On Display: Cultural Council Biennial 2015

Palm Beach County’s number one arts advocate does not bed down for summer hibernation; quite the contrary. The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County aims to broaden its artistic reach and range this summer with its latest exhibition, “Cultural Council Biennial 2015,” taking place May 15 through August 29 at its Lake Worth Streamline Moderne headquarters. Open to local artists, emerging to seasoned vet, who are currently shaping the scene in which we live, this juried exhibition is designed to showcase their talents, while giving PBC an additional boost of artistic cred.

Cheryl Maeder - Film still from

Cheryl Maeder, Film still from Play, 2014

   The five-month-long call for art (October 2014 to February 2015) generated more than 400 submissions from nearly 130 artists, which included works in painting, photography, sculpture, video and site-specific installations. Juried by the multi-talented Elizabeth Sobieski, screenwriter, producer and arts writer for publications including The Art Economist and The Huffington Post, painstakingly combed through submissions, carefully selecting a show that tells the story of Palm Beach’s thriving artsy underbelly.

Sami Makela, Om Fug, 2015 - Cultural Council Biennial 2015 - Cultural Council of Palm Beach County

Sami Makela, Om Fug, 2015

   “The works of 62 artists were chosen because they represent what is happening in the art scene right now,” says Cultural Council Manager of Artist Services, Nichole M. Hickey. “The diversity of talent in the Palm Beaches is remarkable and the juried process allows the Council to cast a wider net and exhibit artists who have not yet been shown here.”

   At the exhibition’s preview party, held on May 14 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., awards for “Best of Show,” and runners-up, will be announced, while a “People’s Choice” award campaign will get underway, allowing gallery visitors to vote for their favorite work through anonymous ballot. The winning work of art will be announced in mid-August.

    With a mission to support arts and culture for Palm Beach County through programs serving non-profit organizations, individual artists and arts districts, the Cultural Council’s inaugural “Biennial” exhibition speaks to the organization’s dedication to promoting the area’s local artistic talent. And with plans of making this exhibition, as the name suggests, biennial, the Cultural Council is helping the county continue to make strives as a dynamic arts destination, with cultural experiences acting as a driver of the local economy for years to come.


Concurrently, the Cultural Council’s Lake Worth locale will be hosting two solo exhibitions by local artists, Vicki Siegel and Karen H. Salup, in the Lawrence A. Sanders Foundation Artist Resource Center through May 23:


Karen H. Salup - Blue Bouquet, 2014 - Cultural Council of Palm Beach County solo exhibition

Karen H. Salup, Blue Bouquet, 2014

Boynton Beach-based abstract expressionist Karen H. Salup is all about the method: the action of painting, “avoiding the pretty” while cutting to the marrow of aesthetic. In her work, as per her artist statement, Salup is “searching for a kind of underlying unity and order that takes into account the materials on hand, a method, and a fairly clear point of view.” The bold, colorful, almost chaotic paintings seem to awaken, with the viewer’s eye frantically following brushstroke to brushstroke in a landscape of perpetual motion.


Vicki Siegel - Wired, 2015 - Cultural Council of Palm Beach County solo exhibition

Vicki Siegel, Wired, 2015

For Delray Beach-based artist Vicki Siegel, theme is juxtaposed by the use of multiple streams of imagery. As per her artist statement, “each work is a narrative that explores issues of identity, power, sexual discovery and the environment.” The mixed media works—a collection of painting, drawing and image transfers of photography—evoke emotional and introspective thought, touching on the nature of connection, while her abstract expressionist roots of the painting with overlays of pencil, charcoal and oil stick give the works a dreamlike, surreal feel.

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