Jan. 10--Several travelers and visitors passing through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Thursday got a chance to witness art in motion.
Artist Ruben Ubiera entertained them as he skillfully painted a mural in the Lee Wagener Art Gallery in Terminal 2.
The mural is part of the Weston-based artist's exhibition of artwork called "Ruben Ubiera: The Land Escape," which is on display in the gallery through April 7.
The artwork on display, which the artist describes as depicting "silent urban spaces and forgotten places that exist in our everyday surroundings," is new work created specifically for the airport setting, Ubiera said Thursday afternoon during the surprise live painting.
"I feed off the people, environment and different cultures," Ubiera said of images displayed and materials used in his artwork. "I want everyone to relate to me."
Ubiera's artistry resonated with several people who saw him in action.
"It's beautiful and impressive," said Boca Raton resident Marcia Ufberg, who popped into the gallery to wait for a friend's delayed flight to arrive, and got a chance to chat with Ubiera about his work. "I hope a lot of people take the time to stop by. This is awesome."
Colleen Brooks, an administrative manager for the Broward County Aviation Department, also stopped by the gallery to see Ubiera's artwork.
"It's surreal," Brooks said as she watched Ubiera, 38, transform everyday street scenes into art. "When I walk I admire nature, so I can look at this and relate it to so many different things."
Through his art, Dominican Republic-born Ubiera is an advocate for giving new life to discarded objects found around South Florida neighborhoods.
"I like to recycle the environment and use it in my art, because it's more interesting," he said. "I give discarded and recycled elements from our society a new purpose -- to inspire."
As Ubiera enthusiastically painted telephone lines hovering over city streets and tree limbs with small birds perched on them, other images flooded in.
"This work is beginning to speak to me," he said excitedly.
Ubiera was selected in 2012 for the Lee Wagener exhibition as part of an initiative co-sponsored by Broward County Cultural Division's Public Art and Design Program, which gives Broward artists the opportunity to showcase their work in a prominent, high-traffic area.
BWI hosts American Society of Aviation Artists
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