art fort lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a hotbed for the arts. (Photo: Anton Grassl)

Fort Lauderdale

Make Room, Wynwood — Fort Lauderdale’s Got Serious Art Appeal

Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood and its famed Wynwood Walls have become a bastion of art in South Florida, but the area’s rising prices are driving out young creatives. Seeking a more affordable cost of living, many have shifted north to Fort Lauderdale with their talents, transforming parts of the city into up-and-coming hip hubs for art.

Here are a handful of spots where you can check out Fort Lauderdale’s burgeoning creative scene.

Enjoy Coffee and Street Art at The YARD

Tucked behind the main drag of the LBGTQ+ neighborhood of Wilton Manors is a haven known as The YARD (formerly known as Eucalyptus Gardens). Grab a bulletproof coffee at The Alchemist and stroll through this mini village of restaurants and bars along a rainbow-painted walkway.

At its end, you’ll reach deconstructed walls that have been reclaimed with bright, larger-than-life murals that pay homage to Frida Kahlo and the Beatles, as well as a spiritual motif that represents the lunar phases.

Scope Out Street Art Around FATVillage

art fort lauderdale
Get edgy in FATVillage. (Photo: Courtesy of FATVillage)

FATVillage is downtown Fort Lauderdale’s thriving creative enclave. The four-block historic warehouse district in Flagler Village is now packed with vibrant street art murals, art studios and galleries. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit art organization creates sustainable opportunities for the local artistic community at three warehouse spaces that showcase local contemporary art.

If you’re in town on the last Saturday of the month, don’t miss the ArtWalk. The evening event is family and pet friendly, with many interactive art experiences, street food vendors, local craft stalls and live-action art installations.

Follow the Mockingbird Trail of Urban Art

art fort lauderdale
Bird is the word. (Photo: Courtesy of Mockingbird Trail)

Flagler Village is also home to Mockingbird Trail, an interactive outdoor art gallery. The urban art path covers two miles of walkways that wind past dozens of public art installations. Steel sculptures throughout track the whereabouts of the trail’s mythical namesake giant orange mockingbird. Can you find where the bird has gone?

Along the Mockingbird Trail, you’ll witness South Florida’s first multisensory mural, “Main Course,” by local artist Ernesto Maranje. The tactile exhibit has a texturized wall and motion sensors that trigger smells and sounds in order to be inclusive and give visually impaired people the chance to experience street art.

Visit the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District

art fort lauderdale
Ogle the art. (Photo: Courtesy of NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale)

Not far from FATVillage in downtown Fort Lauderdale is the Riverwalk A&E District. This is the place to visit if you’re drawn toward traditional art forms.

Here you’ll find the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, which houses a permanent collection of more than 7,000 works of art. Rotating visiting exhibits have included a showing of masterpieces by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Don’t miss the iconic “Acid-Free” mural by Floridian artist Jen Stark, which features a trippy pattern of rainbow paint dripping over the side of the modernist museum building. The museum is free to enter on the first Thursday evening of every month for the Starry Nights program, which includes drink specials and workshops, like the history of art and hip-hop in South Florida.

art fort lauderdale
Inside the Broward Center. (Photo: Freddy Rozen)

If you prefer Broadway-worthy shows, check the schedule of events at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Florida Grand Opera. The venue has brought “Hamilton,” “Rent” and other world-famous performances to Fort Lauderdale, as well as local programming. More than 700 annual performances include ballets, operas, plays, concerts and more shows.

View the Public Art on Display at Port Everglades

Head toward Port Everglades, one of the largest ports in the U.S. and a major cruise ship hub, to view more than 20 public art pieces brought to the area by Broward County’s Public Art & Design Program. Local artists and their work play a prime role here.

Keep an eye out for Laura Atria’s “Ocean’s Footprint” mural, featuring native oceanic life such as manatees and sea turtles that she grew up seeing whenever she went deep-sea diving.