SouthFlorida.com
Secret Supper: Limited tickets available and they're going fast.

Weekend preview: A couple of words with Renda Writer

23 things to do in South Florida this weekend and beyond.

By the time this weekend is over, South Florida artist Renda Writer will have spray-painted the words “world peace” nearly 1,000 times on seven walls during the past 10 weeks. And he’s just getting started.

This week Writer started the World Peace Mural Tour, which will bring his disarmingly simple, apolitical message to walls in five major U.S. cities and Mexico City, with murals in Europe being discussed.

“I’ll be doing the World Peace Mural Tour for the rest of my life,” says Writer, who combines graceful penmanship with the stamina of a cross-country runner (at Coral Springs High School). “The message of world peace is always relevant. It’s an eternal message.”

On the Fourth of July, the Miami-based Writer began his tour by covering the side of an east Boston church with the two-word message in patriotic layers of red and blue text against a white background. It is a theme Writer first tried in April with a mural at Miami’s Allapattah Middle School, which has been followed by similar works in Wynwood and Fort Lauderdale’s MASS District, as well as on walls in Jacksonville and Asheville, N.C.

Writer, an actor and writer who refers to himself as a "handwritten artist," is well known in South Florida for filling walls with resonant aphorisms such as "Love is a risk. Do it anyway." The Boston wall was offered to him by an art broker Writer met while painting a mural during Art Basel in 2014. 

It was the Asheville mural that convinced Writer to think bigger. He was there this spring for a music festival, with the idea for expanding the “world peace” project revolving in his brain,  when he stumbled on the wall of a gutted building affixed with a sign directing inquiries to a phone number with a 954 area code.

“You know, I had to call,” says Writer, who mentioned his South Florida roots to the building owner and received permission to cover the Asheville wall in “world peace” after a two-minute conversation. “It really was the universe working in my favor.”

Also working in his favor was a friend’s introduction to retired lawyer Mel Weiss, a resident of Boca Raton and New York who agreed to bankroll the first phase of what would become the World Peace Mural Tour. “His funding made it possible,” says Writer, acknowledging that he’s still looking for other benefactors big and small to cover expenses and “better quality paint.”

Speaking from a Boston coffee shop, Writer says that while working on the mural at the city’s Iglesias Sendas De Fe church on Monday, he found himself surrounded by locals he had connected with on Facebook in the weeks leading up to the project. The social aspect of the murals is a major reward.

“A lot of the reason I do art, period, especially public art, is because I enjoy the interaction, meeting different people from different cities,” he says, also citing the digital interaction. “Just yesterday, I was finding [online pictures of] people in Asheville standing in front of my mural. That just shows the message is working. I can only spread it so far, as one man, but when I’m spreading it to spreaders, it goes to a greater expanse of the world. And that’s what the world needs.”

Later this month, Writer will do a wall in Detroit, followed in August by murals in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. On Sept. 11, he’s planning to “pay respect” with a mural in New York City, and will do another 10 days later on the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Peace. After New York, he’ll move to a wall in Mexico City.

But first, Writer will come home on Sunday to paint a “world peace” mural during a free backyard barbecue event at Wynwood’s Gallery 212 (2407 NW Second Ave.), hosted by gallery owner Caitlin Electra and Art Without Borders Miami. The event, called Bomb Wynwood (a reference to muralists' "paint bombing" that has made the neighborhood such a colorful destination), includes live art, music, vendors, games and food trucks from 1 to 6 p.m.

“I’ll be creating a mural there in the backyard, but I’ll also be approachable, if anyone wants to talk to me and learn more about the tour. And if they want to give me a donation, obviously I’ve got my [credit card] swiper on me,” Writer says with a laugh.

For more information on Writer, the World Peace Mural Tour and Sunday's Bomb Wynwood event, visit Facebook.com/WorldPeaceMuralTour, Facebook.com/Gallery212Miami2.

DRINKING MUSIC

Your local craft brewery has beer, yes, but many also are stages for dynamic local music. For example, on Friday night the appealingly remote LauderAle (3305 SE 14th Ave, Fort Lauderdale) will host a performance by veteran South Florida jazz guitarist Randy Bernsen, who released the excellent collection “Grace Notes” last fall. Bernsen will be joined by Uzi Nizri on organ and David Nizri on drums. Info: Facebook.com/Randy.Bernsen, Facebook.com/LauderAle. Also on Friday, Bangin’ Banjo Brewing Co. (3200 NW 23rd Ave., Pompano Beach) will offer the Whiskey Wasps, the acoustic duo also known as Billy Schmidt and Rachel DuVall of West Palm Beach indie rockers Raggy Monster. Info: Facebook.com/TheWhiskeyWasps, Facebook.com/BanginBanjoBrewing.

PULSE BENEFIT

Respectable Street in West Palm Beach on Saturday will host a benefit show for Equality Florida and its support for families of victims of the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Performers include the State Of, Chaucer and Killmama, along with a drag show by Haus of Piss, with all bar sales and donations going to Equality Florida. Info: Facebook.com/RespectableStreet.

WEEKEND LAUGHS

Kevin Farley, brother of Chris, is working the standup circuit when he isn’t playing Billy Ray Cyrus’ parole officer on the CMT comedy “Still the King,” which has to be good for some laughs. (The show also is the answer to the question, what’s Stanley Hudson of “The Office” doing these days?) Farley performs 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Boca Black Box Center for the Arts (8221 Glades Road, Boca Raton). Tickets: $15-$30. Info: BocaBlackBox.com.

LIFE OF THE PARTY

Miami’s lively Spam Allstars turn up in an unusual spot this weekend, bringing their eclectic Latin electronica to the Arts Garage in Delray Beach at 8 p.m. Saturday. A great place to work up a good sweat. Tickets are $25 with the promo code SUMMER at ArtsGarage.org.

WEEKEND MOVIE

Books and Books in Coral Gables will host a 7 p.m. Saturday screening of the documentary “Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously,” a chronicle of the beloved storyteller’s final reading and book-signing tour. The film, scheduled to debut Friday via Vimeo On Demand, follows Gaiman from myth-loving child to one of the most popular writers in the world thanks to titles including “Coraline,” “The Graveyard Book,” “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” and the “Sandman” comics. Info: BooksAndBooks.com.

TAKE THE KIDS

Throw down a blanket at the ArtsPark in Hollywood 8 p.m. Friday for a free screening of the grown-up-friendly “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.” Info: VisitHollywoodFL.org. The Screen on the Green gathering on the Waterfront in downtown West Palm Beach will be showing “How to Train Your Dragon” at 8 p.m. Friday, also free. Info: WPB.org. Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton will have a free screening of “Minions” at 8 p.m. Friday. Info: MiznerAmp.com. Coral Gables Art Cinema will screen “Babe: Pig in the City” at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with tickets $5. Info: GablesCinema.com.

WEEKEND SKIN

Cupcake Burlesque presents “The Swing Fling,” a night of classic vaudeville entertainment featuring the talents of Miss Jenna Beth, Francean Fanny, Miss Cherry Mae and others 8 p.m. Friday at the Arts Garage in Delray Beach. Tickets: $30-$45. Info: ArtsGarage.org.

PINUP POP-UP

Lovers of retro fashion will gather 6-9 p.m. Saturday for a pop-up/pinup shopping event at Erika Nelly Photography (5951 NW 151 St., Suite 109, Miami Lakes), with vintage clothing and accessories chosen by the sophisticated eye of Lauren Arkin of L.A. Boudoir. The ladies-only event will include drinks and light food fare, and each $5 ticket gets you entered to win a pinup session with Nelly. Info: Facebook.com/VintageBombshell.

FRENCH TOASTING

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, open again while it continues a major renovation, will celebrate Bastille Day on July 14 with multi-instrumentalist Vincent Raffard’s excellent French Horn Collective, whose sound ranges far and wide, including gypsy music, jazz, ska, polka and French classics. The evening will include two sets from the group (5:30-6:30 and 7-8 p.m.); a talk about the new installation from the Norton collection titled “A Fresh Look at European Art,” led by Cheryl Brutvan, Norton curator of Contemporary Art; and French food and drink, with Potions in Motion providing a cash bar and light bites. Info: Norton.org.

OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS

Boy George and Culture Club reanimate their indelible hits of the 1980s at the Broward Center 8 p.m. Friday (BrowardCenter.org) … Joel DaSilva and the Midnight Howl return from a U.S.-Canadian tour with a performance 9:30 p.m. Friday at 4:30 Boardroom Bar (Facebook.com/JDAndTheHowl) … The Jim Wurster Experience is joined by Rob Elba, Amy Baxter and others 8 p.m. Friday at Luna Star Café in North Miami (Facebook.com/WursterSongs) … Sunrise country quintet the Shane Duncan Band is at the Starlight Musicals series 7 p.m. Friday in Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park (FortLauderdale.gov/Starlight) … Palo! brings the Afro-Cuban funk to Ball & Chain in Miami 9 p.m. Friday (GoPalo.com) … Miami post-punk vets Axe and the Oak will perform at an all-ages release party for their album “Electrocution” 7 p.m. Saturday at Sweat Records in Miami, with openers Sumo and Roses (SweatRecordsMiami.com) ... The gospel group Dwight Moment and Symphony perform 6-9 p.m. Sunday on the free, family-friendly Soulful Sunday series at the Ali Cultural Arts Center in Pompano Beach (AliArts.org) … The Ben Stocker Quartet will bring horn-driven jazz to the Olympia Theater in Miami 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (OlympiaTheater.org) … Steel-drum veteran Othello Molineaux performs at Blue Jean Blues in Fort Lauderdale 8 p.m. Wednesday (BJBLive.com) …  

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at SouthFlorida.com, on Twitter at @BenCrandell and Instagram /BenCrandell. Email: bcrandell@southflorida.com.

Copyright © 2017, South Florida
82°