A Day by Day Guide to Experience Miami Art Week 2017

In this Miami Art Week guide, you will find art that inspires Creative Unions. It’s the kind of art that is participatory, immersive, and intentional...the kind of art that is essentially an experience.
— Michelle Ivette Gomez, Founder of Creative Unions
Image:  Michelle Ivette Gomez, Founder of Creative Unions Event Design LLC in front of a mural by artist, Jose Mertz

Image: Michelle Ivette Gomez, Founder of Creative Unions Event Design LLC in front of a mural by artist, Jose Mertz

As a Miami native, I have had the privilege to grow up around the arts ever since I was a teenager dreaming of becoming a curator while at New World School of the Arts in Downtown, Miami. Ever since those high school days, I have seen Miami nurture my local artists community, seeing this city transform ever since Art Basel Miami Beach debuted in the early 2000’s.

I know we have great art all year round beyond Miami Art Week, but now is the time of the year to soak up the biggest arts phenomenon right here in my own backyard, how exciting! With SO much going on, I have carefully planned my adventures for each day of Miami Art Week, and compiled them into the perfect guide for you.

Whether you are an art lover that just got engaged, are thinking of planning your next anniversary, or celebratory event, then you have come to the right place! In this guide, you will find the art that inspires Creative Unions. It’s the art that is participatory, immersive, and intentional...the kind of art that is essentially an experience. Whenever I look at art, I imagine it in the context of a celebratory event or marriage ceremony, and I am reminded that with art, anything is possible.

See my Miami Art Week adventures on Instagram by following @michelleigomez and the hashtag,  #Creativeunionsinspiration to see what I see, and feel free to leave me comments on the artworks you love best!

PS: there are TWO Creative Unions artists listed below who participated in the highly talked about Creative Union that just happened in Baltimore this past October, “Miami is Nice”! I am so proud of them!

*Oh, and look out for these asterisks next to each event below. This means the event or exhibition requires a special RSVP, badge, invitation, or paid ticket. Remember to pace yourself and have back up plans, because not every event during Miami Art Week will always guarantee you access. Ugh, I know...the art world can be pretty inaccessible sometimes, but I found many free and public things below too! And don't forget to drink plenty of water and carry granola bars!

Enjoy, and you’re welcome!

Michelle


 

WEDNESDAY 12/6

I will jumpstart my Miami Art Week with an exhibition that redefines the white cube. I always had a complicated relationship with the white cube. From completely criticizing it’s traditions, to lovingly embracing it as a clean slate for events and life’s celebrations, I am excited to see what a graphic 3D cube looks like, without walls. Because with technology, anything is possible, literally ANYTHING!

My friend and exhibition designer, Simona Uzaite that I met from my days consulting and writing for Quatrefoil Associates invited me to the VIP Preview for Hakanaï Miami 2017, which features a solo dancer that takes guests through a visual journey a 3D cube space between dreams and reality. Dance, visuals and accompanying music are all performed live, ensuring a unique experience each time. AND you get to experience this cube after the performance! Congrats on being involved with this incredible project Simona!

Image:  https://www.hakanaimiami.com/events/press-vip-preview-hakanai-by-adrien-m-claire-b-2

Image: https://www.hakanaimiami.com/events/press-vip-preview-hakanai-by-adrien-m-claire-b-2

Exhibition: *Hakanaï Miami 2017 presented by Artechouse and Canvas Miami (VIP and Press Preview event, RSVP required)

Time: 6 - 11pm (Doors open at 6pm, live performances 7pm and 9:30pm, followed by an interactive session “Experience the Cube” 10:30pm)

Location: Canvas Miami 90 NE 17th St, Miami, FL 33132, USA


 

THURSDAY 12/7

As a proud New World School of the Arts alum, I always support NWSA student exhibitions (which never even feel like student exhibitions because they are so talented). Every year, these students curate an exhibition of site specific sculptures, installations and performances in Miami’s only urban garden art space, Casalin. It’s the one morning during Miami Art Week where I feel like the curators get me (well, because we are all natives) when they serve Cuban cafecito, pastelitos, and Jamaican pineapple/ginger drinks while I think about what an art wedding may look like in an urban garden oasis escape. It’s a local favorite for Miami natives, shhh - don’t tell too many people.

Then I will head to the newly opened ICA Miami for a talk at 2pm about the future of Miami’s Culture Track. I will spend the rest of my day working on Creative Unions, although it is so tempting to go to EVERYTHING AT ONCE! But I gotta pace myself...it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the busiest one too, with lots of traffic.

Image:  by Michelle Ivette Gomez from NWSA @ Casalin 2016

Image: by Michelle Ivette Gomez from NWSA @ Casalin 2016

Exhibition: New World School of the Arts @ Casalin

Time: 9am - 12pm

Location: Casalin 55 NW 30th St, Miami, FL 33127


 

FRIDAY 12/8

On Friyay, catch me roaming around Downtown Miami, Wynwood, and the Design District to see a couple of fairs and get my social justice themed nails done by Rosemarie Romero (Rosemarie Romero, aka Porn Nail$ was a featured artist in the Creative Union, “Miami is Nice”!). Then I will head over to Wynwood to find inspiration from Wynwood Walls for couples who want to get married in front of murals, followed by Locust Projects for a couple of immersive exhibitions featuring inflatable sculptures and fiber work. I will then end the night in a phone free party hosted by Adidas to let loose with some hip hop and dancehall reggae. This phone free party brings up a few important thoughts:

  1. Going to that phone free party will give me a taste of what it’s like to be in the present moment without documenting everything for my friends on social media.
  2. That party may influence me to encourage my clients to consider a phone free wedding or event. (especially when they pay professional photographers to do the job with a much higher resolution camera that takes way better photos than your cell phone).
  3. I looooove hip hop and dancehall reggae so much. It’s super Miami bro. Just sayin’.

Pssst… don’t rely on google maps to find addresses for fairs. Google Maps has outdated addresses as the fairs have recently moved!

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Fair: *Art Miami | Context (Ticket required)

Location:  1 Miami Herald Plaza at NE 14th St, Miami, FL 33132

Artist Spotlight: Goya Contemporary featuring Joyce Scott and Soledad Salame

 
Image:  http://www.thewynwoodwalls.com/walls/maya-hayuk

Image: http://www.thewynwoodwalls.com/walls/maya-hayuk

Exhibition: Wynwood Walls

Location: 2520 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami FL 33127

Artist Spotlight: Maya Huyuk

 
Image:  Creative Unions artist, Rosemarie Romero aka Porn Nai$ performing in a Creative Union “ Miami is Nice ” for Nick & Zach’s month long wedding celebration and art exhibition in Baltimore, October 2017. Photograph by Tiffany Jones.

Image: Creative Unions artist, Rosemarie Romero aka Porn Nai$ performing in a Creative Union “Miami is Nice” for Nick & Zach’s month long wedding celebration and art exhibition in Baltimore, October 2017. Photograph by Tiffany Jones.

Fair: *NADA (Ticket required)

Location:  Ice Palace Studios 1400 N Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33136

Artist Spotlight: Rosemarie Romero’s “Rise Up” Nail Bar Friday, 12 - 3pm (Creative Unions artist in “Miami is Nice”)

 
Image:   Nancy Davidson  at Locust Projects

Image: Nancy Davidson at Locust Projects

Exhibition: Nancy Davidson and Pepe Mar: Man of the Night

Hours: Wednesday, December 6 through Friday, December 9, 10 am to 6 pm Sunday, December 10, 10 am to 1pm (These are their extended hours for Miami Art Week)

Location: Locust Projects 3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami Fl 33127

 
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Party: You Had To Be There (RSVP, get there early)

Time:  11pm - 5am

Location:  1306 North Miami Ave Miami, FL 33136


 

SATURDAY 12/9

After too much dancing the night before, I will begin the afternoon wearing my bathing suit under my dress to one of my favorite historic museums, Vizcaya (a popular museum for weddings too)! Vizcaya features CAP Overload and CAP Lab which are two exhibition programs that explore the concept of immersion at Vizcaya in order to activate the senses and alter the experience of Vizcaya. CAP Lab features a Creative Unions artist, Nick Clifford Simko who was a featured artist in the Creative Union, “Miami is Nice”, a month long wedding celebration and art exhibition in Baltimore, October 2017!

After Vizcaya, I will head back to the beach to check out Untitled Art Fair. There, I will chill out under AMLgMATD’s “Suncatcher Pavillion”, as I have always dreamed of doing a beachy Creative Union with their furniture and installation designs for an outdoor wedding. Then I will check out one of my friends from Baltimore, Amy Sherald who is commissioned to paint Michelle Obama’s portrait. Talk about my friends shaping art history!

I am especially excited to engage with the installations by Faena Art, including an art installation that also serves as a roller skating rink! This whole day is about dipping in the water in between public art sightings, and finding inspirations for couples who want to get married or have an event in front of a public sculpture or installation (during Miami’s winter season of course)!

Then I will relax on comfy bean bags on the lawn in front of the New World Symphony for Art Basel at Soundscape Park to listen to sound art, watch abstract projections, and a featured film.

Image:  Artwork by Tanja Smeets

Image: Artwork by Tanja Smeets

Exhibition: *CAP Lab Overload at Vizcaya Village (RSVP/Ticket required)

Time: 11am - 2pm

Location: Vizcaya & Vizcaya Village 3251 South Miami Ave Miami, FL 33129

Artist Spotlight:  Nick Clifford Simko (Creative Unions artist in “Miami is Nice”)

 
Image:  by  AMLgMATD  at Untitled Art Fair

Image: by AMLgMATD at Untitled Art Fair

Fair: *Untitled Art Fair (Ticket required)

Location: Ocean Dr & 12th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Artist Spotlight: AMLgMATD and Amy Sherald

 

Exhibitions: Faena: Miami Art Week includes  myriad public sculptures and programs listed here.

Locations: Faena Beach Between 32nd and 36th streets Miami Beach, FL 33140 & Faena Forum
3300 Collins Ave Miami Beach, FL 33140

 
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Exhibition:

Art Basel Sound and Film Program

Time: 7pm

Location: Soundscape Park 400 17th St Miami Beach


 

SUNDAY 12/10

Sundays are my lazy beach days, but this Sunday, I’ll be in Miami Beach with my towel in my tote bag wearing my bathing suit under my jean shorts and chanclas at the Design Fair, then will spend the rest of the day engaging with public art works at the public sculptures at Collins Park!

After all of that, I will wrap of Miami Art Week 2017 reflecting on my experiences, imagining the future of Creative Unions, and practicing gratitude for living in an art capital like Miami that gives me inspiration every single day. Art IS everywhere.

Image:  From Design Miami’s Facebook page: Perrier-Jouët digital installation series

Image: From Design Miami’s Facebook page: Perrier-Jouët digital installation series

Fair: *Design Miami

Location: 1809 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 
Image:  by Michelle Ivette Gomez from Art Basel | Public 2016, artwork by Ugo Rondinone

Image: by Michelle Ivette Gomez from Art Basel | Public 2016, artwork by Ugo Rondinone

Exhibition: Art Basel | Public

Location: Collins Park 2100 Collins Avenue


Thank you for joining me. Be sure to join my mailing list so you get next year’s guide. See you at Miami Art Week 2018!

 


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ABOUT ME

Michelle Ivette Gomez is an arts professional with a love for romance and art, and a passion for bringing people together and telling stories through art. She received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art where she focused on co-creative curatorial practice and expanding traditional methods of exhibition presentation in collaboration with communities. As the Founder & Creative Director of Creative Unions Event Design LLC, the first event planning company dedicated to integrating contemporary art into life’s celebrations, she views marriage celebrations as specially curated art exhibitions that bring people together to celebrate and express unique love stories.

Making Miami Nice

Michelle Ivette Gomez - Founder of Creative Unions sitting with Creative Unions’ pioneer couple Zachary Z. Handler (left) and Nick Horan (right)

Michelle Ivette Gomez - Founder of Creative Unions sitting with Creative Unions’ pioneer couple Zachary Z. Handler (left) and Nick Horan (right)

Hey fellow art lovers and lovers of love!

I AM SO EXCITED! I just flew in from Miami to my second home, Baltimore, and I brought all my neon powered Miami energy to help bring Creative Union’s first celebration to life! I’m typing this from a folding table in Spacecamp gallery watching the “Miami is Nice” curatorial team transform this white wall gallery into a queer paradise where love wins. From October 7-28, right where I’m sitting, this 2800 sq. ft room will be home to 45 incredible artist’s works, 3 public events, and Zachary & Nick’s Golden Girls inspired wedding. It’s been a day of painting, sweeping, and reflections on this 2 year journey. I actually had a bit of an epiphany earlier when I realized that we are featuring 45 artists from around the country at the same time as we grapple with the current 45th President’s attacks on the LGBTQ community. Talk about creative resistance, right?!

“Miami is Nice” is more than just a private wedding that takes place in an art gallery. So much more. In fact, I suggest heading over to www.miamiisnice.com for details on the exciting series of programs for the greater Baltimore community. Hint: one of the original screenwriters for the Golden Girls is joining us for a discussion! And there will be cheesecake! You can also stop by the gallery during gallery hours to play Atari video games or watch Golden Girls episodes with me in your PJs. ;)

I can’t believe it’s been a year and a half since Creative Unions began WERKing on our first art exhibition/wedding. Personally, it’s been a rough month. I’ve dealt with the world’s natural disasters and had to evacuate my home in Miami. Fortunately, my house and family are safe but I constantly worry about my family in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria. Returning to Baltimore this week has proven to be the most wonderful gift. It has lifted my spirits and allowed me to laugh again, despite the gun violence, climate change, and everything else wrong with this world. I came up with Creative Unions because I wanted to bring more love into my life and this world.

Nothing else brings me as much joy as working with Creative Union’s pioneer couple, Zachary & Nick alongside co-curator Carlyn Thomas of Terrault Gallery to make this art exhibition, series of programs, and gay wedding a dream come true. As I look around me right now, I am so excited to introduce the world to all of this excess :)

Check out my top 10 favorite behind the scenes moments from this past year while working on the #miamiisnicesxhibition below!

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1. N&Z screen printed hundreds of shoulder pads with their wedding logo as part of their wedding invitation (packed in gold envelopes)!


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2. Seeing the postcard and invitation for the general exhibition and wedding! This was the first “IT’S REALLY HAPPENING” moment.  


3. Ok here’s a mini list. These artworks got me way too excited from the moment I first laid my eyes on them, and this is just a tiny fraction of the entire art exhibition. (And yes, that is a glitter toilet seat that will be featured in the gallery’s bathroom! #artiseverywhere)


4. This Miami is Nice sign is everything.


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5. No Golden Girls themed wedding is complete without Elvis costumes and accessories!


6. I met Sebastian from The Lapel Project here in Miami (yes the guy that was featured on Shark Tank!), and he gave me the “Miami Vice” lapel set for the groomsmen, so sweet of him! Check out the video below to see how the his lapels work. These lapels are so great, you can stick them onto any suit to customize your look so your suit is as unique as you! Thank you Sebastian!


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7. A Golden Girls Wedding? YES! Here is a photo of that time we heard Nick & Zachary’s interview on “Out on the Lanai: A Golden Girls Podcast”! (PS- H. Alan Scott is one of the co-hosts and GG superfans for this podcast...he will be moderating a talk with one of the original screenwriters for Golden Girls on Oct 18th! (See www.miamiisnice.com for event details)


8. When Carlyn drove to NY to pick up artworks from artists and took selfies with (most) of them! Oh how I loved getting these in our Whatsapp chat group.


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9. I have weekly Skype sessions with Nick & Zachary. Sometimes I take screenshots of them when they show me the deliveries they get in the mail for their wedding, like this beautiful martinique wall paper donated by Accent Wall Customs for our Golden Girls inspired photo booth, eeeeek!


Left to right: Michelle Ivette Gomez of Creative Unions, Zachary Z. Handler, Nick Horan and Carlyn Thomas of Terrault Gallery

Left to right: Michelle Ivette Gomez of Creative Unions, Zachary Z. Handler, Nick Horan and Carlyn Thomas of Terrault Gallery

10. When the whole team got together in Baltimore to take this 80’s neon glamour shot!


If you are around Baltimore or DC, I hope you can stop by the opening for “Miami is Nice” on Oct 7, 7-10pm at Spacecamp to say hello, enjoy drag performances, and get your glitter nails done. See you Bmore, miss you.

Yours in 80’s excess and shoulder pads,

-Michelle


ABOUT ME

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Michelle Ivette Gomez is an arts professional with a love for romance and art, and a passion for bringing people together and telling stories through art. She received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art where she focused on co-creative curatorial practice and expanding traditional methods of exhibition presentation in collaboration with communities. As the Founder & Creative Director of Creative Unions Event Design LLC, the first event planning company dedicated to integrating contemporary art into life’s celebrations, she views marriage celebrations as specially curated art exhibitions that bring people together to celebrate and express unique love stories.