This month, the buildings of West Palm Beach will be painted red—and yellow, blue, and green. Canvas (561-906-6432), an outdoor art show, will bring the works of more than 20 artists to the downtown district from November 8-22. Local gallery owner and event founder Nicole Henry took inspiration from established arts festivals to create something completely unique for West Palm Beach.
Untitled, Sean Yoro, participating Canvas artist
“I feel like West Palm Beach is really on the verge of blowing up artistically because everybody in this city loves art and the city is very supportive of the art movement,” Henry says. “We already have a great infrastructure with the city, and we have large buildings to do murals. We basically have that blank canvas, so now it’s just bringing the artists in to fill it in.”
Street art will be the main thrust, but artists will develop many types of works, including sculptures and video installations. The common thread throughout all will be the city. Henry curated the show in part to help West Palm find its own identity, so she tasked each artist to establish some sort of connection to the area. “Every piece that’s going to be in Canvas is a piece that can speak to the city,” she says.
Vinculo en Azul, Jose Bedia, participating Canvas artist
The Final, David Walker, participating Canvas artist
The canvased area will be concentrated in a few city blocks in downtown West Palm Beach, so visitors can easily walk from one installation to the next. They’ll also be able to vote for their favorite piece and share it on social media with a special app.
Henry is also planning supplemental VIP happenings and free events like the Canvas Local Showdown on November 13 and the Canvas Kids Day on November 15. The Canvas Local Showdown will take place at ArtHouse 429 and will see seven local artists paint garage doors, with the crowd’s favorite creator being awarded a spot on next year’s Canvas roster. On the Kids Day, participating Canvas artists will help young creators make their own street art.
Ideally, Henry hopes Canvas becomes an annual event that propels the city on a path toward becoming the next great arts destination. “I’d like to have West Palm Beach become an artistic and cultural hub in our country,” she says. “I feel like it has the infrastructure to be able to do that. Now, it’s just bringing awareness to our city.”