A contemporary mixed media fiber artist, Drummond’s vibrant 3-D forms reflect a touch of whimsy and carry an underlying message of hope
Extraordinary, imaginative multi-dimensional sculptures made of colorful yarn by Delray Beach artist Michelle Drummond will soon be on display in a dramatic art exhibition in downtown Lake Worth Beach.
The exhibition Michelle Drummond: Systems will take place October 14 through December 3 at the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County’s Solo Gallery at its Lake Worth Beach headquarters. Free and open to the public, exhibition hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
Working with various weights and colors of yarn to build three-dimensional forms on and off the canvas and wood panel, Drummond incorporates her fiber with acrylic painted surfaces to create whimsical narratives of strength, perseverance, and optimism. Her new piece Restless (2022) is a reference to the drive to pursue the opportunities needed to achieve goals and aspirations. It is a visual representation of the mind constantly churning, assessing, and questioning as well as a vision of thoughts translated into action. These and other philosophical ideas are the foundation of Drummond’s work in this series of Systems.
“Michelle’s work is very striking,” said Jessica Ransom, the council’s director of artist services. “Her art is effervescent, bright and deeply thought-provoking. Each piece tells a story. We’re honored that her exhibition will be kicking off our 2022-23 season in our Solo Gallery.”
Selected through a highly competitive application process, Michelle is one of six Palm Beach County artists whose work was chosen by a committee for one of the Council’s coveted Solo Gallery exhibition spots. Michelle’s work has previously been featured in the Council’s 2021 Biennial exhibition and Karibu: A Celebration of Black Artists in Palm Beach County, as well as numerous other shows throughout South Florida. Her work was featured in 2021 in a solo exhibition at Delray Beach’s Cornell Art Museum, and she won Best in Show at West Palm Beach’s Continuum Palm Beach Art Fair in 2020.
“With Systems, I’m looking forward to introducing my unique medium and technique to a broader audience and showcasing new aspects of my work,” Drummond said. “I hope to shine a light on the subject matter that inspires my work, which reflects the various systems contained within any community — subjects like accessibility of water, transportation systems and overcoming obstacles.”
The owner of Delray Beach’s Drummond Fine Art gallery, Drummond was born in Jamaica and previously worked as a project manager and mathematician — skills that she brings to her methodical approach to her art. She realized from early on in her art career that manipulating multicolored fiber and incorporating acrylic paint on canvas was an avenue to help her navigate and cope in unfamiliar environments. Her artwork exudes the true expression of her quest for life and the undeniable influence of her rich Jamaican culture, her experiences living in the United States and exploration of other cultures through her travels.
“My use of vibrant colors reflects living life to the fullest and being happy, grateful and bringing joy to others,” Drummond said. “I always strive to evoke optimism with my work.”
This past spring, Drummond’s work made headlines when her large-scale, hand-layered fiber sculpture “The Metamorphosis” was installed outside West Palm Beach’s Mandel Public Library in the building’s Urban Living Room space, marking the first time a Black female artist has had a solo, permanent artwork commissioned by the City of West Palm Beach through its public art program ArtLife WPB. Symbolizing life, knowledge and organic growth, the sculpture honors the library as a resource for everyone and a civic space that aims to advance society.
“It is exciting to see a local artist experiment within the field of textile arts,” said Sybille Welter, administrator of public art and culture for the City of West Palm Beach. “The feedback for the sculpture Ms. Drummond created for the City of West Palm Beach has been phenomenal. The public is in for a treat with her solo exhibition at the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County.”
Michelle Drummond: Systems will run from October 14 through December 3 at the Council’s headquarters in Lake Worth Beach. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit palmbeachculture.com/exhibitions for more information or to register for the opening artist reception on October 14.
About the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County
The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County is the official support agency for arts and culture in The Palm Beaches, Florida’s Cultural Capital®. Headquartered in the historic Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. building in Downtown Lake Worth Beach, the Council presents exciting year-round exhibitions and performances featuring artists who live or work in Palm Beach County. The Council features spectacular work by local artisans in its Roe Green Uniquely Palm Beach Store, offers complimentary resources for visitors in its Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Visitor Information Center and hosts frequent events in its outdoor Project Space, offering views of the building’s iconic Martin Luther King Jr. mural by renowned Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. The council is open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and a comprehensive calendar of cultural events in The Palm Beaches, visit palmbeachculture.com.
Linnea Bailey (561) 713-0673
Exhibition: Michelle Drummond: Systems – October 14 – December 3
Delray Beach artist Michelle Drummond works with various weights and colors of yarn to build three-dimensional forms on and off the canvas or panel. Drummond incorporates her fiber with acrylic painted surfaces to create whimsical narratives of strength, perseverance, and optimism. Her new piece Restless (2022) is a reference to the drive to pursue the opportunities needed to achieve goals and aspirations. It is a visual representation of the mind constantly churning, assessing, and questioning as well as a vision of thoughts translated into action. These and other philosophical ideas are the foundation of Drummond’s work in this series of Systems. This free public exhibition will take place at the Solo Gallery at the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, located in The Robert M. Montgomery, Jr. Building at 601 Lake Avenue in Lake Worth Beach. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call (561) 471-2901 or visit palmbeachculture.com.