At the Girls' Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, Lori Nix's photograph "The Living Room" captures her art studio in shambles. Well, not exactly. The photo shows a tabletop diorama of Nix's studio, looking rundown and strewn with intricate miniature objects: paint cans on the floor, crumpled window shades, water-stained walls.
"She's imagining a post-apocalyptic landscape," says Sarah Michelle Rupert, Girls' Club's gallery director. "Nature has started creeping in. It's hard to imagine how she created a lot of these objects, because they seem so unscalable. It invites so many questions."
The art of storytelling invades every work of "The Moment. The Backdrop. The Persona.," the downtown gallery's show opening Friday, Nov. 7. Assembled here are 42 drawings, paintings, works on quilt and video installations from female artists that aim to spark conversations about crafting narratives in fine art, Rupert says.
"It's really about this resurgence of narrative that contemporary artists are doing, even though it's an old concept," Rupert says. "Like what you'd see in cave paintings — the story of a hunt, the wild beasts — the narrative is a crucial pillar of the show."
Aramis Gutierrez's "Brief Return of the Megalodon," in which the prehistoric monster shark rams a flats boat with two people aboard, suggests the mammoth great white in Steven Spielberg's "Jaws." Chantal Joffe's "Kristen" is a portrait of boundary-pushing supermodel Kristen McMenamy, who's known for strutting the runways with shaved-off eyebrows and waist-length gray hair.
Carolyn Swiszcz's video "Super Bowl Sunday," meanwhile, blends acting, painting and green screens. The setting is a row of supermarket aisles, painted by Swiszcz, and the artist portrays a stock girl who interacts with the grocery displays.
"The Moment. The Backdrop. The Persona." will open with a reception 7-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, at Girls' Club Collection, 117 NE Second St., in Fort Lauderdale. The exhibit will be on view through Sept. 26. Admission is free. 954-828-9151 or GirlsClubCollection.org.