FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – (March 31, 2022) – The 2nd Annual Street Art Regatta (“StAR”) organized by Grace Arts Center and the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation (“LYCSF”), set sail on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis launched the regatta amid a crowd of 200 onlookers and three award-winning photographers snapping away including Armando Colls, George Mercado and Clay Wieland. The event was free and open to the public followed by an inaugural fundraising auction attended by avid sailing sponsors and dedicated art collectors and benefactors.
StAR’s exhibition platform of 18 Optimist boats, the smallest in the racing class, transformed the Intracoastal waterway into a floating theater of art at the Lauderdale Yacht Club (“LYC”) located at 1725 SE 12th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The interactive installation was live-streamed, and the recording is available online here.
The auction of 5 original sail-as-canvas artworks raised $25,000 for a long-standing sailing scholarship program administered by the LYCSF; the auction also provided the seed funding for a new travel abroad program for art students (launching in 2023) offered by the Grace Arts Center. Dr. Harry Moon, a physician, art collector and LYC member was the auction’s Master of Ceremonies, who was joined by incoming LYC Commodore, award-winning television director, Wil Shriner*.
A bidding war for a sail, painted by Fort Lauderdale-based artist Tom Rossetti, resulted in an inspired commission by a donor – of a new sail painted by Rossetti, in addition to the sail purchased by the winning bidder. The new commission came with a twist – that the finished creation must be displayed in a high visibility location to be announced shortly.
Artists had one directive – paint as if the ocean surface were a floor for human movement. The outcome is a dance on the Intracoastal waterway managed by the professional instructors of the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation.
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The winning bidder of the sail painted by retired Miami City Ballet soloist, Isanusi Garcia Rodriguez in concert with Laura Tan, arranged for the work to be prominently displayed in an art exhibition, sponsored by Citizens Interested in the Arts, and curated by Grace Arts Center, which will open later in 2022. The exhibit will showcase Mr. Rodriguez’s paintings, sculptures and found objects creations.
StAR artists hailed from near and far, many making their homes in South Florida, including Stefano Alcantara, Jay Bellicchi “Remote,” Buns, Ruth Burotte “Rutamfi,” El Cekis, Andrew Cotton, Hiero, Hoxxoh, Lady Pink, Orla Ananda, Lori Practico, Ripes, Isanusi Garcia Rodriguez, Tom Rossetti, Suzanne Scherer, Surge and Laura Tan.
Proceeds from the auction will provide sailing scholarships for youth without access to boating activities provided by LYCSF. The new student travel abroad stipend for seniors accepted to college art programs will be awarded by GAC in 2023. An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) collection of artworks will be launched in April 2022 to raise additional funds for cultural programming as directed by Grace Arts Center.
A selection of StAR “printed” sails, created through a partnership with Quantum International to reproduce the artwork on new sails and protect the original creations from potential damage on the water, will be exhibited at the new Southside Cultural Arts Center located at 701 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 and at Fort Lauderdale City Hall.
The 2nd Annual StAR is sponsored by the City of Fort Lauderdale Parks & Recreation Department, Galera Collective, Grace Arts Center, LYC Sailing Foundation, New River Fine Art Gallery, and Quantum Sails. StAR’s free events are made possible through grant funding from the Florida Division of Culture & Arts and the Broward County Cultural Division.
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*Wil Shriner is noted for directing numerous episodes of Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond and the Gilmore Girls. He is also an accomplished actor and comedian with more than 50 appearances on the Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and David Letterman shows.
About Grace Arts Center
Founded in 2011 by Clare Vickery, Grace Arts Center (“GAC”) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that presents original material including theater, art exhibits, humanities and science events/scholarships and urban design engagements. The mission connects the three distinct areas of general programming resulting in more extensive cultural collaborations and revitalization of South Florida communities through the arts and humanities. Projects feature exhibits, performances, and urban design by leading Innovators of multiple disciplines to entertain and inform the public and participate in social justice initiatives. Each program supports annual outreach to lower income communities with less access to cultural experiences and the liberal arts and studies. Original painted sails created in 2006 by the late Miami painter, Purvis Young, inspired StAR and a new metaverse museum conceptual project.
About Lauderdale Yacht Sailing Club Foundation
The Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation (LYCSF) is dedicated to favorably impacting the lives of young people from all social and economic backgrounds through the sport of sailing. LYCSF provides learn-to-sail scholarships, grants for competition, and a camp for Gold Star children who have lost a parent who was serving in the military.
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About Grace Arts Center
Founded in 2011 by Clare Vickery, Grace Arts Center (“GAC”) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that presents original material including theater, art exhibits, humanities and science events/scholarships and urban design engagements. The Grace Arts Center (GAC) mission is to network and connect three distinct areas of general programming resulting in more extensive cultural collaborations and revitalization of South Florida communities through the arts and humanities. Projects feature exhibits, performances, and urban design by leading Innovators of multiple disciplines to entertain and inform the public and participate in social justice initiatives. Each program supports annual outreach to lower income communities with less access to cultural experiences and the liberal arts.