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City Link
The Art Issue

August 30, 200

By Jake Cline and Candace Russell

Once again, City Link canvasses South Florida for the people who have set their inner artists free.

“Everybody has an artist inside them just waiting to come out,” my high school art teacher once said. One school year and many frighteningly bad paintings, drawings and sculptures later (including one attempted rendering of Neil Young so awful the legendary rocker ended up looking like an alcoholic Sasquatch), this teacher had no choice but to forever after amend her words of inspiration: “Everybody has an artist inside them just waiting to come out,” she now said. “For some of you, it’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

So, it’s with great irony and even greater pleasure that some 13 years later, I once again find myself editing City Link’s annual Art Issue. On the following pages, you’ll discover that letting one’s inner artist out is not always such a terrible thing. Often, it can be downright awe-inspiring, as is evident by the 54 artists who have appeared on our Gallery page since the previous Art Issue, as well as the six artists profiled by Candice Russell in the article “Art of the matter.”

These are people who could, if they so desired, not only make Neil Young look like Neil Young, but make him look better than he ever could in real life. They can, and do, tap into that creative id that eludes far too many of us and bring back truly astounding creations. From Charles Mills’ inspired portraits of jazz musicians and African-American families to Shannon English’s creepy doll constructions to Elena Comens’ dignified, life-affirming black-and-white photographs of people in Russia, Guatemala and Israel, there’s more talent leaping from the following pages than millionaires from the deck of the Titanic.

There will be even more talent on the walls and walking through the Moran Gallery at ArtServe this Saturday night, when the annual City Link Artfest, featuring the Best of the Gallery exhibition, returns. Here, you’ll be able to meet the artists, see their work and wonder why you can’t even so much as scribble out a stick figure. The opening reception begins at 7 p.m. and the show hangs through Sept. 25. ArtServe is located at 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, call 954/462-9191 or 954/356-4941. Admission is free. And bring your inner artist. Whether or not he’s allowed out, that is.

— Jake Cline


For his work on murals jointly created with street children, gang members, AIDS victims and others voiceless in mainstream culture, Cortada won the coveted Millennium International Volunteer Award from the U.S. State Department. That’s not even the biggest thing that has happened to the Miami artist this year. Cortada created a mural with participants in the World AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, and 10,000 copies of a poster he designed were distributed. “My art is about trying to help advance pro-social statements,” says the Cuban-American artist, who also recently met the pope. He can be reached at 305/858-1323.

— Candice Russell