Creative curators thrive in Miami. It's especially clear now that our delightfully pleasant (when it isn't chilly and rainy!) winter is here.
Miami curators can create a compelling theme and story to lure the curiosity of people looking at an art exhibit in a museum, gallery, private collection, or art fair. As curators, they select art and artists to illustrate related aspects of that story, in all its intriguing variety. Smart curators find stories to tell with art and imagery that linger long in our minds, perhaps like a wonderful dream or a favorite poem or song.
By looking at promising exhibits developed by Miami curators, we see that it's the season for culture to sparkle like stars on crystal-clear Miami nights, especially during our balmy winters when late summer's humid haziness has finally lifted.
"We wanted to know who we were and how do we relate to each other," reflects independent curator and artist Gean Moreno. He thinks that exhibitions, especially those curated by Rene Morales and Ruba Katrib, have answered those questions. "Now we want to know," he explains as he looks forward, "how do we stand together in a globalized world?"
In Miami, Moreno investigates the local community and the world at large, noting how they intermingle. There's a grandly "glocal" spectrum of talent in the city. For Dennis and Debra Scholl collection, at World Class Boxing in Wynwood Arts District, he's curated "Drawn and Quartered." It offers an engaging look at photographs from this outstanding collection. Reflecting its international focus and sweep, artists in this exhibit range from Thomas Demand to Cindy Sherman.
Recently I had a special opportunity to appreciate our city's international focus, as well as the crystalline winter skies of Miami. This was when the city's skyline sparkled like so many outrageous jewels during a gorgeous December sunset, from the vantage point of a Miami Beach balcony overlooking downtown Miami. It was a truly breathtaking view. I was invited to gather there with several of my wonderful artcentric friends to celebrate the approval of a sure-to-be iconic public artwork for Miami Beach: "Lighthouse" by internationally famed artist Tobias Rehberger for South Pointe Park.
As many of us sipped Champagne and I downed a couple of White Russians, one of my very fave sweet cocktails, we applauded how our art community had come together to advocate for the approval of this superbly-sited public artwork. Yes, Miami is more than coming of age as an international city for internationally-known art and artists. I am hoping we can all gather again to celebrate when this project is completed next year.
As I looked out over the city, I noticed so many landmarks, especially the building for The Miami Herald, where I worked so hard for so many years. I could hardly read the name on the building though I could see its signage in blue lights twinkling faintly. But that all belongs to my past, and there is still so much to anticipate in Miami's future.
Then my eyes looked for another landmark, a real beacon for the future, that I am proud to play some small role in as this Miami institution plans for our city's future. I no longer work for the Herald; now I work for Miami Dade College. Of course I was looking for the historic Freedom Tower of MDC.
It was the venue for yet another sparkling curatorial effort this December in Miami: the smART exhibit, organized with impressive leadership by Host Committee Chair Solita Mishaan. This exhibit, with carefully chosen art for sale, and gala opening raised more than $5 million for student scholarships! I understand that this amount is historic and truly raises the bar for what can happen in our still young but ever-evolving city.
The smART exhibit brought together work by 86 artists from 8 countries in our hemisphere, and offered 131 artworks for sale. By contributing in this dazzling way to the American Dream Scholarship fund, these artful efforts from MDC will surely make our city sparkle for years to come!