...or tries to...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lake Worth

We spent last Saturday in Lake Worth to see an exhibit I'm part of, Foundations, the inaugural
show at the re-opened Montgomery building. I'll post the reception later in the month, when it officially begins - in the meantime, I thought I'd share a little of the building, a tall ice cream cake of Art Deco. It's a beauty, built in the forties as a movie theatre, then reborn again and again as a seventies disco-(just imagine what that was like-I see lots of sherbert-colored glittered platform shoes), a pizza parlor, and three kinds of art museums. When I first moved here it was called the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, or PBICA for short, and I loved it. I had just moved from New York and I didn't know where or whether the art would be, and it turned out it was right there, Kiki Smith and Fred Tomaselli, right there. It was out of its element, though, and didn't last, north of Miami is art-careful, but it warmed me up just as I was starting to make my work again. The spark struck just at the right time.

This frieze runs the frame of the lobby, amazing plaster figures by sculptor Tom Otterness,

and inside, a sneak peek of a corner of the show:

and the room for children,

Lake Worth itself is a Florida city with that rarest of things: a downtown:

with more Deco, preserved and crayon colored,

all straight lines and acute angles against Florida's winter sky,

though still appropriately pink and mosaic tiled,

and seventies vintaged.

But it's a real town, lined with motorcycles and hostile to chain stores, with a barber shop instead of  a salon-slash-nails-slash-spa,

and your choice of clipper cuts, including, it looks like, the Newt Gingrich, upper left. If you're so inclined.


Daydreamer said...

What an amazing building, Amy! And to think it is ALL about Art! The Art Deco buildings I saw in Miami always looked so FOREIGN to me! I think they remind me of Greek buildings... those stepped square flat roofed white against the sky and ocean buildings.... with softly rounded corners and mysterious stairways...
Those sculptures on the frieze are awesome! I cannot fathom how they were made! And to see the whole building still so pure and white and brilliant against the sky ... what a Work of Art!
I look forward to seeing more of the Gallery show!

Amy said...

Thanks Betsey-I thought I would wait until the party!
I too grew up in a place that was Deco-free, so Miami does look like another planet to me too-down there they really preserved their architecture-up here, not as much, and it's more a Mom-and-Pop style, smaller and not as grand. But I love the buildings that still exist-they look like they were built for Candyland.

Sans! said...

The Montgomery building really reminds me of Cathay cinema http://www.flickr.com/photos/metropol2/2058794209/ which is just down the road from my house-10 min walk. :) As you can see , it too was built in 1939 . This is where I hang out some days when life is not too crazy. I am a movie buff and I can watch 2-3 shows in a row, on my own if I can't convince anyone to join me :). I always tell myself the plus side to growing old is the senior citizen concession when I can watch movies at half price all day :). During the Japanese occupation, Cathay Building was made the Japanese headquarters. it is now conserved as our "National Monument". Cathay is my "downtown" :). Just next to Cathay situates my favourite building, School of the Arts (SOTA).

So Lake Worth is very much my kind of place.Crazy candy coloured buildings and clipper cuts barbershops, art galleries and cinemas. Give me concessions for movies and I will be its happy camper :).

Thanks for sharing Amy. Now, I am vying for the front row seats waiting for your show ..

Amy said...

Wow! That is some beautiful movie theatre-no wonder you go there to unwind. Deco is such a theatrical experience so to combine that with movie watching is the greatest combination. My favorite Deco theatre is an obvious one, but the only one I have a real experience with, Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, but by the time my generation got into it they were holding rock concerts and people were trying to stand on the red velvet seats. Not the same experience my Mom had when she would dress up and go to the city with her Mom to see the Rockets and two movies.

Is Cathay an earlier name for Singapore? I've seen such beautiful parks and buildings in photos of your city, it intrigues me so!