Art of Black Miami showcases neighborhoods at this year’s art week
Philippe Dodard, Dimensional Flow, Art of Transformation exhibit, Opa-locka. (Photo courtesy of Art of Transformation and the artist)
While Art of Black Miami is a year-round showcase of visual arts and artists, it’s become an integral part of Miami Art Week.
Launched in 2014 by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) as an ongoing platform for local artists, Art of Black Miami’s art week offerings are plentiful and varied.
“We’re excited because there are a lot of things happening in this cultural space,” says Connie Kinnard, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Senior Vice President, Multicultural Tourism & Development Department. “We powered this marketing program that highlights our art and . . . particularly those artists within the Black Diaspora.”
Kinnard pointed out that there are many sites to visit, including those that aren’t necessarily known for being an art destination.
“We want to encourage people that are coming in to visit to also get out and experience all of our neighborhoods,” said Kinnard. “Our destination is culturally diverse and we know that Black artists in the diaspora are a big part of Miami Dade. We want visitors to be aware of all of the talent that we have in our communities.”
Here’s a sample of some of the upcoming events and the neighborhoods spotlighted.
“Le Art Noir, Diversity in Color” will be hosting an evening of art, fashion and entertainment on Thursday, Dec. 1 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center.
“This is our second year and we are coming in bigger and better,” says spokesperson Randi B. Berger. “We have extended the amount of diverse artists that we have this year. We’ve also gone into a lot more of 3D and digital NFTs.”
The all-encompassing event will expand beyond traditional art mediums.
“We will be having cutting-edge fashion and a celebration of music. We’re doing a lot of pop culture and we’re doing issues that are very poignant. In today’s society, we’re giving a voice to those that typically could not be heard.”
WHAT: “Le Art Noir, Diversity in Color”
WHERE: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave.
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 to 10 p.m.
Hampton Art Lovers is hosting The Point Comfort Art Fair + Show at the Historic Ward Rooming House and Gardens in Overtown. Their goal is to not only promote local art, but to also provide a meeting space for conversation and music.
“We have a multi-dimensional fair where we have something called our Indaba Lounge Series which is a series of our talks that we produce. We also have our nighttime events,” says Chris Norwood, co-founder of Hampton Art Lovers.
He hopes that visitors will stop by and see what’s in store.
“If you want to see black art, come to a historic black community,” said Norwood. “We are providing a place where African-Americans and anybody can come and experience black culture in a way that is digestible during the largest cultural event in North America.
Norwood said that their event is a great way to purchase authentic African-American art even if you’re on a tight budget.
“We sell art at every price point,” he says. “Everybody can leave there with something if they want. And that’s very important to us. ”
WHAT: The Point Comfort Art Fair + Show
WHEN: Various events through Sunday Dec. 4
WHERE: Historic Ward Rooming House, 249 N.W. 9th St.
The “Art of Transformation” is a two-block event in Opa-locka featuring a dance performance, film screening, panel discussion and three art exhibits.
Tumelo Mosaka said that the event stems from continuously engaging artists and the community.
“I’ve been doing an exhibition in Opa-locka almost every other year, looking at artists from the continent and the diaspora and bringing them here to create first-class exhibitions. And now this is a larger manifestation of the interventions we’ve been doing.”
The individual shows highlight different aspects of the African diaspora.
Mosaka, who is overseeing all of the exhibits, is also the curator for “This Here Place: Africa and the Global Diaspora.” which features six international artists from the Opa-locka Development Corporation collection.
The remaining two exhibits will be held nearby.
“We invited an organization that has worked with Haitian artists to bring their conversation into the mix in terms of thinking about how the Caribbean diaspora engages in the emotions about identity and representation,” said Mosaka. “They will be presenting an exhibition that’s trying to trace the artistic language of Haitian artists who have lived both in Haiti and in the diaspora in terms of thinking about what has been the vocabulary and the language of thinking about representation by Haitian artists. That exhibition is called “A Beautiful Human Love.”
“The other one called “AfriKin Art 2022: The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born.” is an exhibition that is looking primarily at emerging artists out of the diaspora and thinking about this moment of recognition, this moment of thinking about what the future holds: Have we really arrived or are we still struggling?
“It’s a very interesting conversation that each exhibition brings and so we hope to continue bringing exciting things and putting Opa-locka on the map in terms of really offering the best that there is to offer with what we’ve got.”
WHAT: The Art of Transformation
WHEN: Various Events Through Sunday Dec. 4
WHERE: Ali Baba Ave., between Opa-locka Blvd. and Aladdin St.
Bring the family out to a day of festivities at the 10th Annual Umbrellas of Little Havana Art Festival. Held in partnership with the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, the event will feature a variety of art displays along with an impressive array of hand-painted patio umbrellas by local artists. This year visitors will have the opportunity to view 25 new designs.
WHAT: 10th Annual Umbrellas of Little Havana Art Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 2 to 4
WHERE: Futurama 1637 SW 8 St.
According to Kinnard, the events provide the perfect opportunity to purchase art while supporting the arts community.
“We want visitors to come in and be aware of all of the talent that we have.
She said that everyone can participate.
“I think there are times where people look at art in itself and think it’s an elite situation but it is for anybody. There are no barriers.”