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Arts & Culture

Art runs in the family at the Downtown West Palm Beach Art Festival

Four people stand together at an art festival.
Photo courtesy of Howard Alan events
The Murphys from left to right: Kelsi, Tyler, Brittany and Murf

The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, outdoors at The Square, formerly known as CityPlace.

Over 100 artists will be participating in the event. Elaine Laurent, the director of the festival, said what makes this show unique are the families of artists that participate.

“We have several families that are involved in this event. The Murphys — Murf is the father and there’s three daughters that do the shows and they’re all painters," she said. "Murf was doing shows with us before the kids were even born.”

Artist Marvin “Murf” Murphy has been participating in the festival since its inception in 2010. But a few years ago, his daughters started getting involved.

“All my daughters saw the art thing going on and got into my paints as little kids. They’ve become great artists themselves. So now at the shows, if you come and see me you’ll see two or three daughters that have their booths next to mine and we all have our own style… it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

Murphy was born in Miami. His career in art started in high school, while working in the window tinting business. He started creating art for the back of vans, storefronts and patio doors.

“Eventually I thought, I’m going to do this on a piece of glass and frame it, so I started turning it into fine art. I’ve been participating in Florida’s art festivals since the 1980s," he said. Murphy said most of his sales come from the shows.

Howard Alan Events, the festival’s organizers, produce art and craft festivals all over the country, including the Las Olas Art Fair.

“Murf has been participating in our shows for what seems like forever. We pride ourselves in having great relationships with our artists,” Laurent said.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3. There is plenty of garage parking and both the Tri-Rail and Brightline stations are only a few blocks away from The Square.

Yvonne Bertucci zum Tobel discovered public radio during a road trip in 1994 and has been a fan ever since. She has experience writing and producing television news. As a freelance reporter for WLRN, she hopes to actively pursue her passion for truth in journalism, sharpen her writing skills and develop her storytelling techniques.
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