On Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 4:00PM to 9:00PM, Girls’ Club in Fort Lauderdale will host Lop-Off Sessions at Pink Noise. This fifth edition of “one-day, site-specific performances organized by Maitejosune Urrechaga & Tony Kapel of Pocket of Lollipops“, features an all-female lineup including Bison Twins @ 4:00PM; Tete-a-Tete @ 4:40PM; Lori Garrote @ 5:15PM; Bows & Ties @ 5:55PM; Haochi (Didi and Ana Farina) @ 6:35PM; Margaret McInroe @ 7:15PM; Soety and Honey Henny Lime @ 7:55PM; and Raffa Jo @ 8:35PM:
Invited musicians will record one song each on location at the Pink Noise: Flexing the Frequency exhibition in the galleries of Girls’ Club. These songs will then be made available as a compilation album titled Layers of Simple Machines (Lop-Off #5). Each band will have up to 30 minutes to knock out the song. The public is invited to watch on as an audience, respectful of the sound recordings taking place.
Girls’ Club might seem like an odd location for an experiment in pulling back the curtains on the process of recording an album. But, as I learned, experiments in art and artists’ processes is exactly what Girls’ Club was designed – or, perhaps, non-designed – to do…
On Sunday, January 22, 2017, I attended NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s Art Talk: History of Girls’ Club. Still buzzing with euphoria from the previous day’s historic global Women’s March, I was further inspired by the discussion between the Museum’s Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater and Girls’ Club’s Founder Francie Bishop Good, Creative Director Michelle Weinberg, and Gallery Director Sarah Michelle Rupert.
Girls’ Club, “the only private collection open to the public that focuses on contemporary art by women in the world”, was founded in 2006 by Francie Bishop Good and her husband David Horvitz and “produces exhibitions, educational programming, publications and events that change lives, nurture local artists, and inspire cultural growth in South Florida.” I can attest to the quality, diversity, and accessibility of Girls’ Club’s programing; back in 2011, I and a few others participated in photography to prose – a writing workshop for writers and artists. Led by Girls’ Club’s first Writer-in-Residence, Denise Delgado, and built around the photography exhibition re-framing the feminine, the workshop was fun, challenging, and rigorous – a combination that, in this artist’s opinion, is needed in any creative practice.
Good said that she, like many artists, always collects, and that she and Horvitz founded Girls’ Club, without a plan (“I don’t plan”) but did have the goal of doing “whatever we want”. Early on, Good pulled in artist Weinberg and Rupert who was then a masters student in NYU Arts Administration program. The three women from the core of Girls’ Club, and together have overseen 10 main exhibitions shaped and considered by an eclectic group curators and writers including Miami gallerists Carol Jazzar and Dina Mitrani and authors Claire Evans and Vanessa Garcia. The building was designed by architect Margi Nothard, founder of South Florida’s Glavovic Studio, and, as with everything about Girls’ Club, runs counter to what one typically expects in an art space; Rupert described it as “not linear” and challenging in the best way because there is “color in the space” as opposed to the walls in a white cube gallery.
The collection itself features recurring themes that Good argues aren’t typical in traditional contemporary art collections; because it is made up of work primarily by women artists like Sally Mann, Carrie Mae Weems, Jillian Mayer, Mickalene Thomas, Louise Bourgeois, Lorna Simpson, and Nikki S. Lee, over and over, the works in the collection deal with “children,” “mothers,” “human development,” and “family”.
With an emphasis on multi-cultural and women artists, the works date from 1978 to 2013, and fill a gap in the museum’s 6,000-work encyclopedic holdings.
To coincide with the gift, the Museum launched Belief + Doubt: Selections from the Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz Collection that ran from August 26, 2016 to January 22, 2017.