover your inner crafter and be GREEN at Flagler Shore.  Resource Depot will be on site with a “live sewing bee booth” for the community to observe and participate in.  Stop by and get a bag or make your own.  Learn about how you can be part of the “Sew for Sustainability” project & be part of the Plastic Free movement.  Co-Hosted: Resource Depot 

Ciclovia

First Sunday of every month (Nov 5Dec 3Jan 7Feb 4)
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Throughout Flagler Shore
Free

Become a part of the worldwide #ciclovia movement when cities temporarily close streets to automobiles and provide safe spaces for walking, bicycling, and social activities.  Bring your family and friends for this great opportunity to explore and experience the Flagler Shore open street program. Ciclovia gives people the chance to enjoy great weather, meet neighbors, and get a little exercise.  Co-Hosted: BikeWPB & Flagler Shore Peloton 

Palm Beach Plage & Sunset Wellness


First Sunday of every month (Nov 5Dec 3Jan 7Feb 4)
5:00 to 9:00 PM

Throughout Flagler Shore
Free

Bring your hammock, blankets and picnic baskets to this community picnic along the West Palm Beach Plage (beach in French).  Enjoy an informal, family-friendly gathering (akin to summers along the Seine), bring food and drinks, and just relax and savor the Flagler Shore with good company.  There will be picnic tables, games, and more.  Co-Hosted: ConnectWPB 

Finding Nature on Flagler Shore (part of LagoonFest)

November 4, 2017
9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Throughout Flagler Shore
Free

During the 4th annual LagoonFest, Flagler Shore will host various performances and activities that get guests back in touch with nature.  The event includes a full day of fun activities hosted by the DDA and LagoonFest including a series of walks and bike rides to explore the South Cove Natural Areas of the West Palm Beach Waterfront, guided morning yoga and meditation on the Waterfront pier and other wellness activities throughout the day, and an opportunity for the public to take turns conducting the Palm Beach Symphony.  Additional activities include free bike valet service by BikeWPB, a live Sewing Bee by Resource Depot, a Paint-By-Numbers mural, live music performances by Lovelock Music Group, and the LagoonFest Regatta. 

Flagler Shore Unplugged

December 16, 2017
6:00 to 10:00 PM

Throughout Flagler Shore
Free

Guests can enjoy live music and dancing under the stars at Flagler Shore with various local acoustic bands and solo acts on three stages along with artists, vendors and more.  There will also be an open mic for those who wish to share their talent.  Hosted by the DDA, UniverCity Backyard Garden Gatherings, and Song Catcher Project.  

Urban Stories Festival at Flagler Shore

January 27, 2018
12:00 to 6:00 PM

Throughout Flagler Shore
Free

Listen to the stories of West Palm Beach as a portion of the two-day festival storytelling event takes place on Flagler Shore.  With story circles, soapboxes, speakers, spoken word, art, music and more, guests can come listen or tell their own story of this great City we live in.  The festival aims to support literacy while sharing experiences, celebrating diversity and helping the community find common ground. Hosted by DDA, FAU CES.  For more information go to www.urbansotriesfestival.com.

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