Carol Damian
2020 Art Circuits’ Critic’s Choice art writer

Carol Damian, Ph.D. is an Art Historian and Independent Curator specializing in the Art of Latin America and the Caribbean.  She is the former chairperson of the Art and Art History Department and former Director and Chief Curator of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University.


February is Black History Month and several exhibitions and events highlight the cultural community of Black artists.  At the top of the list is the work of Meleko Mokgosi at PAMM, and Jacob Lawrence at the Lowe Art Museum.  Among the most unique exhibits, worth the drive to the Everglades, is Jeanine Michana-Bales exhibition about Florida’s Maroon communities.  Time to check out Historic Overtown Black Archives and the Lyric Theater. 


Perez Art Museum Miami. Meleko Mokgosi: Your Trip to Africa

For a newly commissioned series of large-scale paintings for the museum, Botswana-Born Artist Meleko Mokgosi examines the post-colonial condition in Africa. By combining a high degree of painterly skill with a poetic, open-ended semiotic approach and an affinity for archival research, the artist shines light on some of the complex socio-economic dynamics that animate contemporary southern Africa.

February 27, 2020 – May 30, 2020

Meleko Mokgosi. Democratic Intuition, Lerato: Philia I, 2016. Two panels: oil on canvas. 96 x 198 1/2 in.


Perez Art Museum Miami. Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art

Exhibition highlights a group of paintings, sculptures, and photographs that have since become iconic for the museum, including works by Terry Adkins, Romare Bearden, Kevin Beasley, Ed Clark, Lorraine O’Grady, Faith Ringgold, Tschabalala Self, and Juana Valdes, among others. The title of the exhibition points to the idea of various, distinct artistic voices coming together in a spirit of harmony and solidarity.

February 7 to August 9, 2020

The Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence

This exhibition of the renowned Africa-American artist Jacob Lawrence explores three major themes of the artist’s work over the years with a specific focus on his graphic work from 1963-2000.  Lawrence’s recording and recollection of African American and larger African diasporic histories are featured, as well as his vivid observations of the dynamic city life in his native Harlem, New York City.

February 20, 2020 – May 24, 2020

Jacob Lawrence, Memorabilia, lithograph on paper, 31.25 x 22.875 in, 1990. © 2017 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College Freedom Tower. Forensic Architecture: True to Scale

The first U.S. survey of the research agency Forensic Architecture and its extraordinary work uncovering evidence of state and corporate violence around the world. The exhibition explores a new understanding of architecture, a new evidentiary aesthetic, and a new form of coalition activism.

February 20, 2020 – September 27, 2020

Forensic Architecture. The photographic modular. The 50 cm2 pixel size of the satellite image taken on 31 March 2012, the day after the drone strike in Miranshah, Pakistan, is enough to conceal a human body.


LnS GALLERY. Carlos Alfonzo: Witnessing Perpetuity

An important historical creative pioneer and key contributor to Miami’s role as a center of artistic force, Cuban American artist Carlos Alfonzo would have been 70 years old this year. This comprehensive retrospective exhibit commemorates his life with works from 1996-1990. Guest Curator: Julia P. Herzberg.

February 15, 2020 – April 18, 2020

Carlos Alfonzo, The Artist and the Genie, 1988
acrylic on canvas, 96 x 72 in.

Mindy Solomon Gallery: Lady Parts

An exhibition about the stuff of womanhood, Lady Parts features the work of Shona McAndrew, Ana Weider, Hannah McBroom, Virginia Leonard, Mequitta Ahuja, Nadia Waheed, and Super Future Kid whose unique works address provocative issues regarding women.

January 25, 2020 – March 7, 2020

Ana Wieder, The Way We Would Heal 2: Dinah and Persephone Get it On. Oil on Canvas with Cutouts 5 by 5 feet.

Non-Profit Spaces:

AIRIE Nest Gallery Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, Everglades National Park. The Four Moments of the Sun: The Hidden Lands of Florida’s Maroon Communities

Jeanine Michna-Bales, Airie Artist in Residence in Everglades, presents a solo exhibition combining contemporary photography and historical objects, oral histories and educational text. She tells the story of Florida’s maroon communities through the lens of photography. Championing Florida’s liberated slaves through a timeline narrative: from slavery to freedom and through the life cycle, the exhibit is supported by oral histories, audio interviews and historical documents.

Florida’s Maroon Communities were bands of former slaves who had succeeded in establishing a society of their own in different areas of Florida including remote locations such as the Everglades, places where they could not easily be surprised by soldiers or slave catchers.

February 12, 2020 — June 29, 2020

Jeanine Mischa-Bales, Cross River. Bowlegs Town and Negro Towns along the Suwanee River, Florida, 2018


The Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater: YOUNG WORLD FACES and Freetown Reborn Documentary Anniversary

The exterior of the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater features the signature portrait series YOUNG WORLD FACES by artist Robert Young, complemented by an interior exhibition celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Freetown Reborn, the documentary film, and photographs captured in Sierra Leone West Africa. The documentary will be playing on a loop in the lobby.

February 3 – 28, 2020

Robert Young, Young World Faces. Portrait Series. Facade view.

Hampton Art Lovers at the Historic Ward Rooming House. Ebony Broadsides: Celebration of the Masters.

Hampton Art Lovers, Community Based Connections, Inc. at the African American Research Library & Cultural Center (AARLCC) in Fort Lauderdale present an exhibition of archival signed posters by the leading 20th century Black American artists

January 27 – March 31, 2020

Faith Ringgold


Pan American Art Projects: BEYOND PAPER BOUNDARIES

Paper is an ironic material, at once delicate, yet resilient. It is so thin and fine, and yet the content on it can carry so much weight. Paper has been the base upon which we record our history, reveal secret loves, mark victories and disasters, express sorrow and joy. Paper is so

fragile, and yet some of our most important remnants of our past have been preserved on this fine material. The purpose of this show is two-fold. First, in our main gallery we look at the way that artists can manipulate and contort paper to bring actual dimension and weight to it sculpturally, through folding, shadow play, and layering, The act of complex engineering converts the two-dimensional paper into a three-dimensional object.

February 1, 2020 - March 21, 2020

Ariamna Contino, Paisaje de Campo de Guineas (detail), 2018, Hand cut paper, 48 x 48 in.

Dimensions Variable: Charo Oquet - Entering Sacred Grounds

An immersive installation will be activated by two performances and a conversation. Although its production began in late 2018, the project has been in gestation since 2011, when the research for this first audiovisual work started. Melding installation, image, and movement with voices that addresses critical issues of contemporary Dominican immigrant and queer culture to explore issues of immigration and social injustices, the work reflects the current cultural, social, and political realities and the tenuous line between memory, and reality through narratives that unfold within a landscape.

January 25, 2020 – March 14, 2020

Charo Oquet. Installation detail.