Aya Arts Project: A Sailboat Bend II Community Arts Engagement & Acquisition Project

#nikilopezpresents #ayaartsproject

Call for Art Ends on July 31, 2020

Aya Arts Project

Acknowledging our pasts and painting a connected future.

We invite you to submit your art for consideration of being a part of a permanent installation at a new affordable housing community for seniors in the heart of Fort Lauderdale.

Selected artists will receive an honorarium payment, certificate of acquisition as well as will be listed on a plaque commemorating contributing artists.

With a focus on marginalized communities and honoring borrowed indigenous lands, we challenge the artists and community to acknowledge our pasts - our triumphs and lessons and paint the future. Works should reflect a direct or abstract connection to the theme. 
Please take into consideration: Plants, animals, and concepts native to Florida. Local, native and diasporic history, historic figures including unsung heroes and community leaders.
If you have a concept you would like to create, please provide a sketch and details.

Call for Art:
The call for artists will ask for 2-D, 3-D and installation art whose theme centers around the concept of envisioning a more connected future. Artists from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  A minimum of 25 selected works will be acquired and permanently installed within the 9 floors of this building.

All works must be hang-ready and available to be delivered to Fort Lauderdale by September 2020. Artists will be responsible for getting their work to the drop off location (location TBA).
Artist and Social Practitioner Niki Lopez of Niki Lopez Creative & What’s Your Elephant has been invited to curate and engage the community in artmaking, placemaking and art acquisition for a permanent installation. This will be for the new Sailboat Bend II Building- an affordable housing community being built for seniors by the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale and Atlantic Pacific Communities. 

Local Art-Making Workshops & Community Dialogue:
There will be art-making workshops focused on community building led by local artists facilitating a hands-on workshop to create art that will be permanently installed in this beautiful new building. No prior artistic ability required. There will also be a series of virtual chats/community dialogues with a variety of panelists, artists and community partners. Let’s connect and create an artistic legacy while beautifying the homes of our elders.  

Culminating Video:
Produced by award-winning filmmaker Cathleen Dean of Black Cat Media. Producer/Director of BeingWade in the WaterThe CatchHappy To Be Nappy and Producer of the Miami/Ft Lauderdale 48 Hour Film Project.

About the name/symbol:

The name and symbol 'Aya' is from one of the Adinkra symbols. The historical roots of these symbols date back to the times of the Akan people of Ghana, West Africa.  The name and symbol were chosen to connect and pay homage to our past and current culture and resilience. 

Let's Get Social:


Click below to submit TODAY!

The Niki Nikki Art Show: July 19th 2019


The Niki Nikki Art Show: Metal & Masks

July 19th - August 7th, 2019 Location: 1310 Gallery, Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts

Opening Night + OPEN MIC: Friday, July 19th | 1310 Gallery | 6pm-10pm

Admission:  FREE & Open to the Public Step right up into the provocative world of Niki Lopez & Nikki Detourbutterfly to experience this duo art exhibition featuring new masks and metal works.   Niki Lopez and Nikki ‘Detourbutterfly’ are both South Florida artists and filmmakers. Their many similarities inspired them to explore this unique duo exhibition.  Both artists will be showcasing various works including new work from a collaboration with photographer Ethan Dangerwing of Vulture Image. This will be Niki Lopez’s 11th annual exhibition at the 1310 Gallery - Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts.  

Music by : Kulcha Shok + Open Mic

Complimentary cupcakes courtesy of Sweet Tower Novelty Cakes & Confections. Donation cash bar.


  Admission is free and open to the public. 

Behind the scenes Instagram stories by

This exhibition is brought to you by:
Niki Lopez Creative, Detourbutterfly, What's Your Elephant and 1310 Bandits

Special THANKS to:

G of Very G TV, Dangerwing Photography and Pure Honey Magazine

------ 1310 Gallery ------
1310 Gallery is an artist-run collective that offers over 2400 square feet of exhibition space split into 3 levels, and housed within ArtSpace’s live/work facility, Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts. 1310 Gallery rotates art exhibitions monthly and also hosts performances and workshops. 2013 Broward New Times “Best Art Gallery of the Year”.   The gallery is open by appointment in addition to the Opening & Closing receptions. For further information please call 305-975-6262.

  Opening exhibition RSVP: https://thenikinikkiartshow.eventbrite.com  

--------- What's Your Elephant Exhibition will be in August ---------
WYE workshops are ongoing.  Check Facebook or Instagram for future dates.

 JOIN THE MOVEMENT #whatsyourelephant
Creating provocative conversations around the unspoken.
A human experience project by Niki Lopez.

Submit your elephant:
Stay tuned for updates on podcast, workshop, and online panel discussions.
For further information please call 305-975-6262
1310 Gallery: 1310 SW 2nd Court, Fort Lauderdale FL 33312 - map
1310 Gallery recognized in the Broward New Times as "The Best of Art Gallery of 2013

This will be the 11th annual exhibition produced by Niki Lopez, some clips from previous events include:

2010 2009  
About the producer: Niki Lopez is a multi-disciplined Visual Artist, Activist, an award-winning Filmmaker and Graphic Designer as well as a resident member of the Sailboat Bend Artist Community.

Affiliations include: Thou Art Woman, Spoken Soul Festival Alumni.

About 1310 Gallery: A 37 unit live/work art community housing multi-disciplinary visual & performing artist.  The Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts hosts monthly shows since 2008. bestof2013_2

What’s Your Elephant Art Exhibition: August 18 - September 29th, 2018 at the 1310 Gallery

What’s Your Elephant Art Exhibit to Opens with Compelling Art and Performances

Opening Night + Performance: Saturday, August 18th | 1310 Gallery | 6pm-10pm
Artist Niki Lopez will be curating her 10th Annual Art Show at Fort Lauderdale’s 1310 Gallery. She was recently featured on the People Magazine Investigates Cults series on the Investigation Discovery channel. There, Lopez shared her story of being raised in an abusive cult that thrived on secrecy, until she and other survivors broke their silence, which ultimately brought down the cult and its leader.

This experience inspired her to create a space in her art to share her "elephant" (an obvious truth that is being ignored or otherwise unaddressed) and to passionately provide opportunities for others to do the same. What’s Your Elephant uses a combination of art exhibits, interactive installations, and workshops to provoke and facilitate discussions unveiling issues like gender, discrimination, and abuse.

Visual Artists:
  • Adewale Adenle
  • Artists for Black Lives Matter #a4blm
  • Cathleen Dean
  • Cindy Shaw
  • Jose Silva
  • Mary Catello
  • Naomi Lauren Ross
  • Natalya Kochak - Niki Lopez
  • Rene Gordon
  • Robbi Potter
  • Stonewall National Museum & Archives (COMMUNITY PARTNER)
  • Susan Buzzi
  • Tabatha Mudra
  • Talora Michaels
  • Teepop
  • Tina La Porta
  • Victoria Sheridan
  • #whatsyourelephant workshop artwork
  • Wilbert Simpson
Visual artists of the 2018 opening night of the 'What's Your Elephant' art exhibition

Attendees are invited to participate with an interactive installation to share their “elephant.” Lopez will also host a "What’s Your Elephant” workshop at the location of this exhibition’s community partner - Stonewall National Museum & Archives on Thursday, August 2, 2018. Participants will use creative arts in a safe space to reveal individual or societal “elephants” impacting their lives. “It’s about acknowledging it [the elephant] owning it so that it doesn’t define you,” says Lopez.

Admission is free and open to the public. This exhibition presents materials of a sensitive nature. Viewer discretion is advised.

Opening night will be hosted by poet Rachel 'Flow Diva' Finely and include performances by Inez Barlatier, Venus Rising, Mystic Mantra Band, May Reign, Dillon, Morgyn Danae, G. Winston James, Charnell Richards and Chelsea Ward. Music DJ Bumi.

Sponsors: AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Niki Lopez Creative, 1310 Bandits Collective, Very GTV, Panku Literary and Arts Magazine, TBA, and the 1310 Gallery.

For more info on the arts project: http://nikiartstudio.com/whats-your-elephant/

Funding for this project is provided in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and from the Community Foundation of Broward: Fonda, and H. Wayne Huizenga, Jr. Family Trust Fund, Gary J. Scotto Fun and Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

2018 Community Partner:

Stonewall National Museum & Archives: Stonewall, our 2018 Community Partner, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(3) that promotes understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their significant role in society.

Special thanks to:
The Strawbridge Family and all who contributed to the Facebook fundraiser campaign!

Exhibition: August 18 - September 29th, 2018

Cash bar provided by
Click to view some photos from the opening night here,

Did you attend this opening?  Fill out this questionnaire for your chance to WIN a FREE What's Your Elephant T-shirt!


Artist and Activist Niki Lopez Helps Trauma Survivors Through Art - Miami New Times, read it here

Broward Arts Calendar: Speaking Out About the Elephant in the Room,  Read it here


What's Your Elephant t-shirts are in stock!

YOUR t-shirt purchase helps to support this art movement & it's growth!
Click here to order

Blue Pickup - Short Story by Niki Lopez

Blue Pickup - by Niki Lopez

This was it.  

My stomach fluttered like the birth of a thousand seahorses.  Is this really it? My mind went through my small library of doubts, hates, longing, tears, and a few old photographs that I had preserved. My palms started to feel warm and damp.  The airport hummed with hundreds of voices.  Everyone seems to move past me as I stood still.  Time stood still.  As I peered out the terminal window, I saw a blue pickup truck drive by.  What if that’s him?  My mind immediately ran through a possible story as I chuckled to myself for thinking I was a bewitched clairvoyant.  Silly me.  As my mind drifted back to the current anxiousness and wonder, I heard him.  Niki,  I turned around.  Yes. We stood still.  Or was it time?  I don’t know but it was surreal.  I smiled as I looked back at eyes like mine.  I chuckled to myself that he didn’t look the pictures I held dear to my heart through the many storms of my life thus far.  No big afro.  The few pictures I had of him reflected the 70’s era in time.  One where he was with mom, big grin, shiny shoes and a disco ball.  Yet, here he was. This was it.  He hugged me and chuckled ‘I would notice that fucked up hairline from a mile away.  That’s my hairline.’ We laughed, smiled, took another glimpse and walked out of the terminal.   He throws my bag to the back of his old blue pickup truck and we drove away.   My heart swelled with love and amazement as we drove off into the sunny Atlanta skyline. After all these years, I’ve found him.  

This is it.


A short story I wrote September 17, 2017, while working on a few exercises and revisiting my love of writing.  Dedicated to my dad, Ronnie Lopez.  I have a few pieces written and more in the works, that I will share at a later time. 

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.  

Niki Lopez at The Old Dillard Museum - Florida Emancipation Mini Fest

I've spent many years exhibiting and curating group art exhibits (having my 9th annual curated exhibition at the 1310 Gallery July 15th), so nice to be invited to have a small solo exhibit at a wonderful and historic space. Honored for an opportunity to present at the Old Dillard Art Museum.  The Old Dillard Museum provides enriching exhibitions and educational opportunities to keep Black History alive.

The Old Dillard Museum occupies a prominent place in the history of Fort Lauderdale and has, over the years, presented educational opportunities for African-Americans as the first school constructed for people of color in this area. Formerly called "the colored school," Old Dillard was erected on land purchased from Ft. Lauderdale pioneers Frank and Ivy Stranahan for one dollar. 

For the first time I will have various works (paintings, sculpture and mixed media installations) under one roof along with some pieces from an arts collective 'Artists for Black Lives Matter'. #artistsforblacklivesmatter is an art collective consisting of Allison Kotzig, Alana DaCosta, Richard Wright and myself.  (#a4blm on Facebook)

As one of the speakers for the Florida Day Emancipation Day Mini Fest, I will be speaking on the presented works and sharing some of my story and connection with the significance of this event that also gives a backstory to the What's Your Elephant movement.  WYE uses the arts to create provocative conversations around the unspoken by way of art exhibits, interactive installations, community engagements, artists talks and workshop. (Learn more here)

My intentions for #whatsyourelephant is to create a safe space where one can share and bring awareness through the arts. If sharing my elephants empowers even one person to consider their choices, its impact and speak up when they see an injustice or be a voice for the many who are still living in fear & denial- my job is done. (Learn more here)

If you are local, I do hope you will join me.  Outside of the gallery's opening hours, there will be only two reception opportunities to see this exhibit.   

Niki Lopez and Old Dillard Museum Presents:


Old Dillard Museum
Saturday May 20th, 1-5pm

Art Exhibit and Talk

The emancipation of Niki Lopez.  Solo art exhibit at the Old Dillard Museum. Niki Lopez will be presenting some of her latest works as well as art collective projects such as Artists For Black Lives Matter and What's Your Elephant. Lopez is a featured artist and one of the speakers at the Florida Emancipation Mini Fest.

Florida Emancipation Day Mini Festival

Celebrate Emancipation Day in a fun-filled, family friendly event that commemorates the struggles and triumphs of the African American people of the state. Featuring an art exhibition and discussion with Niki Lopez; Tony Thompson & The Metropolitan Diversity Theater Company; A screening of the film Night John; Poet/Monologuist David Mills; Saxophone Soloist Jesse Jones, Jr and Crooner Harold Winley of the Inkspots and the Clovers.

Food and Arts and Crafts vendors will also be featured.

Old Dillard Museum
1009 Northwest 4th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311


RSVP at 754.322.8828

Eventbrite - Niki Lopez at The Old Dillard Museum - Florida Emancipation Mini Fest

SWAN Spoken Soul Showcase Vol. 10 - SWAN Day Miami at Adrienne Arsht Center

Niki Lopez with mixed media sculpture "Home Grown" at 'Home Grown' shown in the exhibit Girl's School: a Political Disregard of a Gender at ActivistArtistA Gallery, FL

HONORED to be one of the 2017 featured artists of #SWANDAYMIAMI - Spoken Soul Festival.  A weekend of the arts, community outreach and sisterhood! Spoken Soul Festival is one of the top five SWAN DAY celebrations in the world.  I'm a Spoken Soul Festival Alumni from 2011.  Read more here. 

SWAN Day/Support Women Artists Now Day is an international holiday designed to showcase the power and diversity of women’s creativity. Be a part of SWAN Day by creating or participating in a local event or online activity that celebrates women artists!  Read more here.

This year the three day festival will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.  I'll have a few pieces of my work as a part of the showcase. 

Join me THIS Saturday in Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Peacock Foundation Studio).

Spoken Soul Festivals: A three day festival nurturing and fostering women artists to inspire and educate our community of the importance of the arts in our daily lives.

Meet 2017 Featured Artist Niki Lopez Niki Lopez Fine Art Niki Lopez #SWANDayMiami #Celebrating10yrs #SSF http://ow.ly/FzIp309yZeG

SWAN Day Miami Schedule of Events

FRIDAY March 24 | 3 PM – 8 PM

This open to the public event will feature a spoken word open mic, interactive visual arts activities, DJs, and more. Engage with various local youth, arts and women’s organizations; and enjoy arts and women-based panel discussions and Q&As with local vendors. 

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
1300 Biscayne Blvd. - Peacock Foundation Studio 
Admission FREE 

An Evening Celebrating Women Artists 
SATURDAY March 25 | 6 PM – 10 PM

Take in performances by vocalists and spoken word artists, and explore the work of photographers and visual artists—15 featured women artists in total. Hosted By Chanel Gonzalez

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
1300 Biscayne Blvd. - Peacock Foundation Studio 
Admission FREE  

SUNDAY March 30 | 11 AM – 2 PM

The official closing event of SSF, the Women's Brunch celebrates everyday women with extraordinary courage, in memory of Vanessa Baez.  Guest Speaker: Felecia Hatcher LIVE auction, raffle prizes, and complimentary 
swag bags for attendees.  Visit spokensoulfestival.com for more info & to buy tickets (click here) 

Soyka Restaurant
5556 NE 4th Court 
Admission $45 to $60 per person 
RSVP required

1310 Bandits Filmmakers representing Miami at 2017 Filmapalooza!

1310 Bandits WINNERS of the 2016 Miami 48 Hour Film Project - Filmapalooza 2017
Onward & upward! 1310 Bandits female-led film crew will be representing Miami/Fort Lauderdale at 2017 Filmapalooza in Seattle, Washington as WINNERS of the Miami 48 Hour Film Project. SECOND YEAR IN A ROW!!! Now we compete internationally, everyone will view our winning short film Deep Within, as well as our first feature film 'Kali Mah Tina' will premiere!
I am SUPER proud to be a part of this team. As a producer, Pre-viz Artist, core team member & SMM (I even have a couple of acting cameos).

1310 Bandits mission is creating stories that advocate consciousness and social responsibility.
Right up my alley.
If you would like to see our first feature film and support a 'Made in Broward' film 'Kali Mah Tina' I hope you will join us when we get back March 18th at Artserve. For tickets click below:
Niki Lopez 1310 Bandits feature film Kali Mah Tina
(Click the image to get a ticket)
Please support us, prayer warriors - I need those positive vibes & keep your fingers crossed as we compete INTERNATIONALLY against all other 48 Hour Film Project winners! Looking forward to the experience, not looking forward to the Seattle weather (heat warriors - send in the sun!) Either way, we come home with an award, an experience and amazement that we made it this far, again!

#darkcomedy #filmchallenge #48dayfilm #reelrepsect #womeninfilm #nikilopez #nikilopezcreative #filmcrew #browardarts #qpoc #filmedinbroward #kalimahtina #artactivists #artwithapurpose #creativeplay #tabathamudra #filmproducer #previz #graphicdesign #48hfp #1310gallery #artistsof1310gallery #artcommunity #indiefilm #tribe #movieswithmessages #filmawards #madeinmiami #howmanyhashtags #proud #48hfp #madeinbroward #filmapalooza2017 #seattle #ohnoitscoldoutthere
Trailer to our winning short film: Deep Within: