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Fort Lauderdale gallery presents art 'extravaganza'

Artist Yuri Andrei Rodriguez's first-ever show presents images of ruby-colored waterfalls, picturesque sunsets, a tribute to Buddha, and at least one sculpture that seems suited for a Black Sabbath concert.

Rodriguez describes that last work, an untitled piece by Cooper City artist Bryce Laufenberg depicting a black skull surrounded by a spike-covered heart, as an example of "negative imagery in balance with positive spirituality."

"I'm very new to the art world, but I'm fond of this motif — embracing the yin and the yang in art," says Rodriguez, 44, of Fort Lauderdale, whose photographs appear in the "North Beach Art Showcase Extravaganza."

The group art show opens Saturday, then runs Wednesday through Friday at the Broward Art Guild Gallery in Fort Lauderdale.

Rodriguez also curates the display, which features about 40 works by a half-dozen newcomers. The photographer, who exhibited for the first time at The Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale in May, found his co-exhibitors while networking at the Downtown Hollywood ArtWalk and the Island City Art Walk in Wilton Manors, he says.

One of Rodriguez's photographs depicts a river stream lapping against pebbles, digitally manipulated so Buddha's face appears in the flowing water. Meanwhile, his "Angel on Fire" shot overlooks a beach pier at night on the Fourth of July, capturing the moment when a cluster of fireworks shoot skyward, forming a shape he describes as "angelic."

"I actively seek out spirituality in the mundane," Rodriguez says. "And I take color and bring it to life, inserting imagery wherever I can."

Rodriguez says he picked the title of the exhibit — which also includes whimsical works by Adam Marks, Joshua Oliveira, Manuel Almaguer and Kristen Ehlin — to champion the "thriving artists working in the underappreciated" North Beach Art District.

"You've heard of F.A.T. Village, but, basically, people are not aware of NoBe," Rodriguez says. "The Broward Art Guild is there. Our guys have amazing art, even if we don't have the best publicity."

"North Beach Art Showcase Extravaganza"

When: Noon-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; closing reception 7-9 p.m. Friday

Where: Broward Art Guild Gallery, 3280 NE 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale

Cost: Free

Contact: 954-537-3370,

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