Skip to main content
Artwork of the Week

Artwork of the Week: Broward County, Florida

black and white photograph of business cards
Michael A. Smith (1942-2018), "Broward County, Florida," 1989, gelatin silver print, 7 5/8 x 9 5/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Michael and Joani Cannon, 2002.

In this photograph, business cards stapled to a flat surface advertise a dizzying array of services, providing one view of the commercial and community offerings of Broward County, Florida, in 1989: welding, plumbing, painting, roofing, flooring, landscaping, snow removal, submersible pumps, sprinkler systems, ophthalmologists, restaurants, local churches, DJs, trucking companies, shoe stores, fruit and vegetable wholesalers, assisted living facilities, meat and cheese distributors, cleaning services, demolition services, equipment rentals, window lettering, and car repair shops.

One business card appears multiple times; many cards partially cover others; several cards have been torn away, leaving behind only a stapled corner as a remnant. In one hand-written note, a truck driver searches for work. Rust from the staples suggest that this board was perhaps located outside and thus more viewable to passersby. In 1989, Michael A. Smith traveled to Broward County, Florida, to carry out an Art in Public Places commission. As an artist who had already worked extensively across the United States photographing the diner counters and backyards of Toledo, Ohio, and the city roofs and Cajun bakeries of New Orleans, Louisiana, Smith produced many photographs of Broward County that remain startling in their intimacy and immediacy.

For a timeline of Smith’s career, see Michael A. Smith, Michael A. Smith: A Visual Journey: Photographs from Twenty-Five Years (Revere, Pennsylvania: Lodima Press, 1992).

Past Artworks of the Week

data-content-type="article"

Artwork of the Week: John the Baptist

May 20, 2024
At first glance, the abstract imagery of this work may appear unfamiliar to those unaccustomed to its sacred language. However, for Russian Orthodox Christians, this icon is a beautiful invitation to meditate on sacred doctrine.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Artwork of the Week: Bride and Her Mirror Image

May 13, 2024
Muriel Magenta is a New Genre artist who works with installation, multimedia performance, video, and sculpture. Using an array of technologies and tools to create hybrid works, Magenta explores the interaction of media and audience.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

Artwork of the Week: Boxelder Tree in Autumn

May 06, 2024
Florence Ware was an accomplished mural artist and Utah native. Born to artist parents, she obtained her B.F.A. at the University of Utah before studying at the Art Institute of Chicago.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection= overrideCardHideByline= overrideCardHideDescription= overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=