MIAMI: Revolving door or doorways to opportunity? – Winter – 2015
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REVOLVING DOOR OR
DOORWAYS TO OPPORTUNITY?
While some call the city’s evolving identity a revolving door, museum directors see doorways to robust opportunity when describing their institutions’ identity and goals.
“With a world-class collection comprising nearly 19,000 objects and spanning some 5,000 years of history, the Lowe is a vital resource in Miami and beyond. We’ll inject our holdings with new relevance by connecting our encyclopedic collection to contemporary art and culture--such as ‘1 + 2: Colección Jumex in Dialogue with the Lowe Art Museum.’
“I’m excited by engaging contemporary and emerging artists to create new works in response to our holdings. Harnessing technology to further our mission is another goal: incorporating digital technology in galleries to enhance learning and exploring art made via new technologies. We can engage audiences by creating crowd-sourced shows.
“It’s important to me that the Lowe not only reflect Miami’s art scene but also engage with it. This means fostering curatorial practice that engages with contemporary art and culture and partners with individuals and institutions--artistic, educational, or civic--throughout Miami and beyond.”
“The original mission of the museum was to educate and expose audiences to art throughout time. We can show a much more encyclopedic view of art history. One of my favorite things is a conversation among artworks sparking new ideas, making connections globally and chronologically. You might have Old Master works next to contemporary art, so that you see a continuity.
“We have now on the radar 20th Century America, 19th Century Europe, and of course Latin America. I’m interested in working with FIU faculty and perhaps other institutions to create collaborations based on their disciplines. For example, some wonderful artists have explored issues pertaining to physics.
“I’ve always been interested in university museums because they can be laboratories for exploration that perhaps a larger municipal museum couldn’t. It’s wonderful to be in a stimulating city with a vibrant art community. This part of the country embraces new ideas. There’s an exciting fluidity you wouldn’t necessarily get in a bigger, older art scene.”
“Our programs must engage students of Miami Dade College and New World School of the Arts and the public. You’ll see more creative partnerships with local and non-local institutions; programs on Design, including functional, experimental, graphic, architecture, fashion; and exhibitions connecting South Florida present and past.
“We plan to exhibit and expand our extensive collection. We’re stewards of one of Miami’s most iconic structures, The Freedom Tower. On the first floor are historical exhibits by artists of Cuban descent.
“The museum, with MDC and NWSA, reflects the larger Miami art scene. Our swing/SPACE/miami series supports talented alums who began here before moving on to extensive careers-- including William Cordova, Michael Vazquez, Tatiana Vahan, Domingo Castillo, Alma Leiva. Many gaps must be filled before Miami becomes a major player in the art world--but we’re fast on our way. I don’t think you can only talk about art currently produced in Miami without talking about what ‘was’ and how we got to where we are.
“The history of Miami’s arts community is fascinating. A major initiative supports long-standing artists in the community, including Robert Thiele and recently deceased Robert Huff, both MDC professors in their younger years and pioneers in building the 1970s and 1980s artist community.
“Our mission is forever tied to artists and designers who’ve attended MDC or NWSA. We work with artists, designers, collectives and curators--locally or internationally recognized--to adapt and grow with Miami’s vibrant community.”
“Our mission is to present contemporary art to excite, challenge and educate--and we interpret the definition of contemporary art widely by including design, architecture, fashion as well as contemporary art in all media.
“We’re so lucky to live in Miami now. Our ever-changing city offers big challenges and equally big opportunities! Museums are coming of age in our young city. For the Bass, it is a priority to exhibit artists from Miami. We continually work with artists for individual exhibitions, such as Bert Rodriguez, Frances Trombly, Leyden Rodriguez, Manny Prieres and Hernan Bas; projects in Collins Park with Jim Drain, Agustina Woodgate, Christy Gast and Emmett Moore or group exhibitions, such as GOLD, including Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Martin Oppel, Carlos Betancourt and Patty Hernandez. GOLD travels to Neuberger Museum, so we’re proud that artists from Miami are part of it!
“Artistic excellence is essential. I believe museums in Miami do a very good job working with artists here. However, there’s always room for improvement, so we’ll keep working hard at this.” Does the Bass plan increased attention to the Miami art scene? “Yes, is the short answer. In fall 2015, the Bass begins construction of our expansion and we are planning programs for this period, so stay tuned.