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Celebrated Palm Beach County artists promote financial literacy, headline Art Week fair

A portrait of the late Nipsey Hussle by West Palm Beach native David German. German is known for his surrealist art, using acrylic, oil, or graphite methods. This work, among many pieces by artists from Palm Beach County, are on display at the MUSE Modern & Contemporary Art Fair on Miami Beach through December 10th.
Courtesy of David German
A portrait of the late Nipsey Hussle by West Palm Beach native David German. German is known for his surrealist art, using acrylic, oil, or graphite methods. This work, among many pieces by artists from Palm Beach County, are on display at the MUSE Modern & Contemporary Art Fair on Miami Beach through December 10th.

Some of Palm Beach County’s most recognized fine artists and designers are contributing more than 11 dozen pieces as part of a new exhibition on Miami Beach.

With tens of thousands of social media followers and institutional support from the county, artists at the fair range from Tracy Guiteau, who is best known for her collaborations with tennis star Naomi Osaka, LeBron James’ media company, and Disney to Linnea Bast of Linnea Botanicals studios, who is showcasing her custom biophilic art installations.

But as the multidisciplinary artists display their work at the MUSE Modern & Contemporary Art Fair during Miami Art Week, the exhibition's curator is using the moment to encourage financial literacy in the industry.

An artist's legacy isn’t built through starvation, said Trina Slade-Burks, co-founder of ATB Fine Art Group. The mantra inspired the name of her nonprofit, the No More Starving Artists Foundation — an organization pushing artists in the county to sustain themselves “personally and professionally.”

“A lot of reasons why artists are probably not successful is that they don’t understand the business component of their art,” Slade-Burk told WLRN.

READ MORE: Artists, cultural organizations in Palm Beach County to receive $11m support

Slade-Burks, a mixed-media artist and the exhibit’s curator, said teaching artists how to develop — and sustain — their businesses is just as important as showcasing their work.

Trina Slade-Burks at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach
Courtesy of Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach
Trina Slade-Burks, co-founder of A-T-B Fine Art Group and No Starving Artist Foundation, at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach.

“Artists just want to paint, draw, sculpt, sing, dance. They want to do their art,” Slade-Burks said. “But to be sustainable, especially in this economic climate, they have to really treat their work as a business as well.”

Her organization provides grants toward working projects ready for completion, mentorship, exhibition and networking opportunities, among other services.

The free, public MUSE exhibition features an eclectic selection of paintings, sculptures, and photographs from diverse communities.

Local artists displaying at this fair, like Scott Jeffries, say art exhibitions are a tangible way to either escape, create fantasy or interrogate the human condition — a spotlight on class, social issues, and other eye-opening subjects.

Jeffries, who's on the board of the No Starving Artist Foundation, said art exhibitions spark conversations that fill cultural gaps.

“If I’m sitting in front of a painting and you're sitting in front of a painting and we’re looking at it together, we might see something different in the artwork but we can talk about it,” Jeffries told WLRN.

Scott Jeffries, who's on the board of the No Starving Artist Foundation, said art exhibitions spark conversations about culture and society. He's seen here showing his colorful, abstract paintings at the MUSE Modern & Contemporary Art Fair on Miami Beach during Miami Art Week | December 2023
Courtesy of Scott Jeffries
Scott Jeffries, who's on the board of the No Starving Artist Foundation, said art exhibitions spark conversations about culture and society. He's seen here showing his colorful, abstract paintings at the MUSE Modern & Contemporary Art Fair on Miami Beach during Miami Art Week | December 2023

He said his art conjures up feelings of happiness for the spectator — at least that’s what he aims for.

“It’s about connections and relationships on a very simple level. Just figures and happy faces and puzzles that kids can enjoy,” Jeffries said. “I want people to see themselves in the painting.”

Art aficionados exploring Muse can experience a touch of surrealism by David German, whose From the Block to the Canvas portrait pays homage to the late Hip Hop artist and entrepreneur, Nipsey Hussle. Visitors can also engage with Arielle Yebba’s deeply personal portraits, Victor DiPilato’s flashy Finding Space to Play abstract series and Camilla Websters’ Finding Palms tree art collection.

You can also tap into the mind of Anthony Burks Sr., co-founder of ATB Fine Art Group. He's a resident artist at Zero Empty Spaces in Palm Beach Gardens. Zero Empty Spaces is a national initiative that works alongside city governments and selected artists for affordable artist workspaces.

Among the other multidisciplinary works by Palm Beach County artists at Muse are a wide array of paintings, drawings, sculptures and photography from Ann Friedlander, Barry Seidman, Batia Lowenberg, Jahnoi Smith, Kyle Lucks, Matthew Yeandle, Pia Dugger, Stacey Mandell and Zbigniew Kijak.

If you go:

Date: Through Dec. 10, 2023
Time: 12: p.m.To 8 p.m.
Location: MUSE Modern & Contemporary Art Fair — 660 Washington Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33139

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
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