BY ALI BERGER
Thursday, September 6 marked the highly anticipated grand opening of,Hustle–an introspective look into pop-inspired urban art in South Florida. Held at The Frank C. Ortis Art Gallery in Pembroke Pines, attendees were treated to refreshments and an exclusive live spoken word performance by the prolific Darius V. Daughtry. Darius is also known as the founder of the Art Prevails Project, which seeks to expand cultural awareness though innovative experiences.
The collective pop-inspired urban pieces being showcased are highly reflective of the polarizing space our society currently occupies. Paintings, installations, sculptures, and effective poetic performances highlighted at the exhibition help draw out mired feelings experienced during such a strange time in our American culture. The relevance of Darius’s performance, for example, captivated the audience for reasons such as these. Not only was his timing impeccable, but his point-blank question– “How you feel?-” followed by a dramatic pause left us contemplative and curious. Several artists stood, drinks in mid-air, eyes fixated, and seemingly breathless with his explanation of what it is to hustle.
Selected acclaimed works by Cey Adams, Luis Berros, CLoD, George Gadson, Marina Gonella, Andres Martinez, David McCauley, Rogerio Pedro, Sterling Rook, and Ronald Sanchez seek to inform the discussion on societal pop culture and the progress (or lack thereof) that we’ve made in the last few decades.
A broader theme [expressed through the Hustle exhibit] seeks to demonstrate a lifestyle that involves hard work, circumstance, industrial movement through time, and the undeniable melting pot that defines our country. While seemingly under fire in our political climate, the Frank Art Gallery is certainly capitalizing on such a relevant and pertinent discussion. The artwork on display shows careful prudence and diligence, and chief curator, Joshua Carden, related to me his satisfaction with such a successful opening night. He also commented on the relevance of selected work by saying, “We were so excited to receive confirmation from our artists-such as world-famous, Cey Adams-for his participation in our exhibit. His four selected works help exemplify what we’re trying to do here–they blend nicely in terms of theme and discourse-.”
When social media and mainstream media force messages into our daily lives, points of view can become distorted and charged with emotion. Utilizing themes found throughout the Hustle exhibit help untie some of the confusion by bringing us together to seek resolution through creative expression. In this way, we can move through difficult times by turning to the arts for answers. Thanks to dedicated creatives and passionate professionals our world starts to make a little more sense, by helping steer the conversation in a more constructive direction.
The Frank C. Ortis Art Gallery is running the Hustle exhibit from now until Saturday, October 27, 2018. Click this link for more information.
Ali Berger is a staff writer and local arts journalist by night, and creative storyteller/copywriter by day. Follow her on twitter @laquadivine or instagram @alibchi