Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Miami's Art Scene Is HOT!

With several major international festivals a year, entire neighborhoods revitalizing, thanks to art communities, and galleries featuring ever-changing exhibitions of the best in contemporary art, Miami has become a serious player in the global art world.

Although Art Basel Miami Beach, an offshoot of the Art Basel festival in Switzerland, gave Miami art a much needed PR boost with its arrival in 2002, artists have been quietly reinventing Miami for decades.

The now-famous Wynwood Art District started as long ago as 1986 with the Bakehouse Art Complex project, which provided for artists' space inside an old bakery building. As artists started moving into other buildings, the District decided formally to unite in 2003, and today has more than 70 galleries. Every second Saturday of the month, a community-wide Art Walk affords visitors a chance to peek into a variety of galleries in one evening.

Another long-time pillar of the art community in Miami is Brazilian native Romero Britto. Britto, whose paintings and sculptures are featured on five continents, in more than 100 galleries, has been a fixture in Miami for 18 years. Besides his Lincoln Road gallery, Britto has a studio in the Design District and many works visible all over town, including on the sides of buildings.

Besides the wonderful Art Basel Miami Beach festival held each December, with more than 220 leading art galleries showing works from more than 2,000 artists, Miami abounds with other festivals during the season. The same weekend as Art Basel, Art Miami showcases still more art in the mid-town Miami area, home to MiMo (Miami Modern) architecture in the 1950s and 60s, including the historic Bacardi headquarters, seen here. In Coral Gables, the Beaux Arts Festival, on the campus of the University of Miami, is in its 59th year. The world-renowned Coconut Grove Arts Festival has been beautifying "The Grove" for 45 years! 

Miami has several great art museums as well: the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum and the Wolfsonian, both at Florida International University; the Bass Museum on Miami Beach; the Lowe at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, the Miami Art Museum downtown (soon to relocate to a new state of the art building)and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami. MOCA was recently written up in the UK Telegraph as "one of the most exciting art museums in America."

Thanks to fantastic art museums, galleries and events, the rest of the world is finally discovering that there's more to look at in Miami than the beautiful beaches!

No comments:

Post a Comment