Saturday, April 25, 2015

At the Benzaiten Center in the City of Lake Worth last Saturday (re-post from 4/25/15)

This is a re-post which talks about the event I led early this year through our downtown. I am re-posting it today as the Palm Beach Post has an article on Post Office art found throughout the County. Lake Worth Post Office has one of the more interesting murals that were a product of the Works Project Administration. The example in our downtown generated a little controversy between the artist, Joseph D. Myers and the person he had to answer to that was part of the government program. Interestingly, Mr. Myers went on to become a fairly well known artist in stained glass. You can read today's article by clicking here.

The Palm Beach County Planning Congress held a panel discussion on redevelopment and the arts. It is the second in a three part series that this group of professional urban planners is holding during 2015. The first was a gallery walk-along on Lake and Lucerne Avenues on the first Friday in February. In addition to it being an "Evening on the Avenue" night, about 30 or so planners from south Florida were treated to a presentation by Joan Oliva, Lake Worth CRA Executive Director at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County headquarters in our downtown. From there, we circulated to the Lake Worth Art League, Rolando Chang Berrero's gallery, and the Clay Glass Metal Stone gallery. We also made a quick detour to check out our mural found in the Lake Worth Post Office. Make sure to see it yourself if you haven't.
The second in the series (Saturday, 4/25) focused on using planning and zoning tools in order to foster economic development. We had the following panelists give presentations before about 20 urban planners that attended the session:

Nancy Stroud, AICP, JD, Partner, Lewis, Stroud & Deutsch, PL
Mrs. Stroud's practice focuses on land use law, with an emphasis on the representation of local government. She is a member of the Florida Bar and the American Institute of Certified Planners. Ms. Stroud has more than two decades experience in writing and implementing new urbanism regulations and plans. She was part of the City of Miami’s Miami21 Form Based Code team, which won awards from the APA, Congress for New Urbanism and the Form-Based Codes Institute, and Florida APA. She began work for the City of Lake Worth in 2006 with visioning and master planning efforts which resulted in comprehensive plan amendments and the complete overhaul of the City land development regulations.

William Waters, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Director for  Community Sustainability, City of Lake Worth
Mr. Waters serves as the City of Lake Worth’s Director for Community Sustainability. His education includes studies at the University of Virginia and the University of Miami. He obtained Master’s Degrees in Urban Planning and Architectural Design as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in City Planning. He also received a Historic Preservation Certificate. He is both a Florida licensed architect and interior designer, has received certification from the National Council of Architectural Boards. He also been recognized as a LEED Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council and received a SEED certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His twenty plus year professional career includes urban design, architectural and preservation work both with the public and private sectors in North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, District of Columbia, Florida, the Bahamas and the United Kingdom. He also is the co-author of Jon L Volk, Palm Beach Architect and the City of West Palm Beach’s first Historic Preservation Design Guidelines.

Doug McCraw, Founder and developer of FAT Village (Flagler Arts and Technology)
Mr. McCraw is the founder and developer of FAT Village, an arts district located in a city designated four block area in the Ft Lauderdale city center. The area was developed out of a warehouse district in 1999, and has some of the oldest buildings in the city. It has developed into a community of artists, galleries, theatres, studios (photography, film, graphics design, media management, arts technology incubation), and other arts centric businesses. Prior to FAT Village, he was the founder of DAS Records and Data Storage, a South Florida company acquired by Iron Mountain Group in 1996. He is active in the venture capital community in Alabama and has founded a new company, Art + Light + Space Studios with partners Peter Symons, Leah Brown, and Lutz Hofbauer. Mr. McCraw is a graduate in Marketing (1972) from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and remains active with board work on the campus.

Sherryl Muriente, MURP, Associate AIA
Mrs. Muriente currently works as an Instructor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University and is an artist collaborator of the art duet LeJobart. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and her Bachelor’s in Architecture. Currently, she serves as the Associate Director for the Florida and Caribbean Regional American Institute of Architecture Chapter, for which she has introduced regional competitions and programming for emerging professionals. In 2013, she received Instructor of the Year Award for her “hands on” approach to teaching, from the American Institute of Architecture Palm Beach Chapter. Aided by her "contagious enthusiasm", Muriente has embarked in creating collaborative cross-disciplinary live art projects under the lens of Urban Acupuncture. Through the process of grounded theory, she identifies a story or "local knowledge" from which inspiration to create a small-scale intervention serves as a catalyst to transform the larger urban context. These subtle interventions can resonate into a broader impact on the collective subconscious of those living in the city. Muriente’s creativity focuses on happenings, performance art, art installations, and live art in both solo shows and in directing others as a group in collaborative work. Her passion for generating local awareness of our profession through small scale urban intervention projects generates a new sense of participatory activities in the city.Some of her accomplishments include art installations and performances in Italy from which part of the documentary ReGeneration City was filmed, performances in the Projects at FATVillage with LeJobart, and Creative Placemaking installations and short urban pilot programs in the City of West Palm Beach.

Yours truly, Wes Blackman, moderated the event. Here is Sherryl Muriente's presentation which I am sure you will find of interest:

After a nice box lunch provided by Lake Worth's own TooJay's, the group moved to the area of the Benzaiten center devoted to glass blowing. Here are a few pictures from that part of the day.
Some of the attendees waiting for the glass blowing exhibition.
Doug McCraw, Founder and developer of FAT Village.

The finished project.