Boys al­lowed, but girls pro­moted Girls’ Club pro­vides creative plat­form to nur­ture lo­cal artists

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fel­low artist MichelleWein­berg, and the two dis­cussed a con­cept that would soon make a last­ing im­pact on Broward County’s arts cir­cle.

The es­tab­lish­ment opened its doors in an in­dus­trial build­ing be­tween An­drews andNorth­east Third av­enues in down­town Fort Laud­erdale, next to Bishop Good’s per­sonal stu­dio. The mis­sion of the foun­da­tion is to pro­vide ex­hi­bi­tion and ed­u­ca­tional space, and sup­port the lo­cal fe­male artist com­mu­nity, with an en­vi­ron­ment to learn and share their work.

In 2008, Wein­berg, the foun­da­tion’s creative di­rec­tor, and Bishop Good hired Sarah Michelle Ru­pert, who was fin­ish­ing the first year of her mas­ter’s de­gree atNew YorkUniver­sity. Ru­pert joined the team full time as the gallery di­rec­tor dur­ing the sum­mer of 2011 when she com­pleted her mas­ter’s in vis­ual arts ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The dy­namic trio have es­tab­lished Girls’ Club’s pres­ence as a non­profit, pri­vate foun­da­tion that ed­u­cates the com­mu­nity through pub­lic pro­gram­ming, pro­vides a yearly ex­hi­bi­tion of work made pre­dom­i­nantly by women and of­fers re­sources to nur­ture the ca­reers of lo­cal fe­male artists.

“[Girls’ Club tries] to sup­port other artists, take away the com­pe­ti­tion and pro­mote each other,” Bishop Good said when she de­scribed the at­mos­phere of the plat­form.

Es­tab­lish­ing a cen­ter that pro­vides both freedom and struc­ture for artists is a task that re­quires fa­cil­i­tat­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity and en­cour­ag­ing in­no­va­tion, which is what Girls’ Club has achieved through a va­ri­ety of out­lets. One of which is an in­for­mal se­ries that strives to pro­vide pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment and ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties. This quar­terly se­ries, “Brown Bag Lunch Talks,” in­vites the com­mu­nity in for a free and in­for­ma­tive ses­sion with pro­lific women in the lo­cal arts scene.

The next lunch will take place to­mor­row, Aug. 8. It will fo­cus on lo­cal artist res­i­dency pro­grams and stu­dio cen­ters. Speak­ers in­clude: Jill Slaugh­ter, cu­ra­tor of spe­cial projects for Stu­dio 18 in the Pines; Do­minique Breard, pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor of Can­non­ball Mi­ami; and Su­san Cara­ballo, artis­tic di­rec­tor of ArtCen­ter South Florida.

The event is at noon and open to the pub­lic, though regis­tra­tion on the Girls’ Club web­site is rec­om­mended. Park­ing is free, and cof­fee will be pro­vided.

Girls’ Club’s cur­rent col­lec­tion, “Fol­low­ing the Line,” was cu­rated by Mi­ami gal­lerist Carol Jaz­zar and fo­cuses on con­tem­po­rary art draw­ings that in­clude ba­sic lines as the main source of in­spi­ra­tion. Medi­ums in­clude graphite, ink and col­ored pen­cil and some hand-drawn an­i­ma­tion and prints.

MargiNothard of Glavovic Stu­dio, an award-win­ning lo­cal fe­male ar­chi­tect, de­signed the Girls’ Club’s space. Uti­liz­ing mov­able walls in the ware­house-style build­ing, Nothard cre­ated a unique and func­tional venue that pro­vides both ex­hi­bi­tion and event space.

In honor ofNa­tional Arts and Hu­man­i­ties Month in Oc­to­ber, Girls’ Club will host “Art Fall­out.” The free, com­mu­ni­ty­wide art event fea­tures ex­hibits, ac­tiv­i­ties and open stu­dios at lo­cal art es­tab­lish­ments. Trol­leys trans­port guests to the dif­fer­ent venues for an evening of art ex­plo­ration.

In ad­di­tion to Girls’ Club, the Mu­seum of Art Fort Laud­erdale, 1310 Gallery at Sail­boat Bend Artist Lofts, FAT Vil­lage, Third Av­enue Arts Dis­trict, Young At Art Mu­seum’s Bed­lam Lorenz Assem­bly and Ca­dence’s Pop-Up Gallery are par­tic­i­pat­ing in this year’s event, tak­ing place Oct. 5 from5 to 9 p.m. More in­for­ma­tion can be found at www.art­fall­out.blogspot.com.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the foun­da­tion and its op­por­tun­ties for artis­tic growth, such as their sum­mer work­shops, visit www.girlsclub­col­lec­tion.org.

Melissa Aldana, left, and Teodora Dakova

Pho­tos by Kara Starzyk

Sarah Michelle Ru­pert, left, Fran­cie Bishop Good and Michelle Wein­berg

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