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Videogames, Beer, and Art: ArtServe's RedEye Untamed Has Arrived

David Le Batard, known in the art world as Lebo, painting using his signature style of Postmodern Cartoon Expressionism.
David Le Batard, known in the art world as Lebo, painting using his signature style of Postmodern Cartoon Expressionism.
Courtesy of ArtServe
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The times they are a-changing, and art is certainly no exception.

Long gone are the days when art was confined to simple canvas or monochromatic clay. Art is everywhere, especially in South Florida: on our street corners, in our coffee, and beyond.

Whatever the state of art is — or wherever it's going — it’s always on display the ArtServe event RedEye. The 11th-annual RedEye will take place this Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale.

“It’s exciting to see all of the changes in art," ArtServe CEO Jaye Abbate says. "When RedEye first started, people were getting in trouble for tagging buildings and defacing public property. Among many things, our organization provided a platform for people to channel that energy, helping them put that work on canvas rather than buildings and celebrating talent. Now muraling is everywhere. You never know what tomorrow’s big thing is going to be.”

ArtServe is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit specializing in events and opportunities that help artists turn their talents into a profession. This Saturday, many of the art forms and artists that ArtServe supports will be on full display, and works will be for sale. The event also promises performances by bands AudioCrisis, the Takers and Leavers, Emily Sheila, and Teri Catlin, as well as fashion, film, dance, spoken-word performances, and seemingly everything in between.

With so much going on and so much artistic diversity, it’s clear why the theme of this year’s fest is “Untamed.”

Jesse Melero used the human body as a canvas during a past RedEye.EXPAND
Jesse Melero used the human body as a canvas during a past RedEye.
Courtesy of ArtServe

Headlining RedEye 2017 is Miami muralist/cartoonist extraordinaire David Le Batard. Most of you know him as Lebo and have surely seen his rich, colorful works throughout Wynwood and Miami Beach.

“Having Lebo as our featured artist really sends a message,” Abbate says. “It’s all about supporting artists and creating a viable, sustainable business model. He’s doing just that.”

New to the RedEye experience will be an interactive videogame area, with games designed by locals, as well as a comedy hour. South Beach Brewing, in conjunction with Maine’s Shipyard Brewing Company, will also unveil new brews in collector cans designed by Lebo.

In addition to providing a platform for local artists, RedEye is also a major fundraiser for ArtServe.

“Every penny that we raise is going toward our bottom line... and right back into developing new programs,” Abbate says. “We’re here to meet the new demands in the artist community... with some facility improvements along the way.”

ArtServe is housed in a 1974 building originally home to Broward County’s first public library. And what a perfect place for ArtServe to call home: Just as the building has been reinvented, so has ArtServe’s RedEye — every single year — to match the community’s evolving vibe.

RedEye: Untamed. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-8190; artserve.org. Tickets cost $15 per person or $25 for two in advance and $20 per person at the door.

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