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Cultural Council biennial awards three top honors

May 18, 2023

BY JAN ENGOREN Florida Weekly Correspondent



The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County’s Biennial exhibit brings together a wide swath of work by artists living and working in the Palm Beaches.

A juried show, this year’s Biennial features more than 30 artists displaying work that spans various media, including video, painting, photography and sculpture.

“Our Biennial 2023 exhibition showcases some of the very best (artists) in Palm Beach County,” says Dave Lawrence, the Cultural Council’s president. “We have world-class artists living here in Palm Beach County and are so proud to showcase their work. We’d love to invite everyone to come see this phenomenal exhibition.”

At the opening reception on April 20, three professional artists were awarded the highest honors and cash prizes. Boca Raton-based artist Fulya Acikgoz earned Best of Show for her oil painting “Turkish Porcelain Plates,” Delray Beach artist Lucia Gomez earned second place for her mixed media oil painting “City Memoirs No. 2853” and Lake Park artist Lupe Lawrence earned third for her oil painting, “I Will Fly a Kite.”




The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County’s Biennial 2023 exhibition features some of the county’s top artists, including three artists who earned the exhibition’s highest honors. Pictured: Guest juror Juana Williams, second place winner Lucia Gómez, third place winner Lupe Lawrence, Best of Show winner Fulya Acikgoz, the Cultural Council’s director of artist services, Jessica Ransom, and the Cultural Council’s president and CEO, Dave Lawrence. PHOTOS BY JACEK GANCARZ




Attendees will vote on their favorite piece with a final People’s Choice award at the end of the exhibition in June.

The show was curated by guest juror Juana Williams, associate curator of African American Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan.

Passion for art and for their own process is what the three winning artists share in common.





Colómbian artist Lucia Gómez, 76, who divides her time between Tabio, Colómbia, and Delray Beach, takes her work seriously.

The daughter of Colómbian impressionist Ricardo Gómez Campuzano, who studied alongside Salvador Dali, Ms. Gómez comes to her work organically. She studied under Freda Sargent and Nelly Rojas and at the Atena Art Studio in Bogotá with Hernando Gonzáles.

As the youngest daughter, she spent her childhood close to her father, who taught her about drawing, fixing the canvas and sketching. He modeled the powers of observation, studying people, colors and the sky. He told his daughter bedtime stories to foster her imagination.

Her early life was filled with art, piano lessons, ballet, Spanish dance, singing and playing instruments.

“It was a lot of fun,” she remembered, speaking from her studio in Tabio.

Although she began painting landscapes, she felt the need to express her internal emotions and more metaphysical imagery. A student of yoga, tai-chi and meditation, Ms. Gómez read Carl Jung, learned about symbolism, metaphors and archetypes and her work evolved to more expressionism using geometric and abstract forms.

While painting, she listens to yoga chimes, classical music or Greek musician Vangelis.She admires WassilyKadinsky and Paul Klee, both of whom, she says, “express themselves from within.”

Before she puts brush to canvas, Ms. Gómez sketches until something catches fire. It can happen quickly — or not.

“I wait for inner guidance,” she said. “When people look at my work, I hope they will connect with their inner self,” Ms. Gómez said.


A student of yoga, tai-chi and meditation, Ms. Gómez read Carl Jung, learned about symbolism, metaphors and archetypes and her work evolved to more expressionism using geometric and abstract forms.

While painting, she listens to yoga chimes, classical music or Greek musician Vangelis.She admires WassilyKadinsky and Paul Klee, both of whom, she says, “express themselves from within.”

Before she puts brush to canvas, Ms. Gómez sketches until something catches fire. It can happen quickly — or not.

“I wait for inner guidance,” she said. “When people look at my work, I hope they will connect with their inner self,” Ms. Gómez said.





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