Museums plan to link with Art Miami and Art Basel
Written by Rebecca San Juan on November 27, 2018
Most museums are planning special events and exhibits in conjunction with Art Miami and Art Basel.
Art Miami launches its First View VIP Preview at 1 Herald Plaza Dec. 4-9. Art Basel starts later that week in Miami Beach, from Dec. 6-9.
Exhibits and events are happening off the grid in a variety of museums across Miami-Dade County. One museum close to the action is Florida International University’s Jewish Museum of Florida at 301 Washington Ave.
Susan Gladstone, the executive director of the museum, hopes the Dec. 9 morning event at the location the annual Basel, Lox and Cream Cheese draws in large numbers.
“We have always had exhibitions up during Art Basel but this is the first year that we targeted them,” she said. “We created a new gallery in the past year; we created three distinct exhibitions targeted at the Art Basel crowd. I am anticipating having more people than ever this year.”
She expects Daniel Chimowit’s Walking Canvases to draw in a large Instagram crowd since she already sees a younger demographic flooding through the doors.
A venue across from the Art Miami location, the Pérez Art Museum Miami at 1103 Biscayne Blvd., has a lineup of two new exhibits, a speaking engagement sure to draw large crowds, and a party. The museum will open Portuguese artist’s Pedro Neves Marques’s AMordida, imagining the relationship between mosquitos and sexuality through bio-fiction, along with a kinetic light show highlighting current political issues, American Echo Chamber by Peruvian artist José Carlos Martinant.
Artist Christo Vladmirov Javacheff will be making an appearance Dec. 4. He and his wife Jeanne-Claude are the masterminds behind the 1980s project Surrounded Islands, during which the duo covered many smaller islands on Biscayne Bay with bright pink fabric.
PAMM Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander said he expects about 10,000 people to attend his museum during that week. He expects the return of the Surrounded Islands and its creator to draw large crowds: “People come out for him. We had about 3,000 come to the opening [exhibit in October]. We expect many people will come to hear him speak or see the show. I think that will be a draw as well.”
A lot of thought goes into preparing for Art Miami and Art Basel, says Mr. Ostrander. His team has selected exhibits, such as by Jamaican artist Ebony G. Patterson, that focus on local and national discussion touching upon politics and race for international audiences.
He said, “It’s for them to see how this is a local conversation and international art that we show to make that point”
Chana Budgazad is planning for Art Basel crowds for the first time at Museum of Contemporary Art as its new executive director. She said she believes upcoming African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists, or AfriCOBRA, exhibit will bring in outsiders and locals alike. The museum celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Chicago-based collective. Seven of the 10 artists that contributed aesthetics and visuals of the black arts movement in the 1960s will be attending the opening celebrating Dec. 6 at 770 NE 125th St.
Ms. Budgazad said, “So much of what we’re trying to do is connecting conversations in the global art conversation with issues that are at the heart of our community. I think that the show is able to do both of those things.”
HistoryMiami Museum Marketing Director Michele Reese said she expects over 1,000 visitors over the span of four days. Her museum, like other institutions, is taking advantage of the visitor numbers.
Ms. Reese said, “It is an opportunity for Miami’s cultural institutions to highlight what they do to an audience that is international and loves art and culture.”
HistoryMiami at 101 W Flagler St. will host street photography collected from its three competitions – International Photo Series, Miami Photo Series, and the Miami Street Photo Competition. Photographers’ submission fees, ranging from $20 to $75, pay the bill for activities spanning four days, including flying in and hosting master class speakers.
Another venue organizing events is the Lowe Art Museum at 1301 Stanford Dr. Director and Chief Curator Jill Deupi is offering Baseling with the Lowe, different scheduled events throughout the week including after-hours showings and free guided tours. She expects over 300 guests for the Lowe After Hours on Dec. 6 as well as Bubbles and Brunch on Dec. 9 hosting Hank Willis Thomas for the Arnold and Augusta Newman Lecture Series.
Dr. Deupi notes that her team is investing more for the upcoming events. She writes by email, “I will say that we have invested significantly more in programming and marketing for Art Week compared to other seasons. I should also note that we have received tremendous support from our very generous sponsors and patrons, who have made our week of Baseling with the Lowe possible.”
Visitors to the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University can gaze at exhibits Writing on the Wall by Hank Willis Thomas and Dr. Baz Dreisinger as well as Relational Undercurrents, representing artists from all over the Caribbean. The museum’s signature event, Breakfast in the Park, is held the last day of citywide festivities, Dec. 9.
Jordana Pomeroy said she expects about 500 to 600 guests that morning with 630 reservations thus far to see marble sculptures by Elizabeth Turk. Dr. Pomeroy said, “We do want people to sign in because we want to attract them back. We like to get their email information, for example, and keep them interested in what we’re doing.”
She hopes the majority will be locals who revisit the event or attend for the first time and look forward to their return.
“We have a lot of repeat visitors, so that’s an indicator that we are doing a great job,” Dr. Pomeroy said. “I think success is going to be that somebody comes to that event and then picks up our literature, gets our email blast, and wants to come back. Repeat visits is what I am after. That is our life’s blood. Somebody becoming a member of the museum is a big success.”
Museums like MDC Museum of Art and Design at 600 Biscayne Blvd. are not participating in the frenzy of Art Miami and Art Basel. The museum will continue to host the William Kentridge “More Sweetly Play the Dance” throughout December. Executive Director and Chief Curator Rina Carvajal said, “This is our offer to the city. The quality of the exhibition stays the same throughout the year. We do not change because of Art Basel.”
Although her team is not planning any special occasion for that time, Ms. Carvajal said, “Art Basel is great for Miami because it brings a lot of museum directors, galleries, collectors. They become aware of what we are producing in the city and what artists are doing here.”
Mr. Ostrander of PAMM said he believes early December is the time to show visitors that Miami is a cultural center: “We think about Miami outward and we hope that people coming here can see that reflected in what we’re showing.”