South Florida art you’ll want to see this fall

MUCHO MUCHO AMOR: THE LEGEND OF WALTER MERCADO Walter Mercado in MUCHO MUCHO AMOR: THE LEGEND OF WALTER MERCADO. Cr. NETFLIX © 2020 Courtesy of Netflix More from the series Guide to Miami’s 2020 Season of the Arts In fall 2020, South Florida will experience a Season of the Arts […]



Courtesy of Netflix

More from the series

Guide to Miami’s 2020 Season of the Arts

In fall 2020, South Florida will experience a Season of the Arts unlike any other. Despite the pandemic, the shows go on.

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With some works quarantined in warehouses and some institutions still closed, its not entirely clear just what the fall will bring. These are sure to be highlights:

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Obras de inmersión como ‘Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather” de teamLab’s serán mostradas en Superblue Miami. Esta obra del 2018 está exhibida permanentemente en el Digital Art Museum. Cortesía/Pace Gallery


The groundbreaking Allapattah center for immersive installations by top contemporary artists is set for opening in December, though the final date has not yet been announced. Its impeccable pedigree — it is being created by executives of New York-based Pace Gallery with founding partner Emerson Collection, the social-change engine founded by Laurene Powell Jobs — has created high expectations for the new art space near the Rubell Museum. Details on the opening date and program should be announced in the coming week. Expect timed tickets and social distancing.


Mark your calendars for the first week in December. While it’s not clear what a Miami Art Week without out-of-town fairs will look like, local arts organizations promise there will be one, likely combining both online and in-person activities. As for the fairs, boot the computer. You can expect another edition of Art Basel’s online viewing rooms — similar to those held last summer and this fall, open to galleries accepted to the 2020 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach at Similarly, Art Miami has announced its online acquisition rooms for Dec. 1-6 at, and NADA, the New Art Dealers Association, is planning a hybrid fair with an online marketplace and in-person activities in various member galleries. Other details are still being determined.

N’Namdi Contemporary Fine Arts exhibits drawings by Rashaun Rucker that use the rock pigeon to reflect stereotypes of Black men.


Over the past several years, the visual art world has heightened its attention on Black artists, with dedicated high-profile museum shows and commercial sales in the tens of millions for some individual works. While work by top Black artists can be seen in every publicly available local collection, several exhibitions slated for this year hit the must-see list for those venturing from home. Among them:

Through Oct. 5, N’Namdi Contemporary Fine Arts in Little River shows “RIGHT BACK ATCHA!,” an exhibition work by mid-career artist Gregory Coates. The gallery is open by appointment; Coates also offers a virtual walk-through via video at Oct. 16, the gallery opens an exhibition of remarkable drawings by Rashaun Rucker that use the rock pigeon to reflect stereotypes of Black men.

“Allied with Power” at the Pérez Art Museum Miami will showcase motre than 30 works from the Jorge M. Pérez collection by well-known Black artists, including Tomás Esson, Nicholas Hlobo, Rashid Johnson, David Koloane, Deborah Roberts, Chéri Samba, Mickalene Thomas, Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Walker and Stanley Whitney. The museum hopes to reopen by November.

The Rubell Museum’s current hanging includes an exhibition of works by is 2019 artist in residence, Amoako Boafo, whose works literally flew out of the Mariane Ibrahim booth at the 2019 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach.

In case you missed it last winter, The Bass Museum has extended its immersive, disco-esque installation of Mickalene Thomas’s “Better Nights” through Jan. 31.

LnS Gallery, near Coconut Grove, hosts “For Those Gathered in the Wind,” a solo show by Miami-born T. Eliott Mansa that uses objects of mourning in assemblages spurred by police shootings and state-sponsored violence. The show runs Dec. 3-Feb. 7 in person and online,

David Castillo Gallery, now in the Miami Design District, presents a solo show of work by Lyle Ashton Harris, celebrated internationally for his work in photography, video, installation and performance. The show runs Oct. 1-Nov. 14;

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Works by Miami-based Edison Peñafiel are on view at Atchugarry Art Center.


South Florida artists are finally getting at least some of the attention they’re due, at shows all around the region. Mark your agenda:

Edison Penafiel’s “Land Escape” exhibit showcases 10 large-format heart-wrenching images reflecting the emotional and physical struggle of migrants. The barbed wire fence partitioning them from the gallery space drives the point home. At Atchugarry Art Center, just north of the Design District, through Nov. 14.

The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood has chosen 31 artists to display in the 2020 Florida Biennial. Paul Shortt of Gainesville and Mason Noelle of Tampa were selected for individual exhibitions; work by the other artists will appear in a group show. All can be seen Nov. 5-Feb. 21.

In North Miami, Bridge Red Studios presents “Clay,” featuring ceramic works by 20 South Florida artists. Nov. 8-Jan. 3.

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale hosts “New Art South Florida,” an exhibition of 13 artists who are recipients of the 2020 South Florida Cultural Consortium Awards, conveyed by an alliance of the arts councils of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Nov. 21-Feb. 21.

Cuban-born Tomás Esson’s protest-minded paintings are rooted in his history on the island. Though he has been painting for 30 years, “Tomás Esson: The GOAT” at the Institute of Contemporary Art – Miami is his first museum show. Through Nov. 22.

Winners of Oolite Arts’ Michael Richards Award receive a commission for work to be displayed at The Bass Museum. Those projects — by 2018 awardee Edouard Duval-Carrié and 2019 winner Karen Rifas — are now on display.

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Christina Quarles’s “Don’t they know? It’s the end of tha world,” a 2020 acrylic on canvas, is among new acquisitions by the delaCruz Collection.

The private museums

Miami’s private museums reflect the prescient eyes of some of the world’s top collectors — and are never to be missed. All are open, though sometimes with hours or limitations different from in years past.

In the Design District, the de la Cruz Collection showcases “A Possible Horizon,” focusing on works that examine relevant issues. Among the new acquisitions on display are works by Christina Quarles, Mark Grotjahn, Sterling Ruby and Jonas Wood.

Allapattah’s Rubell Museum continues its inaugural exhibition unveiled last year; a new selection will be unveiled in December.

And in Wynwood, Margulies Collection at the Warehouse features a new exhibition of works by contemporary masters and emerging talents, along with 150 photographs from its archives. Online, it is selling a selection of art (through Oct. 16) as a benefit for Lotus Village Shelter for Homeless Women and Children.

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The artist VantaBlack works on her outdoor memorial mural project, “Say Their Names,” at Bakehouse Art Complex. MATEO SERNA ZAPATA

Outdoor art

Never has the outdoors seemed so inviting. These exhibitions let you explore art without having to brave enclosed spaces.

While the open-air Wynwood Walls have yet to reopen, the surrounding neighborhood delivers a world-class fix of urban art. Check out the Troy Simmons sculpture built into the facade of the new Goldman Properties development at Northwest 23rd Street and First Place.

In nearby Wynwood Norte, Bakehouse Art Complex also is embracing the outdoors. Oct. 30, it presents artist Vanta Black’s mural, “Say their Names: A Public Art Memorial Project,” memorializing 250 victims of police and gun violence, on the western side of the complex along Northwest Sixth Avenue (Yes, you can see if from I-95.) When the complex reopens Nov. 13, look for “Maritza Caneca: Arts and Recreation,” a large-scale photo mural along Northwest 33rd Street, and Clara Toro’s “Stakeholders: Wynwood Norte” photographic series documenting the neighborhood, in the garden.

Miami Design District is always prime for a stroll. In addition to its architectural design and permanent installations (you gotta love the Buckminster Fuller dome), developer/collector Craig Robins and his team have added a massive billboard by Miami’s Adler Guerrier that is part of the For Freedoms project supporting racial equality; along the exterior of the Moore Building at Northeast Second Avenue and 40th Street. Also new are Rirkrit Tiravanja’s neon installation “The Sun is Gone,” outside OTL cafe at the corner of Northeast 40th Street between First and Second avenues; a multimedia installation by Miami artist Antonia Wright, at 176 NE 41st St., and Christina Lei Rodriguez’s “Digitizing the Phenomena of Nature” (Orchids at Sunrise) at Northeast 39th and 40th streets on Northeast First Avenue.

Those willing to head indoors should check out Alec Jerome Kreisberg’s “Phone Alone USA” video exploring social media as a news channel, in Paradise Plaza 133; gallerist Dina Mitrani’s pop-up show “The Altered Image” at 161 NE 40th St. from Oct. 1 to 30; and David Castillo’s new gallery at 3930 NE Second Ave.

Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center celebrates the 12th anniversary of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance’s ongoing exhibition series, “Global Caribbean/Borderless Caribbean” with an outdoor installation curated by celebrate artist Edouard Duval-Carrié. It runs Dec. 2-Feb. 28.

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Mickalene Thomas’s photograph, “ A Moment’s Pleasure in Black and White,” is part of the show “House to House” at the Frost-FIU Museum of Art. Image Courtesy of the Artist


For those ready to venture indoors, three exhibits should be on the radar:

Museum of Contemporary Art – North Miami presents the most comprehensive survey to date of work by performance and multimedia artist Raúl de Nieves in “Eternal Return and The Obsidian Heart,” an investigation of time and spiritual growth. Don’t miss the full-size working carousel. Oct. 15-March 2021;

Institute of Contemporary Art – Miami, in the Design District, hosts the first U.S. retrospective of work by Allan McCollum, who explores the relationship between art objects and their intrinsic value, and the museums that collect them. Through Jan. 17;

The Philip and Patricia Frost-FIU Art Museum’s “House to House: Women, Politics, and Place” explores two poles of the female universe: the houses where we live and toil, and the House of Representatives, where an increasing number of members are women. Through Jan. 3.

Coral Gables Museum hosts a fashionista special, “PURSEonality: A Stylish Handbag History,” showcasing the collection of Ilene Hochberg Wood that has been decades in the making. Through Jan. 7.


Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival goes virtual this fall with Miami Film Festival GEMS Oct. 8-11. Highlights include a panel on Latinx artists to watch, presented in conjunction with Variety, and screenings of three films slated for March 2020 but canceled due to the pandemic: “Out in the Open,” directed by Benito Zambrano; “Us Kids,” directed by Kim An Snyder; and “This is Cristina,” directed by 2020 film festival feature award-winner Gonzalo Maza, with executive producer Salma Hayek. The in-person festival is slated for March 2021.

Jane Wooldridge, an award-winning journalist and Miami Herald veteran, oversees coverage of real estate, economy, urban development, tourism, cruises, visual arts and Art Basel. She is president of the Society of American Travel Writers. Find her on Instagram @JaneWooldridge.

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