Dr. Donette Francis
2021 Art Circuits’ Critic’s Choice art writer

Donette Francis is an Associate Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Miami, where she is a founding member of the Hemispheric Caribbean Studies Collective. She is the author of Fictions of Feminine Citizenship: Sexuality and the Nation in Contemporary Caribbean Literature.



We welcome 2021 with “artspiration” to heal our nation’s open wounds. These selected shows offer meditations, that in the words of the late Civil Rights Leader and Representative John Lewis, seek to “redeem the soul of America.”January is a time of renewal, and many South Florida arts institutions are exhibiting shows that advance intergenerational and global conversations inviting viewers to reflect on lessons from the past to build more equitable futures for Miami and the world.Art Circuits takes you on a contemplative journey. Some stops to make:


Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Allied with Power: African and African Diaspora Art from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection

On view through Summer 2021Curated by Maria Elena Ortiz

One of PAMM’s latest shows, Allied with Power, curate artworks attuned to anti-black oppression globally.Featuring a broad selection of African and African Diasporic artists who work across multiple mediums and depict various historical periods, the exhibition represents an array of Black joy, pain, resistance, and the beautiful rituals of everyday life.  Artists include Yinka Shonibare, Igshaan Adams, Naudline Pierre, Deborah Roberts, Firelei Báez, Rashid Johnson, Odili Donald Odita, and Chéri Samba, among many others.

Little Haiti Cultural Center (LHCC)

Local Global


On view through February 28, 2021Curated by Marie Vickles

From our South Florida yards, the Local/Global offers views of the national and global. The exhibition centers Miami and local artists as key regional crossroads of the African Diaspora and the Caribbean.It features a dynamic array of multi-genre work from established and emerging artists including Morel Doucet, Vickie Pierre, Mark Fleuridor, Najja Moon, and Adrienne Chadwick.Round off your visit at the Little Haiti Cultural Center with the outdoor exhibition, Contemporary Visual Expression, celebrating its twelfth year curated by Edouard Duval-Carrié, and Dèjá Vu, curated by Carl Juste.

Girls’ Club Warehouse, Fort Lauderdale

From the collection of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz.

Necessary Trouble: Civil Rights Era Photography and Contemporary Art from the Collection


On view through May 28th, 2021This exhibition presents a multi-generational conversation between documentary Civil Rights era photography and contemporary artists, working in painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. Works by photographers Bob Adelman, Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, Leonard Freed, Danny Lyon, Steve Schapiro, Stephen Somerstein, Burk Uzzle and Ernest Withers; and artists Layla Ali, Jackie Nickerson, Onajide Shabaka, Carrie Mae Weems, Shoshanna Weinberger and Paula Wilson.

Bakehouse Art Complex

Chire Regans: Say Their Names


On view through March 31, 2021

The large-scale memorial mural located on the west-facing wall of NW 6th Avenue is on view 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.Serving as a physical space for collective mourning and remembrance, the mural recognizes over 250 lives lost to hate crimes, gun and police violence as well as trans and domestic violence.Regan has archived stories of survivors and their families on her Instagram account (@vantablack305).


LnS Gallery

T. Eliott Mansa: For Those Gathered in the Wind


On view through February 7, 2021Curated by Donnamarie Baptiste

A new large-scale installation by Miami/Overtown-native and assemblage artist, T. Eliott Mansa.Through honorific sculptures made of children's toys and other items of play, in this solo exhibition, Mansa memorializes lives lost, especially those of Black children.The exhibition invites viewers hold to precious space for those lost even while we compose new futures..