Boynton Beach Art District

Christine DiMattei

There goes two-and-a-half years of work.

That’s what Rolando Chang Barrero says he was thinking as he surveyed the damage from last week’s flash floods on the Boynton Beach Arts District he founded not long ago.

“I was scared to open the door,” says Chang Barrero of the scene he walked into last Friday.  “The water was above the door about seven inches.  I just didn’t want to open the doors or the gates because I didn’t know what I was going to find.”

C. DiMattei

If you’re looking for Boynton Beach’s arts district, you won’t find it near any trendy restaurants or high-end boutiques.  Actually, the closest business is an auto shop and the nearest place to grab a bite to eat is a gas station on the corner.

But if no one took this artists’ enclave seriously 18 months ago . . .

“ . . . they do now!” exclaims Rolando Chang Barrero.

ActivistArtistA / Boynton Beach Art District

As one of the key players behind the up-and-coming Boynton Beach Art District (BBAD), artist and gallery owner Rolando Chang Barrero is getting no down time during South Florida's "off season." Barrero is among the region's year-round residents who stick it out during the slow, sultry months to ensure his pet projects make it through to grow another season.

"It's time to get the community to really step it up if we're going to become a year-round arts scene," said Barrero, who owns ActivistArtistA, which serves as something of a launching pad for many of the BBAD projects. 

EVol i ART

South Florida artist Virginia Erdie strives to be "a little bit of an activist" with her work. It's fitting, then, that her art has ruffled a few feathers along the way. Her next major installation almost didn't see the light of day.

ActivistArtistA's Facebook

Rolando Chang Barrero is floored by what is happening in the Boynton Beach Arts District, and that's a good thing.

"There is a lot going on," Barrero said.