The growth of Dixie Highway through Wilton Manors has come in fits and starts. A new addition may propel development south of Five Points towards the goal of being an arts and entertainment destination.

On Jan. 7, the Hotspots! Happening Out Art Gallery with Dennis Dean held a grand opening at its new location, at 2401 N. Dixie Hwy. The gallery was packed as was the patio space behind the gallery.

“I can’t believe this crowd,” Dean told SFGN. “It’s so exciting that they’ve come out to support these local artists in this fabulous neighborhood.”

While that stretch of Dixie remains an eclectic group of businesses, a burgeoning art scene is emerging. The gallery joins a pair of “black box” theaters (The Foundry and Island City Stage) which hosts, among other things, Plays of Wilton and Infinite Abyss Productions. Union Kitchen, which catered the gallery opening, is the main restaurant on that stretch. Union has been gaining popularity, which isn’t easy given that there are so many bars and restaurants on Wilton Drive.

“We are going to make it into a district that everybody wants to come to and see the art.”

Work of Art

Sales were brisk at the opening as many of the exhibited artists were on hand to meet and greet guests. Robert Holmes markets unique jewelry and will regularly exhibit his wares.

“I love to sell fabulous jewelry. I have eclectic pieces from all around the world.”

Jewelry, sculptures, paintings, multi-media and more will rotate through the gallery. A different show will debut on the first Saturday of every month. Each will be carefully curated by Dean.

“I’m all about ‘wow factor,’ and colors and technique. When I do a show I try to plan how the artists complement each others’ work.”

Starting in February, the third Sunday of the month will be performing artists, fashion shows, and authors.

“We’re tapping into all the arts,” Dean said.

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