How to get in the Spirit of Art Week 2020

By Danié Gómez-Ortigoza

December 2, 2020

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Art Week is finally here, and it couldn’t feel less like Art Week. What used to be the busiest week of the year where there were always a million opportunities to meet incredible humans, has morphed into a week of zooms which I refuse to attend. I miss the serendipitous feeling of expecting the unexpected; of those nights that ended always differently than what I had planned.

And yet I refuse to let it pass unnoticed, like everything has this year; I have this awful nostalgia for all that won’t be anymore, and the only way to shift the emptiness it creates, is by focusing on new memories. Of course Covid is real, so I would never expose myself to extra risks, but I do need art, and the magic portal it creates, so here are my suggestions for this year in case you are feeling the same way. Most of these suggestions come from a great resource created by Commissioner, an art membership program I’m a part of, which you can find here.

My plan is to divide my days by zones. First I will get lost in the Design District where there are multiple installations going on, stop by Locust Projects, where Mette Tommerup is doing a special performance,  and visit as many spaces as I can. There are lots of things going on this year, and if you subscribe to their newsletter, you will know what they are up to everyday. Here are the things I’m planning to visit, but I will share what I find interesting along the way on my instagram. For now, make sure you attend the following:

DESIGN DISTRICT

Design Miami : Timed tickets Against all odds, this is the only big event happening this year. It’s located at the Moore building, which is one of my favorite spaces in the city. The fact that entry is timed, makes it friendly enough to visit.

2020 Design Commission Presents ‘Conscious Actions’ by gt2P
140 NE 39th St., Miami Noon-6PM | Exhibition 

Combined Strength: Four Decades of Miami-based Women, curated by Kathryn Mikesell at Minotti.  Artists include Nereida Garcia Ferraz, GeoVanna Gonzalez, Najja Moon, Christina Pettersson, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Nina Surel and Juana Valdes. Minotti 3801 NE Second Ave., Miami Free with RSVP  Masks required, timed entry 

R & Company and Cultured Magazine present Full House 140 NE 39th St., Suite 105, Miami Free and open to the public  Hours: Wed.-Sun., 11AM-5PM or by appointment. On view through Dec. 31

If you are hanging out in Palm Court, do stop by Ximena Kavaleka’s new store. She’s a good friend of mine. Right next to her store is Bossa Concept, owned by two incredible Brazilians with exceptional brand curation skills.

MIAMI BEACH

Now, let’s go to Miami Beach, where everything used to happen before, but given that the big events such as Art Basel, Untitled, and Art Miami moved to purely digital experiences this year, it will be more quiet. But there are still a couple of things to be excited about, such as Showfields, a mix between art and retail. I will actually do a live-stream from their website on Thursday to show you what the space looks like. Here are other great experiences I want to be a part of.

Miami New Drama presents 7 Deadly Sins 7:30 PM | Outdoor Theatrical Experience
Nationally recognized, award-winning playwrights Hilary Bettis, Nilo Cruz, Moisés Kaufman, Rogelio Martinez, Dael Orlandersmith, Carmen Pelaez and Aurin Squire will premiere seven newly commissioned short plays, each focused on one deadly sin: Lust, Greed, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Gluttony and Pride. 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.  Tickets start at $60 On view through Jan. 3

Dreaming with Lions by Alexandre Arrechea is located at Faena Art, and it’s a beach installation, which makes it friendly enough for everyone. To see it, go to 32nd Street Beachfront, Miami Beach, open to the public, 2:30-6PM. On view through Dec. 6

Oolite Arts is presenting  Idioms and Taxonomies,  where one of my favorite Miami based artists, Jen Clay is presenting her work. I own one of her incredible creatures, and it’s the piece I love the most in my small collection. While you are there, don’t miss Oolite Arts’ new gift shop, featuring: Zines by Saudade County Press, a publishing collective with Monica Sorelle. Stop by The Bass Museum, and enjoy the outdoor sculpture garden. 

If you are already in the beach, stop by Artech House, where incredible digital installations take place every year. You need to reserve your tickets before going, but I promise you won’t be disappointed.

About 15 minutes away from Artech House by car, is MOCA,  a very special museum of contemporary art with great curations. I truly recommend you visit Raul de Nieve’s exhibition ‘Eternal Return and the Obsidian Heart’. Remember the carrousel that last year was placed at Faena? Imagine a full museum presenting his work. To step into this exhibition is to enter into an awareness of the multiplicity of time. Plus he is Mexican 🙂

I’m also intrigued by Emmett Moore’s exhibition: The Boat House from 11AM-5PM. The exact location is given upon RSVP, but we know it is somewhere in Spring Gardens (which is close to Wynwood) Nov. 30-Dec. 6., 11AM-5PM By appointment only

Little Haiti

The last part of my art week journey will probably be spent in Little Haiti, where incredible galleries such as Spinello Projects, probably the most important gallery in the city, Nina Johnson’s Gallery a pillar of the city, and Primary Projects, who will be presenting work by artist Wade Tullier. On December 6th I will be at Collective 62 from 11am to 3pm. This space was created by Nina Surel, a very special artist and a great friend who has inspired me to continue pursuing my artistic journey. I did a Braiding Ceremony at her space a couple of months ago, braiding the 10 artists currently on view. The name of the exhibition is Collective Thread. Would love to see you there.  

Last, but not least, I’m curious about the A.I.M. Biennial presents site specific installations created by local artists responding to the historically layered landscapes, landmarks, architecture, and communities of South Florida during Miami Art Week 2020. As part of the A.I.M. Biennial, artist and YoungArts alumnus James Allister Sprang presents Aquifer of the Spirit.  Aquifers are underground systems of porous rock that purify and cleanse our water. Did you know that Miami is home to the largest Aquifer in the United States? Taking this as inspiration, Aquifer of the Spirit is a 10-minute sound work by James Allister Sprang, meant to cleanse its listeners while they listen using headphones. This work is a device for meditation and an invitation to listen deeply. Aquifer of the Spirit is accessible via discrete QR codes throughout the Design District, Little Haiti, Midtown, Brickell and Edgewater.

Enjoy the week if it’s possible for you health-wise. Don’t forget to visit the Rubell Museum, my favorite museum in the city.  Wash your hands often, and obviously wear a mask. It’s up to all of us to prove that life can go on because we can do this without taking extra risks.

Happy Art Week,

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