‘Global/Borderless Caribbean XII: Focus Miami’ to celebrate the arts
Luis Cruz Azaceta’s “Shifting States,” featuring acrylic, charcoal and white pencil on canvas, will be part of the exhibit. (Photo courtesy of Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance)
This time of year, Miami typically welcomes art lovers from around the world. However, because of the pandemic, major art fairs and exhibits such as Art Basel have been canceled.
Still, all hope is not lost. Over the past three months, some museums have reopened to the public and the arts have been making something of a comeback. Within this panorama, the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance (HCAA) is offering “Global/Borderless Caribbean XII: Focus Miami,” a series of exhibitions at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex.
From Dec. 4 through Feb. 28, artists from Miami and the Caribbean will show their works with large-scale, outdoor exhibits as well as through virtual programming.
“We are celebrating 12 years of the ‘Global Caribbean’ series this year, and it will be done on the exterior walls of the Cultural Complex,” said Edouard Duval-Carrié, the renowned Haitian-American visual artist who is the HCAA’s executive director. “We are going to cover the whole building with paintings. With material that will last for at least a year, we will present things in a way that hasn’t been done yet, I hope.”
Among the art displays will be “Local Global,” a gallery exhibit curated by Marie Vickles. The curator-in-residence at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex sees “Local Global” as a celebration of Miami and Miami artists of the African Diaspora, representing the multiplicity of histories, nationalities and ethnicities that define the region and connect it to the Caribbean.
“Many times in Miami, we probably don’t feel as special as we should. Because of COVID-19, we had to think more closely about the local,” she said. “The local has always been a strong focus at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, but this year makes it extra-special because the local is the most special thing you can highlight as a curator, a gallerist and an art community.”
Though it has had a longstanding partnership with the famed Art Basel fair since the beginning, organizers clarify that the “Global/Borderless Caribbean” series is an independent project.
The exhibits will be on-site, with the requirement of facial coverings and social distancing. However, there will also be free virtual programs – including workshops, lectures, fashions shows, live music and more – for people who don’t feel ready to attend physically or those who cannot travel, Vickles said.
“There are many ways to engage with the program, either physically or virtually. People can expect to be introduced to new artists that perhaps they are not aware of, connect to established artists of the African Diaspora they may not know have a local connection to Miami,” she said.
Participating artists include Tessa Mars, Joscelyn Gardner, Carl Juste, Sandro Garcia, Vickie Pierre, Francisco Maso, Vanessa Charlot, Yanira Collado, Marcus Blake, Charo Oquet and Asser Saint-Val.
Auxiliary programming on the campus and neighboring vicinity of the Little Haiti Cultural Complex will be provided by arts organizations IPC ArtSpace and Art Beat Miami. IPC ArtSpace, curated by Carl Juste, seeks to nurture connections and intersections between Haitian and Latin American artists and their communities. Meanwhile, Art Beat Miami is an annual satellite art fair presented by Little Haiti Optimist Club and Welcome to Little Haiti.
Organizers said the 2020 event is dedicated to the memory of Nigerian curator Bisi Silva, whose lifework and words are the inspiration for the “Local Global” exhibition.
Celebrating the arts during this time is important because “it speaks to everything we are going through, especially at this moment,” Vickles said. “It can help us work out all these issues that we face as humans interacting with one another, whether at an internal level, at a community level, or a political level.”
“Art is essential,” added Duval-Carrié. “As human beings, one of our common denominators is that we love and do art.”
WHAT: “Global/Borderless Caribbean XII: Focus Miami”
WHEN: On display from Dec. 4 through Feb. 28
WHERE: Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami; visitors to the physical location must RSVP at bit.ly/littlehaitiartweek.