To deepen your understanding of area history, take a step back in time—and onto the water. Open through the end of February, Foreverglades is a floating public art installation by Sofia Valiente with photographs depicting life in the Glades. Over the course of five years, Valiente, a Belle Glade resident, sought to capture portraits of significant locations and residents in this oft-overlooked region.
Most unique about the exhibit, however, is its setting: To fully immerse visitors in old-Florida history, Foreverglades is housed in a 41-foot 1920s freight steamboat replica docked in the Stub Canal Turning Basin in Howard Park in West Palm Beach. During the early twentieth century, before roads connected the two communities, ships came to the basin with food and goods from rural Belle Glade, enabling West Palm Beach to expand more rapidly than neighboring cities.
Settled in 1925, the Glades were a major agricultural hub and thus fed much of South Florida’s growth. Through the images, Valiente aims to recognize Belle Glade’s pivotal role in South Florida’s developmental success. The exhibition is free and open to the public. (facebook.com/rootedinthemuck)