DELRAY BEACH — Upstairs in South Florida’s newest and largest food hall, Miami graffiti artist Atomik sat at the center of a circle of about 15 kids, drawing diligently as he spoke.
He outlined his signature work — a smiling orange with a big, broken-toothed grin — signed his name, passed his artwork to a boy on his left, and began drawing the same design on a new piece of paper. “Once you find something you like, keep drawing it over and over again,” he advised the group.
From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Atomik hosted a drawing session open to the public as part of Stairwell Visuals 3, a pop-up art show in Delray Beach Market. The exhibit is sponsored by Galera Collective, Miami Art Society, and Wynwood Mural Fest. It showcases the artwork of 33 South Florida-based graffiti and street art muralists.
Atomik, whose artwork is part of the exhibit, has been painting for 20 years and is a prominent member of the Miami graffiti scene. He is most known for his orange, a tribute to the mascot of the now-demolished Miami Orange Bowl football stadium.
After giving a brief demonstration of how to draw his famous orange, Atomik began creating graffiti with different kids’ names. He gave them advice as they made their own artwork.
“My main thing is to have fun with it … also practice and stay dedicated to it if it’s something that you feel you might want to pursue in the future,” he said.
Delray resident Nicole Belmonte brought her boyfriend’s son, 10-year-old Xavier, to draw with Atomik. Xavier, from Miami, said he has been pointing out Atomik’s art in his hometown for around four years.
“I like the style that he does with the shadows and the bubble letters,” Xavier said. “I think it’s so cool to watch him draw right in front of me.”
Atomik’s show is Delray Beach Market’s first exhibit
Stairwell Visuals 3 is the first art exhibit Delray Beach Market has ever hosted. At Friday night’s opening, exhibit curator and Galera Collective founder Glayson LeRoy estimates that about 1,000 people walked through the gallery.
LeRoy said one goal of the show was to bring the culture and arts of Miami to Palm Beach County.
“We brought Xavier here to get inspired,” Belmonte said. “Delray is bringing a lot of culture recently, especially here (at the market). I think these types of things need to be nurtured and supported in our community. It creates community.”
Atomik said he has participated in many art events in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, but was showcasing his art in Delray Beach for the first time. For him, the exhibit is a chance to gain exposure outside of Miami.
Many of the kids attending Atomik’s workshop were not familiar with his art, but were aspiring artists hoping to learn from a professional.
“He’s teaching about a lot of the different styles,” Alexander Labonia, 12, of Boca Raton, said as he drew a mountain landscape. “It’s fun to express your creativity through drawing or painting.”
All 33 paintings included in Stairwell Visuals 3 are for sale, though the exhibit is free to the public. While Miami muralist Marlon Pruz painted live for the audience Friday night, LeRoy said he sold a couple of pieces. He hopes more will be purchased Sunday, the last day of the pop-up exhibit.
“Today with the kids and Atomik has been phenomenal,” LeRoy said. “The plan is to do (an exhibit here) a couple of times throughout the year. I want to have the Palm Beach crowd be privy to something that we’re privy to in Miami all year long. It’s nice that we get to showcase these works for sale so people can be collectors and not just admirers.”