Inchoate stands for imperfectly formed, or only partly existent. Which is somewhat symbolic of the small but mighty Inchoate Art Gallery located at 321 NE 44th Street, Oakland Park. You may be familiar with it, last known as Prospect Pawn, but stop by now you won’t find yesterday’s pawned goods, but rather today’s fine local art.
A Space to Encourage Artists
I met with Thaddeus, Inchoate Art’s Facilitator on a Sunny afternoon. We sat outside while several artists were working under pop up tents. Thaddeus started out in the art scene in Fort Lauderdale, where he had a gallery on 4th Avenue, downtown. He quickly realized the scene was growing and so were the rent prices. A friend of his, Fiona Prosperpi, Oakland Park business owner of the Little Seamstress directly next-door shared Thaddeus’s vision of bringing local art to the area and allowed Inchoate to set up shop in the empty Pawn Shop. It took the help of his friends, other local artists and a Go Fund Me to get the gallery running.
Support Local: Attracting Artists and Investors
Thaddeus’s vision for Inchoate is quite the opposite of its namesake, rudimentary, as he hopes to attract investors and more local artists to the area. His primary goal is to grow a fan base for the artists which will, in turn, bring more value to their work. He’s big on people coming to the gallery and getting to know the artists. He encourages live painting, and paint parties and encompasses a reduce and reuse lifestyle at the gallery.
Creativity Beyond Paintings
Inchoate is a place to visit when you’re not necessarily into the bar scene. A multitude of events happen at the Gallery. Any given night you might find an open mic night or an indie band performing, pop up shops and craft classes, sound art, and RPG nights. There is a “craft bar” menu where you can choose items you would like to paint while you’re surrounded by all the goings-on and artists. “I Made This Nights” where upcycled denim is made into bracelets and patches. During these events, you’ll find Thaddeus popping fresh popcorn and serving his guests from a small but distinct menu of craft beers, craft wines, and craft sodas and seltzers. In addition to events, the gallery is available for private viewings and parties by appointment.
Meeting the Artists (Some of Them, At Least)
Thaddeus encouraged me, as he does all guests, to take some time and meet the artists, which I did. There was something for everyone. From South Florida Artist, @dreadfullydead who paints environmentally conscious ocean scenes on stop signs, to Local Broward artist Blair Hess @lurkmodesquad who has an assortment of skate culture art, from recycled boards turned into painted fish to grip tape. He is also the artist responsible for the outside wall mural, his signature fish art (which is also a Pokémon Go Destination FYI).
During the holidays Inchoate was also a toy drop for local children. Showing that art gives back to the community in more ways than one. An artist himself, Thaddeus “paints with a dark brush” but he certainly seems like a mentor to artists and art fans just as much as a facilitator of an art scene in Oakland Park. Inchoate is brimming with creativity, offering us a local art gallery and much more. I highly encourage you to follow their Facebook page, attend an event and support Oakland Park’s emerging art scene.
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About the Author
Rhiannon Samoyedny is a Florida native. She lives in the Garden Acres subdivision of Oakland Park with her family. Her passion for horticulture started in high school where she took horticulture classes and worked in a garden center after school. Her education continued by self-study and attending many local gardening classes and workshops. Her garden philosophy is to keep it as simple, native and as organic as possible.