Cultural Quarterly Magazine Online

Pompano Drum Circle - Photo: Jody Horne-LeshinskyPOMPANO BEACH

A City on its Way

The City of Pompano Beach is a city on its way.
With the development of two new Community Redevelopment Areas (CRAs), the city has been taking shape as a cultural and tourist destination.
Through a joint effort involving the City of Pompano Beach, CRA, Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council, the foundation has been laid to attract private investment to the city.

Over the last year, the CRA has prepared a long-term finance plan to guide the redevelopment of the East and Northwest Redevelopment districts, hired professional staff to implement streetscape plans and incentive programs and positioned the agency to engage in public/private partnerships to attract private investment. The underlying message is, “We’re Open for Business!”

The city has also been developing a Public Art Master Plan.

Public Art Master Plan Workshops, which included an open forum and discussion, were held earlier this year at the Olson Civic Center and the Larkin Community Center in Pompano Beach.  The master planners presented public art from around the world, all the existing public art in Pompano Beach and ideas for public art projects. Summarized below are the master planners’ opinions of ideas that were appreciated by the attendees. These are just some of the thoughts and ideas being considered as the Pompano Beach Public Art Master Plan takes shape:

A theme for the artworks in Pompano. 
To make Pompano Beach stand out from its neighbors, many of the new artworks could include one type of work, such as murals, or specific themes of work, such as fish.  Themes would create an identity for the art collection and the city itself.

Parks, the beach and Atlantic Boulevard
Great locations for public art. Artwork looks great in parks.  The beach and Atlantic Blvd provide the main image of the city and are seen by residents and visitors.

Art projects can serve double duty. 
The location of the artworks or artworks with an extra function could occur, such as locating a mural with lights in a place that needs lighting for improved safety.   Or a sculpture that celebrates performing arts could be installed at the new library on Atlantic Avenue to mark it as the cultural center of Pompano Beach.

Passion for an identity. 
The city has a strong sense of self but still longs for images that send an exciting message about the future of the city.

Gathering places. 
With the success of the Beach Park and the new downtown Pompano Beach art events, the public art should help make these places beautiful and special to visit and to enjoy.  With success, great hope exists for new businesses and jobs.  Artworks of light were suggested.

Tourism ideas: 
Suggestions included an underwater sculpture park and a blimp museum.  These ideas are seen as good tourism generators, but people would want to have a way to enjoy the artwork even if they don’t scuba dive or fly.

Read more about public art in Pompano Beach


Royal Poinciana II by James GibsonThe Return of
the Highwaymen

Edited from Sun Sentinel Article by Doreen Christensen
and published with permission

Floridians had an opportunity for an up-close look at a unique part of Florida's art history when the famed Highwaymen painters gathered to exhibit and sell their vibrant works in Pompano Beach in March.
This now annual event exhibits nine of the self-taught African-American painters, who showed more than 100 works from their signature royal poinciana to Everglades sunsets and moonlit beaches at the historic Sample-McDougald House.

This event has become the largest public gathering of Highwaymen at a single venue, with Al Black, Mary Ann Carroll, James Gibson, John Maynor, Roy McLendon, Willie Reagan, Carnell Smith, Doretha Hair Truesdell and Charles Walker scheduled to attend.

The Fort Pierce painters got their nickname because they sold quickly painted works sometimes still wet from the trunks of their cars along U.S. Highway 1 in the 1950s and '60s. The group of 26 artists was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004. Nine have died.
Their vivid, colorful landscapes hang in homes across the United States, as well as in museums, city halls and the White House.

The event is co-sponsored by the home's preservation society and the Pompano Beach Historical Society.

Painting - Royal Poinciana II by James Gibson.





Broward County Cultural Division
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