IN TUNE | Public Recordings Stream In for New World Symphony’s Project 305
Moving images are projected on the New World Center façade for WALLCASTS at SoundScape Park. Photo by Claudia Uribe.
What does Miami sound like? The New World Symphony posed that question to the public, giving everyone 100 days to respond in the form of audio and video clips to feed an orchestral and cinematic portrait premiering this fall. Locals have answered the call with more than 750 submissions in just the first 75 days: samples from our shared environment of gathering storms and mating birds, singular snippets of overheard exchanges and child’s antics, as well as harmonies from Latin rhythms and hip-hop beats to traffic horns and protest chants. The window remains open until May 12 for unlimited contributions uploaded via the Project 305 mobile app or website.
Projections surrounding the New World Center stage.
This aural and visual fodder will be shaped into an original symphony by the cutting-edge New York-based composer Ted Hearne, who layers diverse musical traditions and challenging texts in theatrical multimedia productions such as The Source, hailed as a tour de force earlier this season. After the military build-up of an avant-garde oratorio engaging the words of U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning, the classified “Iraq War Logs” and “Afghan War Diary,” and the media maelstrom surrounding their release on WikiLeaks (culled into a libretto by novelist Mark Doten), even the rawest material from the Sunshine State should be a welcome change of pace.
Hearne’s sonic textures will also act as the score for the motion picture NWS has commissioned from Jonathan David Kane, a South Florida filmmaker already familiar with many sites tagged on the interactive county map at Project305.org. Anyone can survey the posts, which include barely audible tracking shots of sunsets, egrets and street scenes with colorful characters, murals and landmarks. Kane’s compilation of select cuts from the crowdsourced footage will be projected on the interior and exterior surfaces of New World Center when this unconventional symphony debuts in October.
Varied perspectives on Miami submitted to Project 305 include “Shanna Walking in the Water” by roddeal. Courtesy of the New World Symphony.
Yet there’s no wait to partake in one of the city’s finest al fresco cultural freebies: WALLCAST concerts livestreamed in Soundscape Park at the crossroads of Washington Avenue and 17th Street on South Beach. Soak up the last strains of spring as NWS winds down the season over the next few weeks. Set up camp for the whole family at dusk this Saturday as dedicated teen musicians like native viola prodigy Laura Liu join the NWS Fellows and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas at the Side-by-Side Concert (indoor seats have already sold out), featuring Tchaikovsky’s Suite from Swan Lake and Debussy’s Nocturnes.
Project 305 submissions include this colorful mural in Little Haiti submitted by mayaibars. Courtesy of the New World Symphony.
Make a date for the season finale two weeks later, when you can pack a picnic for the screening Saturday, May 6, or reserve tickets inside for that evening or the Sunday matinee. This program sets a romantic tone with The Walk to the Paradise Garden, a 111-year-old interlude from Frederick Delius’ opera A Village Romeo and Juliet. Guest star Alisa Weilerstein strikes a delicate balance on the light and dark chords of Benjamin Britten’s 1963 Cello Symphony, a taut bridge to the high drama of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, conducted by Tilson Thomas with a bravura befitting its heroic themes. The only-in-Miami atmosphere might even inspire you to capture other quintessential experiences for Project 305 before New World moves on to the next phase of this collaborative experiment.
An Insider Tour of Public Art Downtown
Saturday, May 6, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen's Dropped Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peels (1990) cools the plaza outside Stephen P. Clark Government Center. Courtesy of Miami-Dade Art in Public Places.
Experience an array of world-renowned art that brightens the downtown streetscape on a special Arts Encounter for SocialMiami readers and guests. Our expert guide Sandi-Jo Gordon, Chair of the Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places Trust, reveals how these projects are selected, developed and maintained (no small feat in a sunny seaside climate) by the pioneering program, established in 1973 with the allocation of 1.5% from construction costs of new county buildings to purchase or commission artworks accessible for all citizens. Meet us at one of the most iconic works in the county’s collection, Dropped Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peels by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, installed since 1990 on the plaza at N.W. 1st Street and N.W. 2nd Avenue by Government Center and the municipal parking garage.
Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt’s Red M (1996) marks the Riverwalk Metromover Station with a centennial commission by Miami-Dade Art in Public Places. Photo by Robin Hill.
Public art at the civic and cultural complex includes both outdoor sculptures and murals inside the Main Library by contemporary master Ed Ruscha. His permanent wordplay frames several temporary displays of South Florida’s creative output, including Mark Osterman’s paintings inspired by classic noir film stills, and sketches drawn from the personal papers Cuban-American painter Emilio Sanchez donated to the Vasari Project, the library’s archive documenting regional art history. Influential printmaker Tom Virgin talks us through his exhibition “Open Books and Other Stories,” before a break for lunch (dining together but paying separately) connects participants with shared interests. Then we ride the Metromover to view longstanding pieces and recent additions in and around select stations, like the towering Red M that Miami residents Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt designed 21 years ago for the Magic City’s centennial celebration.
Printmaker Tom Virgin walks us through his solo show at the Main Library including the handmade book Today Is, a 2011 collaboration with Michael Hettich that relates teaching to fishing
Thursday, April 20, 6:30-9:30 p.m. PechaKucha Miami: Beyond Academia
310 N.E. 59th St., Little Haiti
This series of regional events addresses a range of subjects using the Pecha Kucha format for concise presentations by multiple speakers, each allotted 6 minutes and 40 seconds to talk while projecting a succession of images, a formula so dynamic that it has spread from its Tokyo origins to almost 1000 cities around the globe. The next intriguing edition, organized by Carl Hildebrand and co-hosted by Miami Twist, considers the universal challenges of changing careers from the perspectives of six creative professionals who transitioned to fields different from the degrees they had pursued as undergraduates. Six designers and visual artists share personal accounts of accessing hidden creative strengths to generate income opportunities in a constantly changing employment landscape.
Oasis: Visible/ Invisible is a site-specific intervention at the Deering Estate by its Canadian artists-in-residence Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas of Basic Bruegel. Courtesy of Deering Estate.
Saturday, April 22, 3:30-10 p.m. Platform 450 at Deering Spring Contemporary
Deering Estate at Cutler
16701 S.W. 72nd Ave., South Dade
Historical and environmental preservation converges with scientific and technological exploration by more than two dozen contemporary artists invited to engage with this 450-acre site for its annual spring exhibition (through June 26). Visitors can explore endangered ecosystems via interactive projects that employ virtual reality, digital modeling and data visualization to render terrain submerged by sea-level rise in Ian Honoré’s Miami 2120 or map the acoustic landscape in Sound Guide by Archival Feedback (Emile Milgrim and T. Wheeler Castillo). Seek out the installations on a scavenger hunt or follow curator Kim Yantis and participating artists through the grounds and restored homes on a guided tour from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Site-specific collaborations get truly theatrical with 4:30 and 8 p.m. performances of Estate, a period piece created as an extension of the Miami-Dade County Playwright Development Program and the Deering Estate’s residencies for visual, literary and performing artists.
Published on 4/11/2017
SCREEN PLAY | Faena Art Premieres Biennale of Moving Images
Jillian Mayer's video You'll Be Okay (2014) adds a local perspective to the Biennale of Moving Images at Faena Miami Beach Video still courtesy of the artist, David Castillo Gallery and Faena Art.
The blurred lines between art films and video art go far beyond screen settings to span a range of shape-shifting formats from synchronized monitors to sculptural environments. Balanced on the cutting edge where genres overlap, the Biennale of Moving Images crosses a cinema festival with an exhibition of video installations. The latest incarnation of this Swiss hybrid, which has evolved since 1985 amid rapid changes in the field, makes it U.S. debut April 14-30 at Faena Miami Beach with a selection of topical works created for the biennale’s 15th edition.
Montage trailer for the 15th Biennale of Moving Images at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève.
Investing in unbounded creativity across the motion picture spectrum, the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève commissions visual artists, filmmakers and performers from diverse backgrounds to experiment with their choice of media and subject matter. Although not curated around a central theme like many biennials, this season’s crop is connected by common threads that reflect the prevailing atmosphere of apprehension and address percolating issues such as displacement, the exploitation of resources and labor, and the transmutation and politics of gender and the female figure.
Of the 28 original works unveiled this winter in Geneva, seven video installations have been adapted to unconventional sites at Faena Bazaar, a retail conversion of the historic Atlantic Beach Hotel, and the multipurpose Faena Park (side-by-side at 3400-3420 Collins Ave.), both accessible to the public 3-10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Developer Alan Faena and Artistic Director Ximena Caminos, are fleshing out dynamic projects in these buildings to complement interdisciplinary programming at Faena Forum, the cultural and architectural focal point (designed by the international firm OMA) of the Argentinian collectors’ sweeping vision that has transformed Collins Avenue from 32nd to 36th Streets into a residential, hospitality and entertainment complex. Caminos has reached out to our creative community, including local talent alongside international headliners at interactive performances since the Carnival-esque procession through the Mid-Beach neighborhood that marked Faena Art’s grand opening between Thanksgiving and Art Basel with a multicultural celebration.
Chinese-American artist Wu Tsang combines kung fu, magical realism and documentary in Duilian (2016), a video installation commissioned for the Biennale of Moving Images
To contextualize the European biennial for this subtropical setting, Caminos invited multimedia artists working in Miami to join the international lineup, adding their videos to the mix of international shorts shown on the Faena Bazaar Patio Sunday, April 16 and 23. The eclectic compilation is kicked off by South Florida native Jillian Mayer, whose films with the local collective Borscht Corp. have premiered at Sundance while her own playful DIY takes on our relationship with technology have been curated into museums across the continent. The performance artist’s facial recognition spiked as the infectious 2011 video I Am Your Grandma accumulated more than 3.5 million views on YouTube. Mayer’s subtler 2013 video You’ll Be Okay resonates with the anxiety even more pervasive today, transcribing a message to the masses via an old-school communication tool that still flies here, although the skywriting vanishes all too quickly into the blue. The looping footage refreshes her reassuring words every four minutes on the Bazaar Patio after dark whenever other films aren’t projected there for special events.
At the first two Sunday screenings, You’ll Be Okay flows into another equally timed piece with local ties, a trenchant plea to stop the bloodshed of black lives rapped by activist musician and producer John Forté (of Fugees fame), who also composed the rhythmic backdrop for Maleek Washington’s flexing choreography in Love. Serve. Remember. Director Paris Kain, also an avant garde photographer and jewelry designer, discusses the collaboration and his more fantastical projects with FilmGate Miami’s Executive Director Diliana Alexander, rounding out the April 16 program after a succession of longer pieces.
Love. Serve. Remember. directed by Paris Kain with music and lyrics by John Forté and flexing choreography by Maleek Washington
Other screenings spotlight films that run more than 50 minutes, starting this Friday with the philosophical documentary parody Once Upon a Nothing (narrated by Iggy Pop), unpacked afterward in a conversation between Caminos and Serbian filmmaker Boris Mitic. Saturday night’s double feature is introduced by Jaie Laplante, Executive Director of the Miami Film Festival, with more free events outside the Bazaar or inside the screening room on the 4th floor of Faena Hotel (3201 Collins Ave.) every weekend night for the rest of this month before the Biennale moves on to Faena’s flagship art center in Buenos Aires.
Wednesday-Friday, April 12-14, 8:30 p.m.
FLESH: Bistoury Physical Theatre & Film Miami-Dade County Auditorium
2901 W. Flagler St., Downtown
Integrating dance, theater, film, animation, photography and sound art, the Miami-based ensemble Bistoury explores the dark side of desire with FLESH. The encounter between two artistic visions and languages draws inspiration from Charles Bukowski’s poetry and Cuban author Virgilio Piñera’s short story “La carne de René (Rene’s Flesh)” about a young man's resistance to his sexual awakening. A series of dramatic situations reveal the struggle against carnal appetites that threaten to consume him, while also exploring urban schizophrenia, collective madness and the surreal anomalies of daily life. Commissioned by MDCA’s On.Stage Black Box Theatre, this new production by choreographer Alexey Taran and film director Carla Forte travels to Havana’s interdisciplinary hotspot Factoria del Arte Cubano (FAC) in June.
Mira Lehr’s mixed-media Waiting Planet (2011) is among artworks by 22 Miami-based women surveyed in I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar! at Your Fountainhead
Saturday, April 15, 6-8 p.m. I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar! Reception
65 N.W. 24th St., Wynwood
This survey of 22 women making art in South Florida celebrates the diversity of their experiences and perspectives, as well as the spectrum of materials and techniques applied in their production and presentation. The artists, all currently unrepresented by commercial galleries, will be present at the reception to share their inspiration with viewers, as well as co-curators Kathryn Mikesell and Ombretta Agró Andruff. As founder of The Fountainhead, Mikesell runs a residency program for visiting artists in Morningside and a studio complex in the emerging art district of Little River, as well as advising collectors and exhibiting original work throughout the Wynwood office building that houses Your Fountainhead.
Saturday, April 15 | Tuesday-Wednesday, April 18-19 The Big Read Miami!: In the Shadow of the Banyan
O Cinema Wynwood | The Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse | Books & Books
90 N.W. 29th St. | 404 N.W. 26th St., Wynwood | 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
Vaddey Ratner’s autobiographical novel In the Shadow of the Banyan inspired The Big Read Miami! to examine Cambodian history and culture through varied programming
Hoping to humanize the plight of refugees while engaging the community in a shared reading experience, The Miami Book Fair selected In the Shadow of the Banyan for the 11th edition of the countywide literacy initiative. The bestselling autobiographical novel about a Cambodian family’s struggle to survive the oppressive Khmer Rouge regime drove the interdisciplinary programming that Miami-Dade College tailors to each year’s “Big Read.” A robust roster of events, aimed at enlightening audiences of all ages about the Southeast Asian nation’s history and culture, culminates this month in a film screening, puppet show, and conversation with acclaimed author Vaddey Ratner.
This Saturday’s 1 p.m. matinee of The Missing Picture at O Cinema Wynwood falls almost 42 years to the day after Pol Pot seized control of the capital Phnom Penh. Writer-director Rithy Panh was 13 when his family was driven from their home into the notorious Killing Fields, a living hell endured by millions of Cambodian citizens. His imaginative approach to this harrowing subject, animating clay figurines intercut with archival footage, achieves a strange beauty and emotional connection with audiences. The Origin of the Tiger: A Cinematic Shadow Puppetry Performance, next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse, honors an ancient storytelling form nearly lost during decades of persecution. Amid a revival of this tradition blending live action, music, choreography, puppetry and design, artist Dan Walker has incised large leather panels with the intricate patterns backlit as dancing puppeteers act out a Cambodian folk tale about the consequences of a king’s obsession with power.
Finally, the Book Fair is flying in Ratner from Malaysia to give a Keynote Address at Books & Books next Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. – a rare opportunity to hear firsthand how she fictionalized heartbreaking memories into a hopeful narrative and dealt with the unexpected success of her 2013 literary debut, translated into 17 languages and counting.
Published on 4/4/2017
Lit Up: O, Miami Festival Spreads Poetry to Surprising Places
The Wheels and Words bus, wrapped in poetry penned by elementary schools students at O, Miami community workshops, was unveiled last week by the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works. Photo by Gesi Schilling courtesy of O, Miami.
‘Twas six years ago didst O, Miami decree: unto ev’ry soul in these parts a poem shalt fall. The timespan to effect this grand scheme was a natural selection, April having been anointed National Poetry Month in 1996 when the Academy of American Poets took a page from the commemoration of historical accomplishments by blacks in February and women in March. Educational initiatives and happenings to spotlight this under-exposed mode of expression soon shone around the globe, developing new readers and writers of all ages while overcoming resistance to the linguistic charms and challenges inherent in a genre that struggles to reclaim even a fraction of the popular esteem and economic clout afforded poets in centuries past.
O, Miami Founder & Director P. Scott Cunningham unfurling the first batch of Poo-etry bags, quoting Pablo Neruda, dispensed at public dog parks. Photo by Gesi Schilling for O, Miami
Still a relative newcomer to the world’s largest literary celebration, O, Miami has set itself apart with an inclusive, unconventional approach to demystifying poetry that keeps expanding the presumed parameters to encompass an ever-widening range of forms, scribes and audiences. Director P. Scott Cunningham, the Boca Raton-bred poet, essayist and translator who founded the nonprofit O’Miami, continues to forge alliances with government agencies, private foundations and independent organizations serving diverse missions and populations. Annual open calls invite any individual or group to propose novel means for bringing verses to the masses and building bridges across divergent fields.
The latest crop of poetry-in-public-places initiatives are now rolling out on such unexpected surfaces as “Poo-etry” bags dispensed in dog-friendly spaces (the brainchild of Stephanie Cornejo of Miami-Dade Parks & Recreation); EASY tickets for rides on the Metro Rail and county buses (a collaboration with Joe Eisenberg and Miami-Dade Transit), and checkout lanes at select Sabor Tropical supermarkets stamped with concise verses about food (Alana Burman’s notion) in Spanish, Creole and English by elementary school students. Wordplay generated in The Sunroom, O’ Miami’s ongoing series of workshops for 3rd- and 4th-graders at three schools in Liberty City, wraps around a “Wheels and Words” bus just unveiled by the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works. Students also share billing with professional authors at unusual sites like 13 Tom Thumb Gas Stations from the Keys to Broward pumping their eloquent observations into drivers’ minds and tanks with “Poems by the Gallon” (primed by Sandra March) inked on nozzle attachments designed for advertising.
"Poetry, Please" hangtags at several Miami Beach hotels enable April guests to request service or silence with eloquent lines from Denise Duhamel and other South Florida poets quoted on O, Miami doorknob signs dreamt up by Joaquim Perez
While first-time sponsors get with the program every season, longtime partners branch out with distinctive twists like Joachim Perez’s hangtags at several Miami Beach boutique hotels requesting "Poetry, Please" and proffering riffs by hometown poets Campbell McGrath, Maureen Seaton and Denise Duhamel on the “Do Not Disturb” and "Privacy, Please" signals guests typically dangle from doorknobs. A consistent hub for travelers attending O’ Miami every year, The Betsy hosts renowned authors year-round for readings and discussions that multiply during National Poetry Month. Official festival events on the premises include the enigmatically titled showcase “Instead of Bad News About a Person I Love” uniting three of Britain's top young bards, Sam Riviere, Sophie Collins and Jack Underwood Thursday, April 13, 8-10 p.m.
Poems by the Gallon pumps homegrown verses by student and professional writers at select Tom Thumb gas stations fulfilling artist Sandra March's vision for O'Miami 2017
Marquee speakers and master workshops are an essential component of all literary gatherings, yet those straightforward offerings seem tame in comparison to O, Miami’s imaginative mashups. Memorable standouts from early editions were presented by the New World Symphony and Bas Fisher Invitational, both premiering works by women this year. “Modern Muses” features four international young composers inspired by poems connecting cadences from folk and classical to contemporary and improvisation, in an NWS concert at the co-working space CIC Miami on Wednesday, April 12, 7-8:30 p.m. The lyrics weave a narrative about exile, home and love that takes on another dimension with the debut of visual art from Miami’s Loren Moore and Austin’s Roseminna Watson.
The artist-run nonprofit BFI stages Offerings III on Sunday, April 30, 7-8 pm, in the charged setting of Goulds Park Basketball Courts, marred by memories of tragic clashes that drive home the divisive issues of racial aggression and gun violence. These threads intersect with woman’s work in a site-specific performance joining the interdisciplinary forces of dancers Hattie Mae Williams and Loni Johnson, known in South Florida as the OMM Sistas, with New York-based [moved: interdisciplinary] artist Jadele McPherson. Their transformative rituals of movement, art and song will close O’Miami 2017 by reclaiming this troubled territory as a sacred space and clearing a path for broader change.
Thursday, April 6, 7-9 p.m. Our Jewish Troubadours: Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen
Jewish Museum of Florida - FIU
301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
On the heels of Bob Dylan’s visit to Stockholm last weekend, where he gave two concerts and accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature that was announced a few weeks before the death of Canadian poet Leonard Cohen, the Jewish Museum pays tribute to two of the most beloved and influential singer-songwriters of any era or ethnicity. Even as both poets actively explored and periodically embraced other religious traditions, both recognized and explored their Jewish heritage in lyrics like Cohen's "Hallelujah," covered by countless musicians including Dylan. Professors Tudor Parfitt and Steven Heine from the Department of Religious Studies at Florida International University, and Elliot R. Wolfson from the University of California-Santa Barbara will illuminate Jewish themes in their music, illustrated by renditions of favorite songs such as Dylan's "Forever Young."
Sparks fly when a robot meets a human office worker in Nufonia Must Fall LIVE, Kid Koala's innovative production filmed, scored and projected onstage. Still by cinematographer A.J. Korkidakis.
Thursday-Friday, April 6-7, 7:30 p.m. | Saturday, April 8, 8 p.m. Kid Koala: Nufonia Must Fall LIVE
Bailey Hall at Broward College | MDC Live Arts at Olympia Theatre
3501 Davie Rd, Davie | 174 E. Flagler St., Downtown Miami
An inventive hybrid of cinema, concert, and puppet theatre bring to life the wordless graphic novel drawn by Montreal-based scratch DJ and producer Kid Koala. The heartwarming romance between a robot nearing obsolescence and a lonely office drone are acted out by original figurines manipulated on more than a dozen miniature sets filmed, edited and projected onstage in real time and full view. The narrative action is aptly directed by production designer K.K. Barrett, who received an Oscar nomination for Her, another poignant human/computer love story that takes daring conceptual leaps visualized in a comparatively conventional format. The dynamic Afiara Quartet accompanies world-renowned composer Kid Koala, whose score builds upon his instrumental contributions to movies like The Great Gatsby and Looper as well as the TV programs Sesame Street and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
Saturday, April 8, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. RAIL - A Steampunk Journey
Gold Coast Railroad Museum
12450 S.W. 152nd St, Miami
Travel back to the Industrial Revolution via historic railcars and retro-futuristic visions inspired by steam-powered machinery and sartorial finery from the 1800s. Experience the subculture that has expanded internationally since the turn of this century and coalesced locally last year at gatherings organized by Rivet Nation to share their hand-wrought gadgets, get-ups and creative output. But you don’t have to be steeped in steampunk aesthetics to enjoy family-friendly activities like screenings of top shorts from the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival’s first three years and the premiere of AUREA, an original fantasy shot onsite; art exhibitions exploring time travel and the multicultural perspectives reflected in “Steam Colors” collaboratively organized by Kroma Art Space & Studios in Coconut Grove; plus trippy performances like the surreal song stylings of Paul Pennyfeather, a stage persona Scott J. Miller crafted by resurrecting a literary character nearing a century old. You can even dabble in cosplay, trying on designs sold in the “Alley of Curiosities” and posing against the museum’s "riveting" backgrounds in free photography workshops led by pro Robert Sullivan at 1-3 p.m. and 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Published on 3/28/2017
Dance Across South Florida Grows by Leaps and Bounds
Pilobolus takes its shape-shifting trademark to a new level of narrative in Shadowland. Photo by Ian Douglas
Miami’s dance scene is too often defined by notorious nightclubs that keep the beat on South Beach and spike a fever pitch every spring when Miami Music Week packs an unrivaled one-two punch with the Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival. Bayfront Park is still drying out from the flash flood of electronic dance music (EDM) makers, promoters and fans that rushed over the causeway Friday as the 32nd annual industry powwow gave way to a three-day rave that only piped down before dawn Monday.
Moving experiences abound in a distinct subtropical dance scene poised to reach new heights. Arts centers throughout this region offer exposure all season long to consummate movers and shakers grounded in a dizzying spectrum of cultural traditions, which homegrown and visiting troupes are expanding in new directions that merit more widespread attention. Patronage comes in all sizes, from the private and public philanthropy enabling innovation by local choreographers to the ticket sales needed to sustain adventurous programming by rewarding venues for taking logistic leaps.
Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt’s Red M marks the Riverwalk Metromover Station, a 1996 commission for the Magic City centennial by Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places Trust. Photo by Robin Hill.
The variety of shows holds value even for skeptics who may yet be surprised to find forms of movement that appeal to their tastes, such as the improbable body shapes that make Pilobolus a favorite with audiences of all ages and inclinations. The globetrotting northeastern U.S. ensemble touched down at Broward Center for the Performing Arts for two days in mid-March, revealing the ingenuity and flexibility behind those collaborative contortions at a master class before shrouding its trademark tricks onstage for the epic dreamscape Shadowland. A grassroots hybrid of high and low tech set in motion the next night in Little Havana, Big Beautiful evolved over the course of eight performances as Brigid Baker’s WholeProject at 6th Street Dance Studio collectively handcrafted and cinematically activated an environmental installation through Sunday evening.
Also dwelling on the delicate balance between human aspirations and natural resources, Think Blue draws inspiration from the book Why The Sky Is Far Away: A Nigerian Tale, retold by Mary-Joan Gerson, for a sampler of old and new repertory Augusto Soledade Brazzdance premiered Friday and Saturday, March 24-25, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The Bahia-born recipient of a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, Soledade has also secured substantial funds at the state and local levels, including six since 2005 through the Dance Miami Choreographers' Program. Renewing the annual competition this month, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs offers consultations to established local choreographers seeking funds to create new work, with applications accepted until April 19 for review by a national jury.
Attracting, retaining, and nurturing the next generation is vital to the development of an emerging creative hub. The Miami Dance Mecca Project mentors aspiring dancers and arts administrators through education and employment opportunities at Brazzdance, buoyed by a matching grant from the Knight Arts Challenge. Myriad movement initiatives are spurred by the annual contest encouraging individuals, groups or businesses to engage diverse populations with unconventional ideas involving any art form. To make the application process as accessible as the projects, the Knight Foundation invites proposals of merely 150 words in the preliminary round of online submissions March 29 to April 28, and hosts informal gatherings in cultural spaces and coffeehouses. Peppering Miami-Dade with community conversations this week, Knight staff ventures to West Palm Beach and Key West the first week of April, and offers one-on-one feedback at office hours as the deadline nears.
The 44 grants totaling $2.78 million Knight announced last November include such ambitious endeavors as Forward Motion, the first festival and conference to integrate dancers with and without disabilities, proposed by Karen Peterson and Dancers. While upscaling its core mission, South Florida’s only professional dance company dedicated to mixed-ability work keeps rolling out bold productions like Scrutiny - The World Gone Astray, May 11-12 at Miami Dade County Auditorium, composed by three Miami-based choreographers with a video artist to examine the impact of ubiquitous surveillance on humanity and society.
The women of Alma Dance Theater Company “Daydreaming with Jean” in the dementia-inspired production Flowers for Spring
While setting aside six figures to realize Forward Motion, Knight awarded more modest amounts like $15,000 for Alma Dance Theater to generate awareness and dialogue about dementia by embarking on its first national tour, but cobbling together smaller donations to match grants of any sum is still a formidable challenge for recipients. At fundraisers underway along the East Coast, the all-women contemporary troupe shares excerpts from Flowers for Spring, inspired by the traumatic decline of Marissa Alma Nick’s grandmothers before both died in 2015. Rather than tread the yellow petals strewn onstage for “Daydreaming with Jean,” the company founder directs three dancers to embody fractured states she witnessed firsthand. Yet Nick will stand alone as the powerful Hawaiian goddess Pele poised atop a grand limestone staircase April 12 for Fire Gods in the Garden, a sequence of solos by Miami-based choreographers. Tigertail commissioned Nick, Carla Forte, Hattie Mae Williams and Pioneer Winter to each select a mythic figure and separate spot to ignite on Vizcaya’s moonlit grounds.
South Florida’s self-proclaimed oldest mid-size presenter and producer, Tigertail has originated or imported more than 500 innovative works by local and international artists across disciplines since 1979. Indomitable founder Mary Luft tirelessly corrals sponsors from family-owned businesses and foundations to government agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts. Private and public sources rally around NEA grants, multiplying every federal dollar up to 9 times over, according to the independent federal agency’s estimate of $500 million in matching support for more than 2,400 awards it recommended last year. This exponential return on taxpayers’ investment swamps any savings from the White House push to defund the NEA (never threatened by any previous presidential administration), appropriated $147.9 million in 2016, a .004 percent drop in the federal budget, just 46 cents for each taxpayer. The financial costs and benefits are meticulously documented by nonprofit advocacy group Americans for the Arts, but the potential losses that would reverberate across all cultural sectors of our community and every other district across the country are too intangible to quantify and too profound to predict.
“The importance of the NEA was immeasurable,” says Edward Villella in a short video about his contributions to American dance produced for the NEA’s 50th anniversary, recalling widespread response to its establishment by Congress in 1965. “It raised visibility so high across the nation, and across all of the art forms.” Soon after Congress established the endowment in 1965, Villella’s appointment to the National Council on the Arts that advises the NEA afforded him an uncommon vantage point well before he felt its impact firsthand in the 1990s and 2000s as founding artistic director of the Miami City Ballet. “If you were seeking national funding, you had to have a national reputation. By four or five years in, we were ready, and we applied. And we had support from there on, because we kept earning it.”
Indeed, grants to the Miami City Ballet nearly every year since at least 1998 (the earliest archived online by the NEA) have funded the creation and presentation of new works, educated at-risk students, and even preserved jobs in 2009 amid the economic downtown that diminished philanthropic returns. The highest NEA awards of $60,000 apiece provided seed money for A Midsummer Night's Dream Re-Imagined last year, with new sets and costumes by artist Michele Oka Doner, and this season’s world premiere of The Fairy’s Kiss choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky.
The American Ballet Theatre Artist-in-Residence jumped at the chance to choreograph a long narrative for the Miami dancers he had met five years ago when Villella commissioned Symphonic Dances. “I fell in love with this company for its amazing spirit, beautiful musicality – everything about the Miami City Ballet just puts a smile on my face,” Ratmansky told a crowd gathered in Manhattan at the end of January for “Works & Process at the Guggenheim,” the museum’s series deconstructing the creative process. Ratmansky, projection designer Wendall K. Harrington and MCB Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez discussed their approach to the challenging score and storyline (even George Balanchine was never satisfied by his repeated runs at this classic) Igor Stravinsky debuted in 1928 as an homage to Tchaikovsky on the 35th anniversary of his death, adapting assorted pieces by the composer and Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale The Ice Maiden.
For his own third take, Ratmansky also enlisted frequent collaborators Jérôme Kaplan and James F. Ingalls to design an avant-garde look inspired by the cubist art that radically altered perspectives and influenced Stravinsky in the early 1900s. Kaplan's abstracted village sets the stark, eerie tone with sharply peaked rooftops of homes that glow from within when Ingalls demarcates immaterial windows by switching on blocks of light as residents are awoken after dark. Kaplan also dresses the villagers in stylized variations on rural Russian traditions that suit Ratmansky’s modern interpretation of folkloric dances to celebrate the engagement of the protagonist (a dashing Kleber Rebello) and a young woman (imbued with innocent charm by Tricia Albertson).
Yet more fluid silhouettes befit the timeless costumes and movements of ghostly figures who whisk away an infant when his mother dies in a blizzard and the titular fairy who seals his fate with a kiss, then vanishes until he reaches maturity. Reappearing in the village that raised him, the fairy (a stealthy, spirited Nathalia Arja) masquerades as a gypsy to tell his fortune, and then as his veiled bride for a dance of deception on the eve of their nuptials. Even when the confused groom regrets his mistaken liaison upon awakening, he is powerless to resist her enchantment or escape his destiny.
Mor magic is in store next season from the team behind The Fairy’s Kiss. Lopez just announced that Harrington and Ingalls will illuminate sets and costumes by Isabel and Ruben Toledo, the iconic Cuban-American design duo enlisted to revamp MCB’s production of The Nutcracker after 28 years. Several tantalizing additions to the repertory will culminate in Ratmansky’s inventive Concerto DSCH to a piano score by Dmitri Shostakovich, a passionate company premiere slated to stir up Balanchine’s ominous waltz La Valse and neoclassical masterpiece Apollo, the combination promising a strong close to the 2017-2018 lineup.
Pacing is key, and planting The Fairy’s Kiss in February evoked winter indoors (even as a relentless sun kept baking exposed brick outside air-conditioned matinees), so after ending Program Three on a dark and icy note, Lopez wisely leavens this season’s parting shot with an upbeat trio that heralds spring. Emotional depth evaporates in the balmy air of Program Four, which opened at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach before coming closer to MCB’s South Beach home this Friday-Sunday, March 31-April 2, at the Arsht Center then wrapping up April 8-9 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale.
The curtain rises on a fresh aperitif with proper solos for half a dozen ballerinas turned out in frilly tutus adorned with bows, a saccharine affectation evoking 18th-century formal attire that follows the 1956 patterns cut for Balanchine’s second take on Divertimento No. 15. Skimming the surface, this confection may be a trifle over the top for critical viewers who prefer more subtle complexity, but balance is reserved for the pirouettes and technical details executed with undeniable precision.
A certain regal air to Mozart’s flight of fancy echoes aurally in the William Boyce symphonies excerpted for Arden Court in 1981, but Paul Taylor doesn’t take it too seriously, loosening attitudes and slipping off shoes. While Balanchine relegates most of his lords a-leaping to the background, Taylor calls six men forward to strut and stride center-stage, poking fun at their own shirtless preening. The sprightly Mayumi Enokibara provides a comic release by playfully tiptoeing, ducking and weaving around longer masculine legs, then Ellen Grocki evokes oohs and aahs from a rapt audience by delicately curling up atop the torqued back of another male counterpart, among other unexpected interactions in a show of strength from the corps de ballet.
The entire company fills the stage for crowd scenes and chorus lines in Who Cares?, a 1970 tribute to George Gershwin and classic American musicals. Balanchine strips away snappy lyrics and refines sweeping gestures recognizable to Broadway fans for a balletic twist on the infectious melodies and dramatic flair that highlight some of this company’s most endearing qualities. Renan Cerdeiro romances one starlet after another in three dazzling duets, interspersed with solos allowing each principal to shine.
Patricia and Jeanette Delgado imbue every step they take with the innate talent and dedication that propelled them from star pupils at Miami City Ballet School into hometown heroines. After polishing her artistry as a principal for ten years, older sister Patricia just announced she is leaving the nest to test her mettle independently in the dance capital. A special tribute is in the works for MCB’s season finale at the Broward Center’s Au Rene Theater on April 9, when Delgado joins her extended family to reprise the production that marked her first performance as a full-fledged company member. Completing the circle with one last turn in this love letter to New York theater underscores the bittersweet phrasing of the title song “Who Cares? (So Long As You Care For Me).”
Wednesday, March 29, 6 p.m. REFUGE IN PAINT
62 N.E. 27 St., Wynwood
Nader Art Museum Latin America
Witness the groundbreaking work of aptART (Awareness & Prevention Through Art) at a cocktail reception and conversation about street art projects in Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq led by internationally renowned artists with South Florida residences, such as Peter Tunney and Iran Issa-Khan, as well as globetrotting muralists like Fintan Magee and Herakut. Four years of workshops addressing issues in displaced and embattled communities have engaged more than 3,000 youth in spreading positive, hopeful messages while expressing their ideas and identities. This showcase (through April 3) encompasses photographs and films documenting large-scale public art as well as installations, paintings and photographs by professional and aspiring participants. Proceeds from the sales of photographs and children’s works fund future endeavors by AptART.
Thursday, March 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Undergrounds Coffeehaus
3020 N. Federal Hwy #5a, Fort Lauderdale
The Florida Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ is unmasking the imposters infiltrating our field and challenging writers and readers to up their game by putting a trivial twist on a serious issue. Test your fraud-detection antennae in this new format, noshing on free tater tots while competing for prizes like pocket-sized constitutions and passes to see Angela Duckworth, the psychology professor and best-selling author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts on April 5. Team up with news-savvy friends, RSVP on Facebook, and invent a clever alias for your crew before arriving to register between 6:30 and the first buzzer at 7 p.m.
Memory ADN/Memoria DNA puts an experimental spin on flamenco at Coral Gables Museum March 30
Thursday, March 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Memory ADN/Memoria DNA: Experimental Flamenco
Coral Gables Museum
285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
Dance, theater, film and music merge in an exploration of how cultural memory evolves over generations through customs, expressions and stereotypes, questioning what is "Spanish" from the perspective of a Caribbean and coastal Latino immigrants. By turns humorous and nostalgic, this unique twist on traditional forms of flamenco is presented by a trio of acclaimed Miami-based performing artists: choreographer and researcher Niurca Márquez, director Manuel Domínguez of the Antiheroes Project, and guitarist José Luis de la Paz, co-founder of the Nu Flamenco Collaborative.
A runway show for Nicole Miller’s spring collection March 31 is the hottest ticket at the inaugural Underground Lauderdale Fashion Weekend
Thursday-Sunday, March 30-April 2 Underground Fort Lauderdale Fashion Weekend
The premiere of a Gold Coast style offensive is rolling out the red carpet for fashionistas and TV personalities like Project Runway judge Nina Garcia, who introduces headliner Nicole Miller’s spring collection at the runway show Friday 9-11 p.m. in a capacious warehouse at FATVillage. At a pop-up marketplace in the creative district Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., regional designers sell apparel and accessories alongside looks available fresh from live model presentations by up-and-comers such as menswear line Descendant of Thieves and unconventional New York City costumers Claire Fleury and Casey Caldwell. The fashion capital’s flair also inspires after-dark affairs from a kick-off cocktail party Thursday 8-11 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton's waterfront hotspot Burlock Coast to the finale extravaganza hosted by "Queen of the Night" Susanne Bartsch.
Tuesday, April 4, 7:30 p.m. Meet Camille Paglia
Coral Gables Congregational Church
3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables
Since the 1991 release of her provocative debut, Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia has been one of the most outspoken intellectuals advocating gender equality. Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism (Pantheon), the first collection of her most articulate essays on feminism, defends its modern manifestations and challenges forward-thinking women and men to build strong alliances. Purchase the compact new volume at any Books & Books location to obtain a voucher admitting two people to Paglia’s offsite talk and book-signing.
Published on 3/12/2017
Transcending the story of one exceptional artist to illuminate the creative process, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical transports audiences to an era that changed the course of American music by tracing some of its most timeless songs back to their first notes. Playwright Douglas McGrath and the cast treat their source material with due reverence but not kid gloves, tempering the characters’ professional high points with creative struggles and emotional lows.
The company of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical at the songwriting hub 1650 Broadway. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Julia Knitel as Carole King playing Carnegie Hall in the Beautiful finale. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Sixteen when the curtains part, Carol Klein ventures from Brooklyn to Times Square and talks her way into an audience with music publisher Don Kirschner, whose skepticism soon turns supportive. Adopting the stage name Carole King in high school before graduating early and enrolling in Queens College, the precocious composer is more confident in her abilities than her appearance. An endearing amalgam of moxie and modesty, Julia Knitel elicits empathetic laughs with self-deprecating lines like, “Boys want some of my parts to be bigger and others to be smaller. I have the right amount of body; it’s just not organized properly.” This petite brunette fleshes out the towering figure crucial to Beautiful’s credibility with an understated assurance all the more impressive for skirting the shadow of Jessie Mueller, who won a Tony for originating the role in 2014, and her older sister Abby, who slipped into King’s skin as the tour took off and now stars on Broadway.
Newcomer Erika Olson delivers her share of sassy quips as Cynthia Weil, who maintains a measured composure and independence even when succumbing to the earnest overtures of Barry Mann, her neurotic partner inhabited by Ben Fankhauser (among the original cast-members of Newsies reprising their Broadway parts in the Disney film released last month). The subplot about their collaboration and romance add a playful counterpoint to the central love story of a tumultuous marriage precipitated by King’s unplanned pregnancy at 17. Just a few years older, lyricist Gerry Goffin chafes at the constraints of fidelity and fatherhood while struggling with sobriety and sanity, challenges that Liam Tobin deftly layers in charismatic complexity.
The principals all worked side-by-side at 1650 Broadway, a “hit factory” where much of the action takes place within striking distance of the iconic Brill Building. Textured acoustic paneling absorbs the moody hues that lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski deepens to dramatic blues and magentas when musical acts emerge from the wings for glitzy performances of tracks penned under brighter bulbs. Scenic master Derek McLane adds further dimension to this massive backdrop with an ingenious patchwork (a material tribute to Tapestry?) of stereo amps, reels and tuners alternating with holstered headphones, dangling microphones and embedded instruments. Musicians rehearse and record in soundproof booths stacked on either side, decks framing the songwriters’ workaday hustle with the bustle and hum of the music biz.
The Drifters in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, played by Jay McKenzie, Paris Nix, Josh A. Dawson and Sidney DuPont. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Cory Jeacoma, Matthew Dailey, Aaron De Jesus and Keith Hines star as The Four Seasons in Jersey Boys, returning to the Arsht Center April 4-9. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.
Friendly competition spurs the two teams’ to one-up each other as they climb the charts. The Drifters follow King and Goffin’s 1961 ballad “Some Kind of Wonderful” with Mann and Weil’s 1963 anthem “On Broadway.” When The Shirelles record “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” in 1961, the Billboard number-one single is a first not only for King and Goffin, but for any African-American female group. Stretching their range into up-tempo terrain, the primary duo sparks a 1962 dance craze with “The Locomotion.”
Not to be outdone, Mann and Weil join forces with Phil Spector a year later for "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling,” which would go on to become the most-played song in radio history, covered by more than 200 artists. The Righteous Brothers’ original rendition signals a turning point as Goffin strays and the union unravels. Without another half filling in her melodies, King faces the music and the public on her own, discovering untapped strength and inspiration for one of the bestselling albums of all time. Emerging triumphant for a solo concert at Carnegie Hall, Knitel commands the stage and grand piano with a self-possessed maturity and spirited abandon that underscore the rousing empowerment of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
The tour moves on to Texas this week, though seasonal residents and frequent travelers to New York can still see Beautiful at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Yet the ‘60s pop won’t stop at Ziff Ballet Opera House: Jersey Boys is coming this way just a few months after ending an 11-year run on Broadway that broke box-office records and racked up Tony®, Grammy® and Olivier Awards. This century’s most celebrated tell-all musical returns April 4-9 to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, where its 2011 Miami premiere dazzled more than 34,000 theatergoers with chart-toppers like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Oh What a Night.” Frankie Valli and his former blue-collar bandmates take turns narrating The Four Seasons’ rise to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from distinct perspectives, to each his own act, an imaginative structure that sets Jersey Boys apart from other jukebox musicals.
Special guest guide Karelle Levy with designs for her line KRELwear
KRELwear tropical knit designed by Karelle Levy
Arts Encounter: South Beach
Friday, March 31, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Explore art and design with wide-ranging forms, origins and periods on SocialMiami’s monthly series of cultural experiences curated by Arts Editor Margery Gordon, founder and director of the independent tour company Arts Encounters. Our readers and guests are invited to join an intimate group for guided tours of temporary exhibitions at two distinctive museums affiliated with Florida International University. Meet us at 11 a.m. at The Jewish Museum of Florida (301 Washington Ave.) to view the unprecedented show Hot Couture: Florida Jews on the Fashion Scene, 1800s to Today with designer and artist Karelle Levy, a Miami native who will share memories and insights about sources of inspiration hanging alongside one-of-a-kind garments from her own line of tropical knits, Krelwear.
Get to know fellow tour participants over lunch nearby en route to The Wolfsonian (a few blocks north at 1001 Washington Ave.), where a staff member will guide us through this season’s marquee exhibitions. The Pursuit of Abstraction focuses on expressions of spirituality and mysticism in fine and decorative art experiments during the first half of the 20th century. Meanwhile, cutting-edge creative industries were taking shape in the Netherlands, positioning the country at the forefront of innovation in furnishings, crafts and graphics, as reflected by selections from the museum’s extensive collection displayed in Modern Dutch Design. Rounding out this visit are an installation wrapping the Mediterranean Revival exterior and lobby with vivid patterns by Christie van der Haak, a contemporary artist based in The Hague, and a spotlight on William H. Bradley’s influential adaptation of the Art Nouveau aesthetic to American advertisements, posters and publications at the turn of the last century.
The $40 cover includes admission and guides at both museums (lunch paid separately). Advance registration is required. Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 28 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 305-989-0027.
Spiritual Graphics feature in The Pursuit of Abstraction at The Wolfsonian-FIU.
Tuesday, March 14, 6-8 p.m. Artists Respond To Growing Sea Level Rise Crisis
ARTtuesdays/Miami at Books & Books
265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
With more people living less than 4 feet above sea level than any North American state, South Florida is fertile terrain for site-specific initiatives visualizing the impact of rising tides and global warming. Veteran eco-art activist Xavier Cortada plumbs the earth’s poles for evidence and inspiration; Tina Spiro raises environmental consciousness via the multimedia collaboration Deep See: An Art Installation for the Sea; and Anita Glesta brings the international video project Watershed ashore on Miami Beach later this year. Art Historian Carol Damian, the Florida International University professor curating Deep See, moderates this free conversation starting at 7 p.m. in the bookstore’s central space, where attendees announce their upcoming projects at 6:45 after networking in the courtyard café.
Tuesday, March 14, 7-9 p.m. Wynwood: Memories of the Miami Fashion Scene
Jewish Museum of Florida – FIU
301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
In the next installment of the Fashionable Tuesdays series exploring aspects of the exhibition Hot Couture: Florida Jews on the Fashion Scene (through November 5, 2017), Prominent veterans of Miami's fashion industry discuss its evolution during the 1960s, and Jewish families' influence on development of the garment district in Wynwood.
*Stay tuned for details soon to be announced about our next SocialMiami Arts Encounter to tour "Hot Couture" and other special exhibitions on South Beach!
Dr. Eva Ritvo, Bold Beauty Project co-director and United Cerebral Palsy board member, with her daughter Joy Nestor and the design student’s portrait by photographer Sandra Dohnert-Bourne, on view at Art Boca Raton March 15-18. Photo by Margery Gordon
Thursday-Saturday, March 16-18, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. & Sunday, March 19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Art Boca Raton
International Pavilion of the Palm Beaches
3450 N.W. 8th Ave., Boca Raton
Returning to the scene of the premiere last spring, a research park on the Florida Atlantic University campus, Boca's first art fair gathers more than 30 modern and contemporary galleries from far-flung hubs in the U.S. and Europe, plus Chile and Israel. Special exhibitions include the Bold Beauty Project, empowering portraits of women with disabilities that attracted admirers at Next Level Fairs' Art Concept and Art Palm Beach this winter. Boca Raton Museum of Art and School, beneficiary of the Vernissage on Wednesday evening, is also hosting special events during extended hours for fairgoers to see its cutting-edge exhibition Glasstress.
Friday-Saturday, March 17-18, 7-10 p.m. & Sunday, March 19, 6-9 p.m. THE NERVE Performance Art Festival
517-529 N.W. First Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Expanding in size, scope and duration for its second edition, this eclectic three-night showcase pushes boundaries and blurs disciplines with 22 performances by 48 artists. At the festival hub FAT Village Projects, large installations, film projections and experimental soundscapes form a theatrical backdrop activated by feats of endurance, satirical violence and social commentary with intriguing titles like BLOT, Saliva Leaves, Porcupine, Barbie and Ken Imitate Life, and CBGB's in the Sky Featuring Bela Lugosi's Dead Cat. John Marc scrawls glow-in-the-dark messages on the sidewalk connecting five neighboring venues. At ArtsUp!, where Neal Ramsay curates interventions from the top down, Leandra Arravazzetti's fabric suspended from the ceiling frees up floor space for Khokkoi and Frog of #KrittyKouture to fill with refuse and participatory rituals.
At THE NERVE Performance Art Festival’s inaugural edition last spring, Christin Paige Minnotte floated in a water tank polluted with plastic for Disposable Ethic
HistoryMiami artist-in-residence Mannolie DiSantos with her beaded ritual offerings
Friday, March 17, 6-9 p.m. Exposed Exhibition Opening
Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
1650 Harrison Street, Hollywood
This exhibition and fundraiser bring together emerging artists, budding collectors, and artist-run spaces to contemplate the value of art in our everyday lives while supporting the Art and Culture Center's contributions to the community. The public can preview works for sale at the opening reception or during public hours until the private drawing April 7, 6 - 9 p.m., when ticketholders pick their favorites, playing for keeps.
Saturday, March 18, 11 a.m - 4:30 p.m. & Sunday, March 19, 1-4:30 p.m. Rewind/Fast Forward Film Festival: MemoryLab + Jewelry Workshop
101 W. Flagler St., Downtown Wolfson Archives' recently reincarnated film, video and media festival focused on the Sunshine State, is presented in conjunction with the MemoryLab exhibition (March 9 – April 16) curated by Obsolete Media Miami. The "Memory" screening on Saturday conjures Florida's past, whereas Sunday's "Lab" of moving images the 16 artists and collectives uncovered in the voluminous archives and HistoryMiami collection while researching their projects. Also on Saturday, master beadworker Mannolie DiSantos demonstrates her embellishment of ritual offerings for Orishas, deities of the Afro-Cuban religion known as Lucumí or Santería, then guides teens and adults in crafting traditional eleke necklaces from 2 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 18, 8-11 p.m. Global Cuba Fest
Miami-Dade County Auditorium
2901 W. Flagler St., Downtown FUNDarte celebrates the Fest’s 10th anniversary at MDCA’s Mid-Stage Theatre with performances by the Madrid-based fusion band Picadillo, master pianist Ernán López Nussa, and trumpet player Carlos Puig’s improvisational jazz group joined by special guests Ahmed Barroso, Pavel Urkiza and Lillian Garcia. Author Wendy Guerra adds a literary twist as the mistress of ceremonies.
Sunday, March 19, 2017, 12-4 p.m. Art Acts Out
Norton Museum of Art
1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach
To mark the sixth year of its RAW (Recognition of Art by Women) exhibition series, the Norton is launching a free community day to promote gender equality. A Makers Fair unites South Florida nonprofit organizations and printmaking studios to lead family-friendly activities encouraging creative calls for social change. A public discussion at 2 p.m. on "Women in Today's Art World: A Call to Action" features cultural leaders from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.'s National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York contemporary gallery Alexander Gray Associates, and the anonymous feminist collective Guerrilla Girls. The panel is preceded by 15-minute spotlight talks on six female artists in the Norton's collection, starting at 12:30 p.m., and capped off with a cocktail reception.
A masked member of the anonymous feminist collective The Guerilla Girls will discuss "Women in Today's Art World: A Call to Action" with other cultural leaders at the Norton Museum’s free community day March 19
Sunday, March 19, 4 p.m. Carol Burnett: An Afternoon of Laughter and Reflection
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts
201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Get up close and personal with an icon of American comedy as she fields questions from the audience in a format akin to the unfiltered exchanges that opened The Carol Burnett Show. Her spontaneous replies are interspersed with classic clips from the groundbreaking variety series that averaged 30 million viewers per week and amassed 25 Emmy Awards from 1967 to ‘78.
Tuesday, March 21, 7-9 p.m. Wonder Woman Exhibit Opening
1671 Collins Ave., Miami Beach The Israeli Consulate in Miami hosts a cocktail reception to kick off its first art exhibition on U.S. territory (through April 21), honoring Women’s History Month with varied definitions of the heroine. Nimrod Reshef, an artist based in Tel Aviv, curates work by 21 male and female compatriots interpreting touchstones from biblical to modern times, icons as diverse as the young diarist Anne Frank, Prime Minister Golda Meir and actress/model Gal Gadot.
Published on 3/8/2017
Wednesday, March 8, 7:30 p.m. International Women's Day Panel & Film Screening
Miami Beach Jewish Community Center
4221 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach
A year after presenting Honor Diaries with Raheel Raza, one of the nine featured activists fighting gender inequality in Muslim-majority societies, the JCC marks the date for female solidarity by screening a condensed version with several other short films from the second annual Censored Women's Film Festival developed around the award-winning documentary. Executive producer Ayaan Hirsi Ali is represented by Amanda Parker, senior director of the AHA Foundation she established 10 years ago to protect women from religious and cultural violence. 60 Minutes Correspondent Lara Logan drives home the Egyptian sexual harassment captured in The People's Girls by sharing her experiences covering the Arab Spring, when she was assaulted by a mob in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Connecting woman's issues to our own community are Marya Meyer, a global and local coordinator for One Billion Rising; Rafael Hernandez, a supervisor for Miami-Dade State Attorney's Human Trafficking Task Force; and Irma M. Barron, PhD, a professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Albizu University. Attendees are encouraged to donate personal care products for the homeless women and children at Lotus House.
A still from The People’s Girls, screening at Miami Beach JCC for its second annual event honoring International Women's Day
March 9, 6 - 8 p.m. Christina Pettersson: Along the Shadow of the River
Girls' Club Collection Offsite Performance
Fort Lauderdale Historical Society
219 SW 2nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Taking inspiration from the New River and the female figures whose histories are forever linked to its waters, Christina Pettersson stations musicians, opera singers, dancers and artists along the riverbank and across the railroad tracks for audience members to encounter as they stroll through the grounds. This movable feast for the senses, beginning promptly at sundown, is the first in a series of four multi-disciplinary public performances by South Floridian women and a fitting start to the nomadic phase of Girls' Club.
Trumpet player and composer Carlos Puig headlines the 10th Annual Global Cuba Fest
Emily Estefan performs songs from her debut album Take Whatever You Want with the Miami Symphony Orchestra in the Design District on March 10
Thursday, March 9 – Saturday, March 11, 8 p.m.
Global Cuba Fest
The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse
404 NW 26th St., Wynwood FUNDarté and Miami Light Project present three concerts led by the Light Box's contemporary orchestra-in-residence, Nu Deco Ensemble, with rising and established stars from Cuba, Miami and Europe, including pianist Ernán López Nussa, trumpet player Carlos Puig, and soprano Elena Galvan in Florida Grand Opera's rendition of Jorge Martin's A Cuban in Vermont. The following Saturday, March 18, at Miami-Dade County Auditorium downtown, Puig's improvisational jazz group and Madrid-based fusion band Picadillo headline a celebration of the Fest's 10th anniversary hosted by Cuban author Wendy Guerra as mistress of ceremonies.
Friday, March 10, 5-8 p.m. Miami Symphony Orchestra Pop-Up Concert
140 N.E. 39th St., Design District
Conductor Eduardo Marturet leads a free concert of classical-crossover music composed by the likes of Tito Puente, Richard Wagner and Maurice Ravel. MISO is joined by special guests King David, Lena Burke, Danny Daniel and Emily Estefan. The soulful 22-year-old progeny of Emilio and Gloria Estefan performs original songs from her critically acclaimed debut album Take Whatever You Want.
Friday, March 10, 6-8 p.m. Material Culture: Beth Dunlop Talks with Micky Wolfson
Miami Center for Architecture and Design
100 N.E. 1st Ave., Miami
Collector and designer Micky Wolfson shares memories of his family's development projects instrumental in shaping South Florida's built environment, as well as his own fascination with objects and the unique aspects of human behavior represented in the vast holdings at the Wolfsonian-FIU. Interviewer Beth Dunlop, editor-in-chief of Modern Magazine and an esteemed architecture critic, has authored books about Coconut Grove cottages, Disney's landscapes and architects' homesteads.
Friday, March 10, 7-11 p.m. Bakehouse Art Complex 30th Birthday Party
561 N.W. 32nd St., Wynwood
Three decades after carving up this abandoned Art Deco bakery into affordable studio spaces still cooperatively run, the Bakehouse Art Complex toasts its birthday with bubbly, cake, live music, an artwork raffle, and exhibition tours. Reflecting on BAC's legacy of commissioning murals since 1986, when local high school students were invited to collaborate on the area's first legal street art, Baking History: Past Forward at Wynwood's True Artistic Pioneer (Feb. 1 – April 7) contextualizes studies and photographs of public artworks by 10 residents. Wild Oasis (March 3 - April 24) shows landscapes Jacqueline Roch painted last year in the Everglades and other protected lands during a residency honoring the National Park Service Centennial.
Outside the Young At Art Museum, children play on I LOVE YOU, a public sculpture by Miami duo Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt that sets the stage for a performance art showcase at the annual festival. Photo by Margery Gordon
Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Festival of the Arts
Young At Art Museum
751 S.W. 121 Ave., Davie
More than 80 students in grades K-12 sell their original artwork, accessories and jewelry at this annual fair, designing individual displays judged on quality, presentation and marketing savvy. Free outdoor activities on the museum grounds include a collaborative graffiti wall and performance art showcase staged by the oversize letters declaring "I LOVE YOU," a permanent public sculpture by Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt of Miami's R&R Studios.
Saturday, March 11, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. RadioFest
1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Celebrate more than 100 years of communication transmitted by way of free radio-inspired activities. WLRN Public Media turns the landmark Bridge Tender House in front of the Wolfsonian-FIU into a VoxPop Live-Recording Booth, where reporter Wilson Sayre interviews volunteers who sign up for 15-minute time slots between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. about sounds that hold special meaning for them. Inside the museum at 1 p.m., representatives from Jolt, Klangbox and Wynwood Radio talk high-tech trends with moderator Bruce Pinchbeck of The New Tropic. Harvey Mattel illustrates the medium's history at 3 p.m. with examples from his vintage radio collection installed throughout the first floor. Moonlighter Makerspace illuminates the science of soundwaves while helping participants craft analog amplifiers for smartphones in the shape of mini-radios. This broadcasting cornucopia culminates in the world premiere ($10 for non-members) of four original 15-minute-long radio plays from 7 to 8:30 p.m., based on South Florida news stories and interspersed with brief Q&A sessions.
Published on 2/21/2017
Ballet dancers perform with Naomi Fisher's #PUZZLED sculpture by the Brickell Metrorail Station as Agustina Woodgate talks and pedals with guests of her CICLO broadcast on radioEE.net at Miami-Dade Art in Public Places' inaugural program for the Underline on January 14 The relative youth and incessant escalation of development in South Florida leave few sites that impart a sense of history.
Lost Spaces Vizcaya, David Rohn next to one of his portraits
Lucinda Linderman: Mapping Sea Level Rise at Lost Spaces and Stories of Vizcaya
The relative youth and incessant escalation of development in South Florida leave few sites that impart a sense of history. Vizcaya conjures an even more distant time and place, drawing inspiration from 18th-century Venetian villas yet adapting the architecture and landscaping to the subtropical Bayfront setting of James Deering's winter residence in Coconut Grove. To honor the centennial of this truly unique treasure, 11 artists living in South Florida were commissioned to reconsider the estate's history through site-specific installations at the main house, formal gardens and small structures on the property.
On view through October, Lost Stories and Spaces of Vizcaya reflect varied approaches by the artists, some interpreting elements of the original design while others imagine scenarios based on characteristics of the period when these rooms were inhabited by Deering, his guests, and employees who served them. David Rohn, who acts out a wide array of personas in his performances and photographs, transformed himself into 15 different members of the household staff for portraits preserved in frames perched on mantles or tucked into nooks where they might have toiled. Rohn disclosed some of the backstories he envisioned for the help (as his collective project is simply entitled), fleshing out a hierarchy and romantic entanglements à la Downton Abbey, to visitors touring the grounds on a Wednesday night earlier this month.
The environmental commentary of Lucinda Linderman, which often entails repurposing found materials, takes the form of felted cartography that update the South Florida maps that Deering had commissioned and displayed in the north arcade. Her tactile variations depict the anticipated impact of sea level rise on the Vizcaya plot and surrounding region. Leaf through them yourself as the monthly series of enchanted evenings, Gardens by Moonlight, resumes on Wednesday, March 15, with bodypainting by Cynthia Fleischmann, and on April 12, artists and dancers will embody gods of fire in a collaboration with Tigertail. Pick up a portable exhibition guide and map so as not to overlook any interventions subtly embedded in the stately rooms, manicured paths and lush outskirts where the rockland hammock still grows wild.
Nicolas Lobo, A Sculpture to Shape the Body Underline at Brickell Ave Metrorail station
Native flora arranged in grand new planters greet commuters embarking on the Metrorail at Vizcaya and seven other stations along the line, among several temporary public art projects that herald the park springing up in the shadow of the raised tracks. The Underline, an urban trail that takes cues from New York City's acclaimed Highline, is a work in progress via a public-private partnership that will eventually revitalize the nearly 10-mile corridor with landscaped recreational facilities. To engage citizens in exploring the possibilities, four local artists were selected through a competitive process conducted by Art in Public Places, an internationally renowned program within the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding from a prestigious ArtPlace America Grant.
The projects were unveiled with fanfare at the official inauguration January 14, centered at the Brickell Station, where ballet dancers from New World School of the Arts steadied their steps at the barre built into the large sculpture inset with mirrored puzzle pieces by alumnus Naomi Fisher. Broadcasting an installment of her nomadic, multilingual online station from a 16-person bicycle turned into a mobile radio station, Agustina Woodgate interviewed experts on transportation, zoning and horticulture while pedaling with a rotating cast of riders along the future path of the Underline over the course of three days. CICLO is now archived as podcasts accessible on radioEE.net.
Still traveling the route is the exercise station Nicolas Lobo designed by configuring stainless-steel tubes, familiar as the ubiquitous rails that riders grip inside transit cars, to form a 10-by-10-foot cube that can rest on any of its six sides. A Sculpture to Shape the Body is reoriented with each move between stations, the last shift happening next Tuesday, February 28, with its relocation from Douglas Road to Vizcaya until March 11, when a fitness instructor will lead the ultimate activation from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The last living participants of this project are nestled in the aforementioned planters of Metro Flower Power, contours tailored by Bhakti Baxter to suit the vernacular aesthetic around each stop, until their April resettlement in the landscape just beyond the confines of those Metrorail stations.
Wednesday-Sunday, February 22-26
Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
4020 Virginia Beach Drive The 6th annual festival heralds homegrown art forms with a genre-blending lineup of local originals like Locos Por Juana, Uma Galera, Nag Champayons, Telekinetic Walrus and Cleaveland Jones as well as international gypsies FABI and upstate New Yorkers The Blind Spots and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub. With the Yo Miami collective producing Live Art! again, familiar street artists such as Buddah Funk, CONE and Trek 6 are creating and selling art onsite to benefit the Little Haiti Mural Project. Campers and visitors can still retreat to the Zen Village and Healing Arts Area for massages and yoga classes.
Catalina Garcia of Colombian fusion group Monsieur Perine performing at Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance photo by Vincent Roazzi Jr.
Still from Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
Wednesday, February 22, 7:30 p.m.
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise O Cinema Miami Shores
9806 N.E. 2nd Ave., Miami Shores The first documentary feature about Dr. Maya Angelou, best known for her 1969 autobiographical debut I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was in development for the American Masters series on PBS with her participation before she died in 2014 at age 86. Writ large on the big screen one night after the WPBT premiere, Angelou's own words and performances are framed by interviews with famous admirers like Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Cicely Tyson that attest to her enduring eloquence and influence. Rare archival images of intimate and historic moments trace the life story of a civil rights activist from her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her early career as a calypso dancer-singer, from her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her reading at President Bill Clinton's inauguration of the poem that inspired this film's emphatic title.
Thursday-Saturday, February 23-25
Red Bull Sound Select Presents: 3 Days in Miami The Hangar
1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami For the second annual edition of this music showcase, three guest curators – local promoters Poplife and YesJulz, as well as Canadian label Arts & Crafts – each helped the Red Bull artist development program put together a night of alternative, R&B and hip-hop acts: Thursday at 8 p.m. Charlotte Day Wilson and Bernice open for Angel Olsen; Friday at 9 p.m. Pell and Twelve'len precede Goldlink; and Saturday at 10 p.m. Harriet Brown and Brika warm up the crowd for Kelela.
Friday, February 24, 8 p.m.
Young Artist Initiative: Complements & Dichotomies 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach Young Artist Initiative partners with the #OnLincoln series to present installations and activations on the 7th Floor of the Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage and multi-use venue. More than 20 emerging designers and artists consider how aesthetic and functionality converge to create beauty.
Friday - Saturday, February 24-25
Miami Downtown Jazz Festival After breaking sound barriers across South Florida for more than 30 years, public radio station WDNA 88.9 FM is launching a jazz festival with a lineup of 200-plus musicians in almost 30 bands. Free concerts Friday are staggered from noon to 9 p.m. at Stephen P. Clark Government Center Plaza, HistoryMiami, Olympia Theater, Miami Dade College, Gesu Catholic Church and the Southeast Financial Center Plaza. On Saturday in Bayfront Park, complimentary jam sessions permeate Tina Hills Pavillion, building up from 11 a.m. to the ticketed main event in the amphitheater 6-11 p.m. starring NEA Jazz Masters Paquito D'Rivera and Hubert Laws, Chico Pinheiro, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque.
Saturday, February 25, 6-11 p.m.
FATVillage ArtWalk 500-545 N.W. First Ave., Fort Lauderdale Galleries, artists' studios and businesses display their creativity at this monthly block party where artisans and food trucks line up to sell handcrafted wares. Cocktails for Humanity at General Provision periodically pops up behind the bar of this atmospheric co-working space to stir libations for charitable causes, this time benefitting the youth educational programs of ArtServe. In CTRL at FATVillage Projects, co-directors Leah Brown and Peter Symons' annual exploration of technology spotlights work by a dozen artists chosen in collaboration with independent curator and fellow artist Samuel Lopez de Victoria.
Girls Club Collection designed by Margi Nothard of Glavovic Studio
Saturday, February 25, 6-9 p.m.
Pink Noise Closing Reception Girls' Club Collection
117 N.E. 2nd St., Fort Lauderdale A free shuttle connects the compact strips of FATVillage and the emerging MASS District to the area's nonprofit anchor where Francie Bishop Good spearheaded the first art walks by convincing neighboring artists to join her in opening their workspaces to the public. Nearly ten years have passed since architect Margi Nothard of nearby Glavovic Studio adapted the building to host unpredictable interdisciplinary programming, helmed by Creative Director Michelle Weinberg, and changing exhibitions of women's work that Good collects with husband David Horvitz. Entering a new phase of partnerships with institutions throughout South Florida, Girls' Club bids farewell to its glowing flagship with a last look at Pink Noise: Flexing the Frequency, curated by Gallery Director Sarah Michelle Rupert, and a first listen of fellow Tayina Deravile's interviews with local professionals about the mixed messages signaled by this symbolic shade. Visitors can take turns playing excerpts from Pink Noise: Perspectives at an audio station while Jen Clay animates a soft sculpture that has stolen the group show this season.
Thursday, March 2, 6-10 p.m.
ARTOPIA Coral Gables Museum
285 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables Miami New Times and Miracle Mile Downtown Coral Gables present the ninth annual extravaganza celebrating this city's top artists, musicians, fashion designers, culinary masters and mixologists. Eclectic entertainment includes musical performances, fashion shows, live performance art and announcement of The New Times MasterMind Awards, grants for enterprising local artists, writers, craftspeople and other creative innovators.
Cirenaica Moreira, No soy yo, es mi cuerpo el que recuerda (2003-2006); on view at Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami courtesy of Shelley and Donald Rubin Collection
Sunday, February 26, 12-4:30 p.m.
SocialMiami Arts Encounter: Cuban Art & Architecture Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami
1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables
Coral Gables Museum
285 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables SocialMiami and my independent tour company Arts Encounters are partnering to present a monthly series of curated cultural experiences, starting with an afternoon of Cuban art, architecture and cuisine. We invite readers and guests to gather at the Lowe Art Museum for an exploration of Unconscious Thoughts Animate the World: Selections from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection and Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity (opening Thursday). Dr. Victor Deupi, newly appointed president of the CINTAS Foundation that supports creators of Cuban descent, introduces Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections on the University of Miami campus where he teaches architectural history. Taste traditional dishes from the island nation at Habana Vieja en route to the Coral Gables Museum, where the Cuban-American professor guides us through another exhibition he co-curated, Cuban Architects at Home and in Exile: The Modernist Generation, on its last day. This enlightening excursion culminates in a survey of more than 100 works, Cuban Art in the 20th Century: Cultural Identity and the International Avant Garde. The $40 cover includes admission and guides at both museums (lunch paid separately). Please RSVP by Thursday, February 23, to email@example.com or call 305-989-0027.
Friday, March 3 at 9 p.m.
PULSE: Dance Music New World Center
500 17th St., Miami Beach DJ Le Spam and the Spam Allstars join Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre and the New World Symphony to create a late-night lounge atmosphere for a younger crowd to mingle, sip cocktails and watch videos projected behind the performers.
Richard Gere in Norman-The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (2016) opening the 34th Miami Film Festival
Friday, March 3 – Sunday, March 12
Miami Film Festival Presented by Miami Dade College at theaters downtown, on Miami Beach, in Little Havana and Coral Gables, 131 feature, documentary and short films hail from 40 countries, many in the Ibero-American realm. While the 34th edition honors Canada's film industry as the confederation turns 150, it remains committed to nurturing production in our backyard through screenings, discussions and a masterclass focused on Floridian conditions. The festivities open with a gala headlining Richard Gere in Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, taking an avant-garde turn the next night as Almodovar's muse Rossy de Palma plays pioneering correspondent Nellie Bly in Travelling Lady by Colombian artist Jessica Mitrani. Diverse women on both sides of the camera confront discrimination and stereotypes in a candid series of Google Talks at MDC Live Arts Lab.
Published on 2/11/2017
You've come a long way, Miami. Opportunities for cultural exposure were sparse in the '70s and '80s when I tagged along to intermittent exhibitions and theatrical productions with my parents and grandparents, who joined grassroots organizations galvanizing cultural development across Dade County. Enterprising art professionals and patrons nurtured a smattering of modest but dedicated cultural institutions that gradually sprouted throughout South Florida, planting the seeds for today's flourishing arts scene. Though often overlooked, this infrastructure was a key ingredient in the winsome brew of winter warmth, lively social venues and accessible contemporary art collections that lured Art Basel to Miami Beach at the turn of this century and continues to fuel its exponential growth.
The elaborate planning and intense jockeying for attention among fairs and exhibitions, pop-up showrooms and luxury launches, public dialogues and exclusive receptions that straddle the Intracoastal in the wake of Thanksgiving may be unmatched at any other time and place on the international art calendar. Yet an impressive array of overlapping events pose tough choices all year round, providing visual and mental stimulation even in the steamy summer months. The challenge of keeping up with what's new and next can seem as impossible as accepting every overture, especially as interconnectivity blurs personal and professional responsibilities, escalating demands on our free time and making savvy selectivity an essential skill.
A lifelong cultural consumer with an irrepressible intellectual curiosity, I have always sought out enlightening experiences and untold stories whether or not I had an appropriate venue to publish them. My antennae for intriguing events have been fine-tuned over decades of combing through listings and press releases from an ever-widening range of sources developed in my arts reporting.
With cloning and teleporting technology still beyond reach, I sometimes resort to virtual engagement, filtering invites and forwarding e-newsletters like SocialMiami's Art About Town to friends and family, students and colleagues, encouraging them to attend in my stead and fill me in afterward. Unsatisfied just spreading the word, I began curating Arts Encounters to connect more cultural enthusiasts to the creativity that makes South Florida one of today's most exciting areas to live and work.
Now I am inviting you all to join the circle of my Culture Compass, to open your minds and agendas to activities that might be unfamiliar at first but hold the potential to expand vistas by introducing people, ideas and pursuits that could enrich your life or spark interest among others in your realm, whether you follow my cues or pass them on. As an emissary of South Florida's arts community, I will report back on my most rewarding interactions, offering vicarious glimpses of happenings and personalities to keep you in the know even when you can't go. Subscribe at http://bit.ly/SoMiArts, follow @SocialMiami and @ArtsEncounters, sign up for a tour and send your own tips to Arts@SocialMiami.com!
Chelsea Rousso, Mermaid, 2016 fused glass wearable corset. courtesy of Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts.
Wednesday, February 8, 6-8:30 p.m. “A Touch of Glass” Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts
481 South Federal Highway, Dania Beach
Meet local artists like glassblower Brenna Baker of Hollywood Hot Glass, and learn about the different techniques behind their works in the Wiener collection with Dale Chihuly's masterpieces. As Rob Farnan demonstrates lampwork, sip wine amid models wearing glass corsets by Chelsea Rousso, who teaches initiates to fuse cold glass plates at a workshop onsite this Saturday.
Thursday, February 9, 7-9 p.m.
Emilio Sanchez in South Florida Collections Lowe Art Museum | University of Miami
1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables
The opening reception for this solo show (on view through May 21), the first public gathering of nearly four dozen works from private holdings, includes a gallery talk on the prolific Cuban-American artist by co-curators Drs. Victor Deupi and Nathan Timpano at 7:30 p.m.
Emilio Sanchez, Auto Glass Bronx Storefront late 1980s. courtesy of Rubin Collection.
Elisabeth Condon, Kayak watercolor courtesy of AIRIE and Emerson Dorsch Gallery.
Christina Pettersson, The Furies of the Swamp, 2016 Everglades National Park. performance still.
Friday, February 10 – Monday, February 20
Street Art for Mankind
7401 N.W. Miami Court, Little River
Initiating five annual exhibitions on five continents, this ambitious project aims to mobilize resistance to child labor and materialize the plight of enslaved youth by coating 16 shipping containers with a mural painted simultaneously by more than 30 internationally recognized artists. Connecting their imagery to form an “exquisite corse” repurposes the Surrealist game of chance to serve the greater cause of raising awareness and donations for the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation via admission fees, onsite concerts, graffiti workshops, and a live auction Monday, February 20, 6-10 p.m.
Friday, February 10, 6-9 p.m.
Elisabeth Condon: Unnatural Life Emerson Dorsch Gallery
5900 N.W. 2nd Avenue, Little Haiti
After months of retrofitting a property in Little Haiti's emerging arts district, Wynwood pioneer Brook Dorsch and curator Tyler Emerson-Dorsch reopen their gallery with Elisabeth Condon's solo show of environmental mirages awash in swirls of abstract color (through March 31).
Saturday, February 11, 3-6 p.m.
AIRIE Annual Benefit – Feathering Our Nest Artists In Residence In the Everglades
The Kampong, 4013 Douglas Road, Coconut Grove
Since 2001, Artists In Residence In the Everglades has immersed 144 artists, writers and composers in North America's only subtropical wilderness. AIRIE's annual benefit presents work by 15 alumni at the landmark estate where David Fairchild presided over formative meetings of the Tropical Everglades Park Association. Mark Dion conjures Fairchild's experiments in the Kampong Laboratory, leading tours of his installation while Christina Pettersson casts the horticultural hero in a Greek tragedy akin to The Furies of the Swamp, staged on Long Pine Key last spring as part of the "Wild Culture” series. Proceeds support programming and remodeling AIRIE Nest, the first contemporary art gallery run by one of the National Park Service's more than 50 Artists-in-Residence Programs
Sunday, February 12, 4-7 p.m.
for all boat people Under the Bridge
12425 N.E. 13th Avenue #4, North Miami
Gina Cunningham, for all boat people, 2017 installation at Under the Bridge.
The reception for Gina Cunningham's homage to marginalized populations features immigrants performing choreography by Colleen Farnhum in the courtyard of Bridge Red Studios at 6:15 p.m. Cunningham encourages guests to add small offerings to her multimedia installation, curated by Jane Hart inside the nonprofit space run by artist Lou Anne Colodny.
Wednesday, February 15, 6:30 – 8 p.m. www.YoungArts.org
YoungArts Salon Series: Discovery + Emerging Talent
National YoungArts Foundation
2100 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami
Gain insight into the music industry from Bruno del Granado, director of Creative Artists Agency's Miami branch, and Arthur Baker, producer of New Order and Afrika Bambaataa among many other top acts. Victoria Canal, 2015 YoungArts Winner in Voice, moderates a conversation about discovering talent, developing artists, and making it big.
Thursday - Monday, February 16 – 20 Art Wynwood
3001 N.E. 1st Avenue, Midtown
Bearing the imprint of its prestigious parent, Art Miami, this more accessible and intimate fair combines high-quality modern and contemporary art from 50-plus galleries with a focus on street art. The sixth edition honors Shepard Fairey for his powerful, popular graphic messages and spotlights Cuban art with a curated exhibition of 20th-century masters and 21st-century standouts.
Saturday - Monday, February 18 – 20 Coconut Grove Arts Festival
2700 S. Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove
Miami's original multi-day art showcase since 1963 has stretched to nearly a mile of outdoor booths for 360 artists and craftsmen, including a mentoring program for emerging talent, and broadened to encompass a stellar lineup of performing and culinary artists.