Isaac Martinez (photo by Dennis Dean)

ArtsUnited, the local visual, literary and performing arts organization, celebrates its 20th anniversary with its annual month-long festival, ArtExplosion, Jan. 3 – 26.

The festivities officially kick off on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, with an evening of art, fashion, music and entertainment at the ArtExplosion gala opening reception and Fashion Reaction runway show.

The exhibition and opening reception will feature dozens of imaginative and amazing art works representing a variety of media from local, national and international artists, as well as a special, one-night-only erotic art show, including LIVE performance art. The jury will award more than $1,000 in prizes to the most impressive entries.

At 8:30 p.m., Fashion Reaction, hosted by lifestyle and fashion expert Max Tucci from “America’s Next Top Model,” will feature a stunning fashion show showcasing the latest designs from local designers, including the Carlos Marrero Collection; Isaac Martinez’s IM Project tees; Laurie Phoenix’s Skirtzophrenic fashions; and Paul Michael’s GETT WETT swimwear. 

Award-winning airbrush artist and reality show star Avi Ram, DJ Frankie Fox and reaction artist Akrylika will provide scintillating sights and sounds throughout the evening, along with performances by local singing sensations Chad Johnson, LeNora Jaye and Dre Acevedo.

“Our membership includes more than 120 artists from virtually every discipline—from painting, sculpture and photography to poetry, fashion design, music and dance,” said ArtsUnited president Chuck Williams. “We’re especially proud to showcase so many talented artists at our 20th annual ArtExplosion. We are offering something for every art lover.”

Tickets are $15, including the reception, Fashion Reaction show and awards ceremony. A $25 VIP package includes a special reception at 6 p.m. with champagne toast and reserved seats for the Fashion Reaction show and awards ceremony. Tickets are available at

ArtExplosion is generously supported by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Our Fund, Hotspots Media Group and Your Office. For more information, go to