Take ‘The Red Eye’ for a Wild Artistic Ride
By Julie Levin
If you think you've seen art at its most extreme, chances are you have never checked out “The Red Eye,” one of South Florida's wildest and most innovative multi-media events of the year. The Red Eye, sponsored by City Link Magazine and presented by ArtServe, is returning to South Florida in July and organizers promise an event unlike any other. "It is fun, it is exciting and it is the coolest show or event that ArtServe does," says Earl F. Bosworth, president of ArtServe.
Scheduled to run from July 1-30, The Red Eye is the only exhibition on the ArtServe calendar that combines gallery art, street art, music, dance, fashion and installation art. It does so by adding major twists to conventional gallery art, including unconventional, exciting and highly innovative work that reaches out to all the senses. "We like to bring in anyone that might have that lowbrow, street art or radical bent to their art," says Bosworth, a professional songwriter and musician who has led ArtServe for close to two years.
This one-of-a-kind experience, now in its sixth year, will display artwork, jewelry and installations. The highlight of the month is the July 22 reception, which promises live music performances and live art sculptures. There will also be a short film premiere section hosted by the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and live bands accompanying the avant-garde fashion premieres. Typically the night starts at ArtServe with gallery exhibits, musical performances and fashion; buses then transport everyone to a second location (to be announced) that will include more of the same. Bosworth says there is no question guests, usually as many as 1,500, will be tired the next day. "It is just the constant motion, energy and sound, of the event," he explains.
Torche Perkins is one of the more than 120 artists expected to take part in Red Eye. The Fort Lauderdale artist creates metal abstract sculpture using mostly found objects and recycled steel. She makes her pieces life-size so people can better relate to them and says Red Eye is always her favorite show on the schedule. "It is a great show, because it tries to evoke emotion in people and get some more progressive art," she says.
Perkins made her art show debut at the 2005 Red Eye and promptly took "Best in Show" for her installation dealing with the controversial issues of suicide, abortion and "women using their bodies in the wrong way." She said this is the allure of Red Eye. Rather than just offering a single concept or theme like many other shows, Red Eye encourages artists to expand their boundaries and go beyond the ordinary. "I think artists do some more risky things that they wouldn't do for another gallery. They can express things they have been holding inside or wanting to work on and haven't had a place to put it. Red Eye accepts it all," she says.
The Red Eye looks to appeal not just to art lovers, but also a young demographic like high school and college students who are looking to explore different types of art. "We want to give them an opportunity to be seen," says Bosworth. At The Red Eye, they find a night that leaves them inspired, reflective and completely stimulated. The Red Eye finds beauty in the eccentric and loves to raise awareness of a new age of artistic expression. Guests might see strolling fashion models, films projected onto a wall, street artists actually working and competing during the event, stilt walkers, bands, walk-though installations, and all art media and so much more.
ArtServe was incorporated in 1989 as one of six original arts incubators in the U.S. The mission of the nonprofit was to become a leading source of programs, resources and facilities for artists and cultural organizations. "We provide an art service organization that offers progressive events, programs and services that help artists turn their art into business," says Bosworth. Since its inception, ArtServe has expanded its services to become South Florida’s premier arts service organization that works to enrich the cultural landscape of South Florida while providing a positive impact on the lives of all residents.
ArtServe hosts 14 major exhibits annually in its JM Family Enterprises Gallery. It also opens its auditorium to hundreds of performances and classes each year and provides essential training and technical assistance programs for artists and the community. It administers Broward County’s Cooperative Marketing Program and manages ArtsCalendar.com. Other programs include ArtServe's Eco Art Therapy Program, the (InSIDE)/Out!, Art as Healing Therapy and Play Your Stuff. Currently in the developmental stages, Play Your Stuff is an ArtServe program designed to provide musical instruments for kids in underserved areas and to provide a venue for local musicians to play their music for an audience. In 2009, ArtServe received the 2009 State of Florida Arts Recognition Award for its efforts, which provided client services to more than 2,000 people and exhibition services to 143,579 attendees.
Bosworth would love to expand The Red Eye in the future and create an event that runs for an entire weekend, maybe even bringing in visitors and artists from around the country. Until then, he encourages South Floridians to explore The Red Eye they've never seen. "It is really something to witness and experience," he says.
The Red Eye exhibit will run from July 1-30. The reception will be held July 22 from 6-9 p.m. at ArtServe, which is located at 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, call 954-462-8190, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to www.artserve.org. ArtServe is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and by appointment on Sunday.