MOCA Exhibition serves as an exciting opening to the new Arts Season

Written By Jean Blackwell Font
September 24, 2019 at 7:51 AM

On Thursday, September 12, 2019 the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) opened their newest exhibition, the South Florida Cultural Consortium Exhibition. This is an annual show that presents works by carefully selected artists from across South Florida. It seems all of Miami was on hand to enjoy the opening and experience this annual start to the visual arts season in South Florida.

The evening included the exhibition as well as opportunities to meet with the artists, who were present to discuss their work with the visitors. There was a great party with live music in the courtyard and the entire evening was filled with art, conversation, and community.

The show highlights artists selected for the 2019 South Florida Cultural Consortium (SFCC) Fellowship Program, one that offers “the largest regional, government-sponsored artists’ grants in the United States” and has awarded more than $4 million to over 300 artists based in the South Florida region since 1988. ( This year’s exhibition was curated by Florida International University Frost Museum’s Chief Curator Amy Galpin and features works from 13 artists from across five South Florida counties, including Miami-Dade, Martin, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The artists selected for this year’s award were Nellie Appleby, Felecia Chizuko Carlisle, Domingo Castillo, Jen Clay, Reginald O’Neal, Edison Peñafiel, Sebastian Ruiz, Jamilah Sabur, Katrina Sarah, Vivien Segel, Misael Soto, Amber Tutwiler and Agustina Woodgate.

MOCA was filled with so many members of our vibrant arts community for the opening event, among the first of the season. In what felt more like a homecoming, guests spent the evening in conversation with artists and community leaders who showed up to celebrate the work of the new fellowship members. Scattered among the oversized soft sculptures hanging from the ceiling in one of the main galleries, you found community leaders, artists, curators, collectors, educators, and arts enthusiasts enthralled by the diverse and exciting works of art.

In a press release after the event, MOCA shared a list of key guests in attendance, including “MOCA Executive Director Chana Sheldon, MOCA Chairman William Lehman Jr. and his wife, Shirley Lehman, MOCA’s Board of Trustees Clark Reynolds, Marc Napolitano and Ruby Moise, Vice Mayor Carol Keys, the Green Family Foundation’s Executive Director Mireille Louis Charles, Kathryn Mikesell, Gary Ressler, Suzanne Delehanty, Perez Art Museum Curator Rene Morales, Art in Public Places Curator Amanda Sanfilippo and Rosie Gordon Wallace.” In fact, everywhere you turned, there were important members of South Florida’s arts community present from every corner of the region. Broward Cultural Division’s new Director Phillip Dunlap was there to celebrate the work of two Broward County resident artists, FIU’s Christopher Barake was there in support of Miami’s contributors. Members of so many cultural institutions were present, and of course the Arts & Business Council of Miami was there to show support for our community as well.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has a mission to make contemporary art accessible to diverse audiences and is the perfect venue for an exhibition that brings together diverse artists practicing in so many different mediums and styles. There is something for everyone here, including works on paper, a video installation that fills one entire gallery space, large works on canvas, and even giant soft sculptures that look like fantastic, imaginary creatures.

Also on view at MOCA is Collection Focus: Works on Paper from the 1960s – 1980s, curated by Elizabeth Shannon, Ph.D., the first in a series of new explorations of MOCA’s permanent collection. South Florida Cultural Consortium Exhibition and Collection Focus: Works on Paper from the 1960s – 1980s, accompanied by public programming, will be on view at MOCA through Oct. 20, 2019. They are located at 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami, FL 33161. General Admission is $10.00; $3.00 for students and seniors. Check the website for details,

For South Florida-based visual artists interested in applying for the 2020 SFCC, applications are now open until October 28, 2019. Visit to learn more about this important grant and find out if you qualify.

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