The single-story building off Georgia Avenue and Southern Boulevard, just east of I-95, is unassuming and still mostly empty. Its most distinguishing characteristic is the curious tin sign nearby, rusting around the corners, showing a peach expressing the “peace” symbol. Drive past the complex at night, and the sign emits a neon glow, promising … what, exactly?
The public should have the answers soon, according to Craig McInnis, artist, illustrator and fixture of the Palm Beach County art scene. McInnis is manager of the Peach, a developing artists’ cooperative with six units and space for 12 artist studios. He was hired by Rodney Mayo, another linchpin of PBC culture, who announced the building’s intentions last September. When it opens—McInnis anticipates a pending summer date—it will join Mayo’s ever-growing Sub-Culture empire, which includes Respectable Street, Dada, Kapow!, Lost Weekend and Dubliner.
McInnis and Mayo are hoping to build the Peach into not simply a creative nexus for artists but a regular source of community entertainment. Inspired in part by the Boynton Beach Art District, McInnis anticipates two-night weekend art walks complete with DJs and vendors, and guest artists and bands performing on non-art-walk weekends. The artist tenants of The Peach—so far, lessees include a skateboard artisan, a 3D printer and two painters/sculptors—will be involved in the community, each hosting regular educational components such as workshops or classes.
The Peach is also home to the third location of Troy’s BBQ, Troy Davis’ acclaimed barbecue restaurant with additional spots in Boynton Beach and Boca Raton. The restaurateur will keep artists and visitors fed, continuing his relationship with Mayo from the pandemic’s early days, when Troy’s provided free meals for thousands of newly laid off restaurant workers.
With those dark days behind us, the future, in this enterprising new art hub of West Palm Beach, looks just peachy.