Miami-Dade museums aiming to bring back the buzz
Local cultural arts museums and institutions are pushing forward and recreating art experiences that the pandemic voided.
Safety of the community and staff being a priority, art galleries at most museums are open, bringing back the buzz on Miami-Dade’s promising trajectory of establishing itself as one of the world’s top contemporary arts destinations.
“The health and safety of our community and staff remain our main priority. Our galleries are open with strict indoor mask policies in place, and we will continue to adhere to proper protocol guidelines from public officials going forward,” said Alex Gartenfeld, artistic director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA, Miami).
One of ICA, Miami’s key initiatives is its free admissions policy, which is central to the overall mission to make contemporary art and ideas accessible to a diverse public, Mr. Gartenfeld said.
“While we rely less on box office revenues than other cultural institutions, our team is working tirelessly to ensure the ongoing sustainability of our funding sources amidst these uncertain times,” he added. “As part of the contactless experience at ICA Miami, we continue to encourage visitors to book advance tickets on our website.
Being committed to experimentation means, the contemporary art institution at 61 NE 41st St. is always looking for new, thoughtful and accessible ways to present great contemporary art, Mr. Gartenfeld said.
“In times of social isolation and change, our artistic mission takes on even greater importance. We have created robust digital learning platforms including online classes and lectures for students of all ages, and commissioned new digital artworks to sustain local artists and audiences alike,” he said.
Visitors can check out ICA, Miami’s current exhibitions including “Dalton Gata: The Way We’ll Be,” which is the first solo museum presentation for Puerto Rico-based artist Dalton Gata, featuring a personal archive of images exploring queer and popular culture as well as psychological and mythical symbols, and media art and filmmaker Isaac Julien’s audiovisual installation, documentary and photograph installation that explores Black and queer histories and identities.
Over at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) at 770 NE 125th St., curators and staff are bringing groundbreaking exhibitions to the community for education, inspiration and healing, said Chana Sheldon, the museum’s executive director.
But at the same time, the health and safety of MOCA’s visitors and staff remain the museum’s top priority, she said. “To comfortably welcome guests back to the museum and our museum shop, we continue to enforce increased cleaning protocols and the wearing of masks inside the institution. We also designed our exhibition layouts to allow for appropriate social distancing and are following all CDC guidelines.”
Guests can currently visit the exhibition “Michael Richards: Are You Down?” the first large-scale retrospective of the work of Michael Richards. Co-curated by Alex Fialho and Melissa Levin, the retrospective speaks poetically and provocatively to the present contemporary moment through the Afro- Caribbean artist’s extensive sculptures and drawings, which reflect on issues of racial inequity, systemic oppression and diasporic identity.
MOCA Plaza is going strong with the unveiling of a monumental sculpture by Najja Moon, Ms. Sheldon said. With the support from the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency, “Art on the Plaza” has provided opportunities for local artists to deliver art in public spaces that can be accessed by tons of passersby.
“We are also actively working on a major exhibition of the Polish-born artist Maryan to debut in November to coincide with Miami Art Week,” Ms. Sheldon added.