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!
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!
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
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.
Exhibition: New World School of the Arts @ Casalin
Time: 9am - 12pm
Location: Casalin 55 NW 30th St, Miami, FL 33127
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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!
Party: You Had To Be There (RSVP, get there early)
Time: 11pm - 5am
Location: 1306 North Miami Ave Miami, FL 33136
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.
Location: Soundscape Park 400 17th St Miami Beach
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.
Fair: *Design Miami
Location: 1809 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
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!
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.