BY JENIFER VOGT | PALM BEACH ARTS PAPER
Let’s face it: As of overnight, Lake Worth has become a hip cultural hub, and Jacques de Beaufort, an associate professor of art at Palm Beach State College, is one of the reasons why.
De Beaufort is part of a small cadre of working artists who live in the city’s new Urban Art Lofts. When he moved in, the former Los Angeles resident brought that alluringly laid-back — yet concurrently cutting-edge — West Coast attitude that’s creating a buzz. He converted the ground-floor studio of his duplex apartment into an art gallery called Unit 1, and it’s quickly become one of the county’s most unique venues for avant-garde art. One of the reasons is that it’s more than a gallery; it’s a place for live concerts, film shoots and other happening events. And he wants everyone to know he’s open to other suggestions.
The small, white space with its polished cement floors was crammed with the more than 100 attendees coming and going during the recent opening of The Invisible Horde. The show contains diverse work by 30 local artists. On the lawn in front of the gallery, Alexander Krivosheiw's mammoth aluminum-welded sculpture Calliope greeted guests. The work was striking, both because of the obvious technical skill that went into its construction and the graceful way the shape evoked movement.
Serving as a barometer of viewers’ coolness, Shelly J. Cox’s oil painting, A Painters Problem, raised many an eyebrow. The painting is a spoof of Norman Rockwell and shows a woman from the 1940s being, for lack of a more appropriate word, serviced by the mailman. Cox uses the alias Norma Cockwell.
A goal de Beaufort had was to cultivate a sense of community among the artists included, and he achieved it. In reference to the show’s title, he explained, “You’ve got all these artists in the county working individually in their studios, and I wanted a way to bring them together.”
The Invisible Horde is on view at 1202 Lucerne Ave. in Lake Worth. For information, call 213-255-0730 or visit www.unit1.org.