BAC Art Canvas / Quarterly Panels
The first installment ofÂ BAC Art Canvas, a new series offered by the Bake house Art Complex open to the community, members and non-members alike, will discuss Christo & Jeanne-Claude and their project â€œSurrounded Islandsâ€ from 1980-1983. At no charge for our members, BAC Art Canvas is a quarterly panel discussion covering contemporary art in Miami.
â€œSurrounded Islandsâ€ was a temporary art event, but what transpired during the preparation of the project and what its gorgeous unveiling on Biscayne Bay meant to Miami still reverberates today. The dressing of 11 spoil islands in pink plastic was the catalyst that turned a culturally sleepy town into a vital city, home to art and artists. The panelists, participants and monitors of â€œSurrounded Islandsâ€, will share their memories of the roles played by individual citizens and special interest groups during those contentious days leading to the â€œliveâ€ exhibition portion of their uncommon, common efforts.
Margarita Cano:Â As head of Art Services at Miamiâ€™s library system;Â it was her initiative that gave us the first glimpses of what â€œSurrounded Islandsâ€ might look like when Christoâ€™s earliest drawings and sketches of the project were exhibited at Main Library in 1982.
Paula Harper, Ph.D.:Â Professor of Art History at UM, and the Art Critic at the Miami News during the period under discussion;Â she is a well-known Christo scholar, familiar with most all the coupleâ€™s projects about which she has both written and lectured.
Ruth Shack: Recently retired President and CEO of the Dade Community Foundation;Â she was a Dade County Commissioner from 1976 to 1986, in the â€œhot seatâ€ during the time the Christo project was the focus of attention from local, state and national governmental friends (she was one) and foes (there were many).
Helen Kohen:Art Historian, Critic, Consultant to Main Libraryâ€™s Vasari Project [an archive of the visual arts in Miami from 1945 to the present], covered the artists and their work on land, sea and in the air forÂ The Miami Herald.
Joe Fleming: The attorney who led the complex negotiations for Surrounded Islands permittingÂ with environmental groups, governmental agencies and various political concerns. As an arts and environmental supporter, a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer, and infinitely patient individual, Fleming was intimately involved with Christo and Jeanne Claude for several years and remained a good friend after the completion of the project. The collection of project slides were made by the Christos and given to Fleming.
Moderated by Barbara Young: Librarian, curator, one of the Vasari Project founders at the Miami-Dade Public Library System, worked with the Christos during the exhibition installation of preliminary works at the old Main Library, was recruited by them for various subsequent projects including the testing ofÂ project fabrics on the roof of library and working on the Islands. Mementos of her Jeanne Claude and Christo experiences are part of the Library’s Vasari Project.
Bakehouse Art Complex,
561 NW 32nd St.,
Wynwood Arts District
Miami, FL 33127