Miami is Nice

A Queer Paradise Where Love Wins

“Miami is Nice” was a monthlong public group art exhibition, queer performance series, and gay wedding celebration inspired by the hit 1980’s television show The Golden Girls set in tropical South Florida, offering an escape to a queer paradise: a world in which love wins.

 

Life Celebration: Love

Location: Baltimore, MD

Venue: Spacecamp gallery

Date(s): October 7 - 28, 2017

Hashtag(s): #miamiisnice #miamiisniceexhibition 

Photography by: Tiffany Jones, Kiirstn Pagan, Akea Brown


Wedding as month long art exhibition open to the public

“Miami is Nice” was a month long group art exhibition, queer performance series, and gay wedding celebration, inspired by the fearless irreverence of the hit television show The Golden Girls that took place in Spacecamp, an artist run art gallery in Baltimore, MD.

 “Miami is Nice” took guests to Blanche Devereaux's idealized version of South Florida in the 1980s, a decade primarily known within the queer community for the devastating aftermath of the AIDS crisis and the triumphant acts of perseverance which mobilized a generation to fight for recognition. Utilizing The Golden Girls as a symbol of strength, subversion, and profound acceptance, “Miami is Nice” continued that fight by offering a joyful, nostalgic, and leisurely escape from the struggles of daily life to an actualized paradise: a world in which love wins.

With the U.S. presidential election, and the recent closings of safe queer spaces in Baltimore, “Miami is Nice” provided a temporary refuge for members of the community who have been isolated by these events. Utilizing Golden Girls nostalgia, this public exhibition and series of programs provided a safe space for artists and patrons, and spark conversations around what it means to live openly, create freely, and continue fighting for equality with LGBTQIA+ allies and art lovers.

Featured Artists:

Akea Brown (MD), Alex Ebstein (MD), Alex Schechter (PA), Alice Gadzinski (MD), Alissa Eberle (PA), Amy Boone McCreesh, Andrew Indelicato (VA), Anne Stringer (MD), Anya Mizani (MD), April Pink (MD), Brice Peterson (NJ), Chinen Aimi Bouillon (MD), Colby Katz (NC), Colin Klockner (VA), Danya Smith (VA), Dave Eassa (MD), Diza Hope (CA), LaboMamo by Danilo de la Torre and David Rohn (FL), Devin Morris (NY), Esther Ruiz (NY), Felice Cleveland (TX), Gary Godbey, Hannah Hiaasen (NY), Jackie Cassidy (NJ), Jill Fannon (MD), Warm Brothers by Jordan Parvex (CA), Katie Duffy (IL), Leah Guadagnoli (NY), Leeanne Maxey (NY), Magali Hebert-Hout, Nick Simko (NM), Nick Horan (MD), Polly Mizani (MD), Rachel Debuque (MD), Richard Munaba (NY), Porn Nail$ by Rosemarie Romero (FL), Ryan Lauderdale (NY), Samuel Draxler (NY), Sidney Pink (MD), Spencer Meyers (FL), Hysteria by Tanya Garcia & Valeria Molinari (MD), Tiffany Smith (NY), Tiffany Threadgould (PA) & Kat Tingum (NY), Zachary Z. Handler (MD)


Wedding as Installation: Subverting Tradition

Zachary and Nick’s non-traditional wedding celebration and art performance took place at the beginning of the month long exhibition. Their Golden Girls inspired wedding exposed heteronormative rituals by undermining cliched expectations and celebrating the joy of two lives joining with 1980's excess. Decorative remnants from the celebration stayed in the space for the remainder of the exhibition as an additional art installation. The intention behind this was to symbolize how quickly the saccharine opulence of the 1980s came crashing down, and reminded all viewers of the ever-present fragility of the queer experience in America while paying homage to those four remarkable female characters who played such a prominent role in their upbringings.  

Also, there was cheesecake.


Programs for the community to celebrate queer love

Opening Celebration, October 7, 2017

Just like any other traditional art exhibition, there was a grand opening celebration for the greater Baltimore community to see this exhibit first hand (Over 500 guests in a hot gallery, like the real Miami!). Unlike those usual stuffy and boring art exhibition openings, this one was full of joyous conversations, performances, and hundreds of people taking raunchy pics in front of our Pixilated photo booth in Blanche's bedroom! The evening included happening Golden Girls inspired drag performances by Shaunda Leer, shuffle board games, friends packing dime bags full of gold glitter (both designed by Nick & Zach), and guests getting their glitter manicures done by Porn Nail$. All of this took place prior to Nick & Zach's wedding, before all of the confetti, balloons, and cheesecake magically appeared halfway through the show!

Cheesecake Conversations: An Evening with H. Alan Scott & Stan Zimmerman, October 18, 2017

It’s been 25 years since the last episode of our favorite Florida friend group, and its time to have a reunion! "Miami is Nice" hosted of “Out on The Lanai: A Golden Girls Podcast” H. Alan Scott and Golden Girls writer Stan Zimmerman for a live broadcast conversation that celebrated the past present and future of this iconic series and the love it inspires. There were many hugs, cocktails, teary eyed testimonials about growing up watching the Golden Girls, and cheesecake of course.

Queer Performance Evening, October 28th, 2017

Hundreds of guests (over 400 tbh) enjoyed this Free Fall Baltimore sponsored event brought together Baltimore and DC based queer performing artists for an evening of drag, poetry, music, dance, and community within the gallery exhibition while sipping on cocktails in their Halloween costumes. We celebrated the closing of the coolest art exhibition Baltimore has ever seen culminating with a total of over 1600 people who entered those gallery doors throughout the month of October 2017! : happy tears:

 
 

The Friends who made it all possible:

 A special thanks to everyone who made this Creative Union possible!

A special thanks to everyone who made this Creative Union possible!