Emil and Dariel Rockellos, the teenage rock cello sensation known as “Rockcellos” will be the featured performers at Artopia, the annual arts fundraising gala presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Gay and Lesbian Business Exchange (GLBX), this Friday at the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale.
The talented musical duo, who began studying cello under the tutelage of their grandfather at age 4, gained international fame after they competed on NBC’s reality competition show, “America’s Got Talent,” in 2014 and their YouTube video of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” went viral, garnering more than 3 million views.
The Rockellos followed up this year with a video of Paul McCartney’s classic hit, “Live and Let Die” and their first album, featuring the music of Loverboy, Jefferson Starship, Ozzy Osbourne and Guns N’ Roses. They also headline “America’s Got Talent” live shows in Las Vegas.
“We are thrilled,” said event co-founder Michael Faerber, “and it’s especially great because they are locals, too. I think it will be fun for them and especially for the audience. They’re incredible.”
Artopia is the second annual visual and performing arts showcase hosted by the GLBX. Organizers have assembled a “potpourri” of visual, performing, fashion and culinary arts at the gala. More than 20 fine artists will have their works displayed, along with an assortment of food, wine and spirits from popular local restaurants.
“We have quadrupled the event space at the Museum of Art on two different floors and have more artists and added the fashion component with four different shows,” he said. “Last year, we had about 150 people and this year we’re expecting 250.”
The evening will begin with a VIP reception at 6 p.m. that includes a meet-and-greet with select artists, including Leonardo Montoya, Michael Williams, Elaine Harvey, Scot DiStefano and Maurizio Battifora. Doors will open for general admission at 7 p.m.
Guests will also have the opportunity to view the limited engagement exhibits of the NSU Museum, including “Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television,” featuring works by Saul Bass, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Allan Kaprow, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Eero Saarinen, Ben Shahn, and Andy Warhol, as well as ephemera, television memorabilia, and clips from film and television, including “Batman,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Ernie Kovacs Show,” “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” and “The Twilight Zone.”
Proceeds from the event will support the Chamber with a portion dedicated for an art scholarship.
Tickets “Artopia: Bridging Communities through the Arts” on Friday, Nov. 20 at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, 1 Las Olas Blvd., are $75 general admission and $100 for the VIP reception and gala at GLBX.org.