Group ‘Therapy’: Artists heal with paint in Pembroke Pines

A report by Phillip Valys for SouthFlorida.com.

Art is cathartic for the artist, too, argues the Frank gallery’s new academic-sounding exhibition, “Visual Therapy: The Effects of Art as Manifestation on Artist and Viewer,” which recently opened in Pembroke Pines.

But this show is more emotional than academic. “Visual Therapy” features 14 painters, sculptors, photographers and performance artists who use art as meditation, offering a deep dive into the sociopolitical and nostalgic reasons why artists feel compelled to create. The show was curated by Stacy Conde of Miami-based exhibitor Conde Contemporary, which spotlights rising Cuban artists.

The exhibit’s 32 works represent artists “manifesting their vision, creating a physical object,” Conde said during the show’s opening reception on Sept. 28. “[It’s] a representation of an inner reality.”

The dreamlike, magical-realism portraits of Luis Enrique Toledo Del Rio, for example, depict doe-eyed women wearing Renaissance-style garments and headdresses filled with fruit, candlestick holders and flower bouquets, an ironic reference to his hardscrabble life in Havana, where he has limited access to art supplies.

Florida painter Reynier Llanes Marquez captures the nostalgia of his Cuban heritage by painting with an uncommon medium, Cuban espresso, his java-stained works depicting the rural lives of tobacco and coffee farmers in his hometown of Pinar del Rio. And Andres Conde merges American culture with Cuban landmarks in “First Blush,” a commentary on his displacement from Cuba as a child.

Other artists on display include Anthony Ardavin, Julio Figeroa Beltran, Luis Rodriguez Noa and Raiman Rodriguez Moya.

When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through Dec. 1

Where: The Frank, 601 City Center Way, Pembroke Pines

Cost: Free

Contact: 954-392-2129 or TheFrankGallery.org

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