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Fine Art Meets Automotive Art in West Palm Beach

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

The Burn-1 Skycycle on display at SuperCar Week in West Palm Beach. Photo by Aaron Wormus

We’re still a month away from the first official day of summer, but you wouldn’t have guessed it on the third weekend of April as temperatures peaked at a near-record 92 degrees.

In a year when large scale events have been few and far between, this weekend brought two fantastic events to downtown West Palm Beach. Hundreds of visitors flocked downtown, still wearing masks, but happy to be out enjoying art and energy in the sun.

The fun started at the 11th Annual Downtown West Palm Beach Art Show in Rosemary Square on Saturday. This art fair has become a local tradition. Rosemary Ave. is shut down to cars from Okeechobee to Fern Street, and becomes the showcase for over 100 artists from around the country who exhibit their work in the shade of their tents.

Covid safety measures were in place—masks were mandatory, “artfully distancing” policies were enacted, and access to artist booths was limited to one group at a time.

The two-day event was a feast of fine art, photography, wood turning, sculptures, unique jewelry, ceramics, beautiful photography, and much more. Small paintings as well as larger-than-life pieces were there for enjoyment and purchase.

Restaurants in Rosemary Square were open, including the brand new Planta by Chef David Lee, which opened just days earlier in the space formerly home to Panera Bread.

After enjoying the art show, crowds headed down Clematis to the waterfront to enjoy SuperCar Sunday.

SuperCar Week is usually held in January, and this county-wide eight-day automotive extravaganza puts Palm Beach County in the headlights of auto-enthusiasts around the country. This year the grand finale SuperCar Sunday was moved to April.

Stepping onto the Great Lawn, the first thing you see is a 1968 UH-IH Huey on display. The helicopter, often seen in parades, is owned by Project 425, a local organization founded to keep alive the memory of aircrew servicemen in Vietnam. Parents and kids spoke with the volunteering veterans who took pictures inside the helicopter and other military vehicles.

Among the hundreds of cars on display were four Corvettes valued at over $200,000 from the legendary Peter Max “Lost Corvette” collection. The mix of classic cars, supercars, and other vehicles made it a good time for all car enthusiasts.

Covid restrictions were in place on the waterfront as well. The show had a vendor who could supply instant covid tests for guests who wanted them.

Local motorcycle shop Burn Up Company had a prominent spot on Flagler. Along with their lineup of restored vintage motorcycles, they displayed the Burn-1 Skycycle. A homage to Evil Knievel’s X-1, the Burn-1 is built from the belly tank of an F-86 Sabre fighter jet and powered by a 43-hp CB450 engine. Not the type of thing you see every day.

A DJ on the main waterfront stage cranked out tunes to keep the party going. Further down Flagler a half-pipe was set up, on which a troupe of BMX riders displayed their gravity-defying stunts.

Food trucks were on standby and hungry motor-heads had their choice of arepas, BBQ, Caribbean food, wings, and more. The big winner was Giovanni’s Gourmet Italian Ice. Who wouldn’t want a chilly treat to cool you down in this heat?

I took a break under Scott Shrader’s large white tent on the Great Lawn and we talked about cars. Scott, President of Vault Wealth Management and a sponsor of SuperCar Week, brought six cars to the event. His favorite car is his 1994 red 348 Spider Ferrari. “It’s very reminiscent of the Testarossa. It’s more of an ‘80s car than a ‘90s car, even though they were built in the ‘90s. It’s the end of the Miami Vice era,” he said.

“The SuperCar show is great for downtown. This is a very different kind of show. Usually you come to a car show and it’s all car guys. This is an event where you see the families within the community.You have great machinery on the lawn, and people from all different areas can appreciate it.

"The best thing about it is the kids. We put the kids in the cars when they come over, and we like seeing them have a good time. We’re building the next generation of enthusiasts.”

Susan Landeryou, a resident of Waterfront Condos, was also enjoying the car show. “I come to the car show every year. The weather is phenomenal, the crowds are gorgeous, the cars are fantastical. And it turns downtown West Palm Beach into a bevy of activity.”

Yes, it was a good day to be out and about and see so much activity in our beautiful downtown. I hope you get to enjoy it again!


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