Related Companies Unveils Culture Lab In Downtown West Palm Beach
Emerging cultural district welcomes the immersive arts experience in the former Macy’s space showcasing creative projects from world renowned artists
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (JANUARY 19, 2018) – As part of Downtown West Palm Beach’s experience-driven re-imagination and cultural revitalization, Related Companies has officially opened Culture Lab, the former Macy’s storefront-turned-immersive arts experience located in the heart of the district, to the public. The exterior is wrapped in art commissioned by world-renowned artist Michael Craig Martin with a sound installation by Stephen Vitiello inside.
“Our goal is to deliver experiences to the residents and visitors of West Palm Beach through thought-provoking programming and community initiatives,” said Gopal Rajegowda, Senior Vice President, Related Companies. “The opening of Culture Lab marks the beginning of a series of new activations planned throughout the year that explore the emotional connection to the city through curated programs in art, culture, dining, and entertainment.”
Michael Craig Martin’s Palm Beach Parade
Palm Beach Parade is Michael Craig-Martin’s largest public art installation and his first in the United States. Craig-Martin created Palm Beach Parade as part of West Palm Beach’s Arts & Cultural Program—an ongoing program inspired by West Palm Beach’s urban revival and cultural agenda. The program will offer visitors and locals an art experience that embodies both the sophistication of the revitalization and the eclectic history of the area. Palm Beach Parade does just that through its bold, yet everyday images. Objects such as a soccer ball, sneakers, French fries, and sunglasses are depicted in hues of saturated turquoise, lime green, purple, and red, as they appear against a magenta background. Each image occupies two bays of the building’s façade, so that the entire artwork takes over twenty-four bays and covers two large sides of the building’s exterior. The larger-than life mural extends to the lower half of the building through the continuation of turquoise pigment to the outdoor walls. The vibrant colors and strong outlines of Craig-Martin’s stylistically recognizable images draw in any viewer, while the subject matter of the artwork depicts and celebrates the vast range of mass-produced objects in contemporary life.
The artwork responds to the history of the site as an urban commerce district, juxtaposing the fading department store building against Craig-Martin’s bright colors and resonant imagery.
“This installation reminds us that these objects play a significant, and sometimes emotionally charged role in our personal lives—a role that goes beyond consumerism,” says Craig-Martin.
Stephen Vitiello’s You Are The Magic
You Are the Magic is an immersive, multi-channel sound installation by internationally-recognized sound artist Stephen Vitiello. The immersive artwork occupies the entire second floor of the former department store at CityPlace, inviting visitors to enter and meander freely through various areas of the space.
Site-specific sounds and images—created using various elements of the space itself—transform the inside of the deserted building into an engaging, auricular landscape. Building upon the visceral phenomenon of subliminal advertising and suggestion to the shaping of perception, each soundscape reacts to and redefines the building’s previous iteration as a shopping store. The site-specific sounds and images seek to inquire about what sounds the space remembers, and what sounds it still dreams of. You Are The Magic is not a critique of consumerism as much as an appreciation of what is found in the space and what is promised by intervention, while it simultaneously seeks to reshape the viewer’s experience.
The multi-channel installation consists of four different soundscapes that, all together, create an immersive spatial experience. “Only Traces Remain,” a text-driven monologue collaboration with novelist Paul Park, occupies the former Men’s Apparel section of the space. “Find Your Way,” a video collaboration with sonic artist Andrew Deutsch, transfigures the former Intimate Apparel section, and integrates subliminal images of magic and promise. “Soundtrack for the Luggage Chapel” fills the former luggage sales section with a series of unique, site-specific sounds which viewers are invited to contemplate while relaxing on soft seating in ambient lighting. You Are The Magic is a mesmerizing captivation of the building’s atmospheric sounds that form and rely on its visitors’ spatial understanding. The universal nature of sound provides a democratic experience, allowing each visitor to relate to the installation on his or her own terms. Yet, while each experience is highly individual, each one is intertwined with the whole as a crucial part of the collective soundscape.
From Culture Lab, art pours out of every corner of the arts and culture district with installations including: “The Message,” a sculpture by hyper-realist artist Carole Feuerman, LA-based artist RETNA’s geometric prints on the eastern façade of the new RH West Palm: The Gallery at CityPlace; Greg Astro’s massive tromp l’oeil mural at Hilton West Palm Beach; Will Ryman’s “Blue Rose #2” – which marks the epicenter of a new micro-park– and Frankie Cihi’s vibrant mural on the Hibiscus parking garage façade.
Culture Lab is free and open to the public. Hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
About Related Companies
Founded more than 40 years ago, Related Companies is a fully-integrated, highly diversified industry leader with experience in virtually every aspect of development, acquisitions, management, finance, fund management, marketing and sales. In West Palm Beach, Related Companies developed the 72-acre CityPlace, CityPlace Office Tower, 400-room Hilton West Palm Beach directly connected to Palm Beach County Convention Center and RH West Palm: The Gallery at CityPlace. The company is currently undertaking the reimagination of downtown West Palm Beach and evolving into the Southeast’s leading district including best-in-class residential, hotel, culinary, entertainment, education, art, culture and retail. For more information on Related Companies, please visit related.com.
Daniella Turchin / Dana Pucci / Sofia Terrazas / Viviane d’Adesky