Fort Lauderdale native Steven Teller to create a public installation in Wilton Manors
ArtServe and The Pride Center have selected Fort Lauderdale native and talented artist Steven Teller to create the design for a nearly 3,000-sq.-ft. mural that will enliven the walls of The Pride Center and The Residences at Equality Park in Wilton Manors. As one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ community centers, The Pride Center’s five-and-a-half-acre Equality Park campus will be home to The Residences at Equality Park, Florida’s very first affordable housing community with customized support services for LGBTQ+ seniors. Highly visible from Dixie Highway, a busy urban corridor in the heart of Broward, these murals will transform the Equality Park campus into a vibrant public art destination.
Teller’s application and submission ranked highest among more than 90 artists who competed for selection by the ArtServe-coordinated jury. Criteria included a statement of artistic vision, a demonstration of technical skill, creativity and relevance of design, and overall impression of the artist and their work.
“Steven’s artwork is beautiful and inspiring. It elicits positive emotions and a sense of unity that will be a beacon of joy shared by The Equality Park residents, tenants and neighbors for generations to come,” said Ed King, part of the ArtServe team that crafted the call for artists and chose the winner. “We take our role very seriously when it comes to being a ‘seed planter’ and facilitator of paid opportunities to further our artists’ careers, since integrating them with the business community affords substantial economic development for all. The mural project checked all of those boxes and ArtSeve is profoundly grateful to have been selected as The Pride Center’s partner.”
ArtServe will now work with Teller and The Pride Center’s technical team on the mural’s physical installation. “It’s really surprising how much math and science art entails,” King added.
“Historically, between 1,000 and 2,000 people have utilized services on our campus daily,” said The Pride Center’s CEO, Robert Boo. “The Equality Park campus serves as a vibrant, vital hub for the community – a welcoming, inclusive, popular public-space for engagement and interaction. I am so incredibly excited to witness the positive and uplifting impact that Steven Teller’s signature style of bright and imaginative creativity infused with deep meaning will bring, not only to this space, but to the entire community. Clients and visitors use the outdoor spaces on campus to enjoy lunch, meet a neighbor, host weddings, gather for candlelight vigils, throw parties, chat with a sponsor, memorialize a loved one, and listen to live music.”
To install the mural, which will be crafted from metal sheets onto which Teller’s art will be printed, an architect first must delineate the specifications. Equipped with those measurements and working from his studio in St. Augustine, Teller will then create the actual artwork, which will be photographed, digitized, transferred to metal sheets, and installed on The Pride Center façade, which comprises 1,245 sq. ft. of The Pride Center’s existing Schubert Building and 1,535 sq. ft. of The Residences at Equality Park.
“I am beyond excited to be a part of this mural project and with the selection of Steven Teller as our mural artist,” said Jason Hagopian, Pride Center Board Member and Principal Architect of TSAO Design Group. “Steven’s work is awe inspiring and his heartfelt approach to all his art is visible throughout his portfolio. I am happy to not only serve on the Pride Center Board, but to assist the design team with architectural technical expertise that Steven will need to create his murals. These murals will be visible and accessible to all that come to The Residences and The Pride Center. The power they will have to create conversations, foster relationships, and transform attitudes in the community cannot be underestimated.”
To fully absorb and invoke the essence of The Pride Center and Equality Park in his creative process, the 30- year-old Teller is currently interviewing diverse members of the local LGBTQ+ community to educate himself on its impact and better understand the importance and relevance of LGBTQ+ community centers like The Pride Center, which has been serving South Florida for more than 27 years.
“The more I learn about the world around me, the more I tend to notice similar points being drawn. When I connect the dots, the visual elements of my artwork begin to emerge,” Teller explained about his plan for the mural’s ultimate content, which he envisions will come to life with symbolic elements of The Pride Center community’s growth reflected through his trademark use of bright, harmonious colors evocative of nature and florals intertwined in a geometric, abstract space.
Teller, who is a graduate of American Heritage in Plantation and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia, expects his working design to be ready for digitization by mid-August 2020, with final installation of the metal panels scheduled for September.
Support for The Murals at Equality Park project has been provided by the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward:
- Brogan Family Fund
- Frederick W. Jaqua Fund
- Helen A. Chadwick Fund
- Elizabeth Ryan Fund
ArtServe is an award-winning arts incubator that is advancing the arts for social good. ArtServe is accepting donations here or at artserve.org to help the non-profit continue to support arts activism initiatives promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Each year its programs contribute tangibly to the region’s economy, help 2,000 artists sell their work and build businesses, and engage countless citizens who walk through the doors. To do this, they need the community’s help through donations, sponsorships and memberships. Requests and questions about the ArtServe facility or programs can be emailed to info@ArtServe.org.
Fort Lauderdale-based ArtServe – one of the country’s first arts incubators – has a 30-year history of building Broward County communities through the arts. Each year its programs contribute tangibly to the region’s economy, help 2,000 artists sell their work and build businesses, and engage countless citizens who walk through the doors. ArtServe in 2020 will continue its transformation into a creative laboratory, a hub for experimental artists committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. ArtServe has won several awards for innovation in the arts. It is supported in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Florida’s Department of State and the Division of Cultural Affairs. www.ArtServe.org
About The Residences at Equality Park
The Residences at Equality Park will be 48 units of affordable, supportive housing for seniors, with a special focus on customized support services for LGBTQ+ individuals. To develop the project, The Pride Center at Equality Park teamed up with Miami-based Carrfour Supportive Housing, Florida’s largest non-profit affordable housing developer. Located just north of Fort Lauderdale in Wilton Manors at 2040 North Dixie Highway, The Residences will provide permanent affordable housing and on-site supportive services for low-income senior adults living with disabling conditions, such as physical illnesses or disabilities due to complications from diseases including HIV/AIDS. The Residences, coupled with The Pride Center’s growing LGBTQ+ seniors’ programming – one of the largest of its kind nationwide – is designed to give residents a permanent, safe place to live and customized, culturally proficient support they need to age in place.
About The Pride Center at Equality Park
The Pride Center at Equality Park celebrated 27 years of service in 2020. Its mission is to provide a welcoming, safe space–an inclusive home–that celebrates, nurtures and empowers the LGBTQ+ communities in South Florida. Last year, more than 35,000 adult and youth attended activities at The Center, which hosts more than 65 regularly-meeting groups each month. Support, social and educational groups focus on seniors, people living with HIV/AIDS, people of transgender experience, communities of color, recovery, women, young adults, men, health, the arts, athletics, spirituality, games and more. Outreach activities over the past year directly impacted over 250,000 residents and visitors to South Florida. Between 1,000 and 2,000 people utilize the campus daily. Learn more at: www.PrideCenterFlorida.org.
About Community Foundation of Broward
Founded in 1984, the Community Foundation of Broward helps families, individuals and corporations create personalized charitable funds that deliver game-changing philanthropic impact. 473 charitable Funds represent more than $212 million in assets, distributing $119 million in grants over the past 35 years. The Community Foundation provides bold leadership on community solutions and fosters philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that matter. The Foundation empowers visionaries, innovators and doers to create the change they want to see in the community – and to BE BOLD. www.CFBroward.org