Artemis director Susan Caraballo had been shopping around for a new gallery space when she was introduced to Neli Santamarina earlier this year. Santamarina owns the historic José Martí Building just south of the Eighth Street exit off of I-95. "You know, the one with the big mural," says Caraballo. "Is it a map of Cuba? Is it a shoe?" she laughs. "I was hesitant about going back to Eighth Street, but when I met Neli, I had a very good feeling about it."
Santamarina and Carlos Betancourt had conceived the idea of creating an arts center, 801 Projects, in the space in 2003. "The idea behind the building is to create a complete art center," Caraballo says of the structure, which houses studios, offices, and Santamarina's Tinta y Café. "The café is the perfect meeting place" for artists to gather. (There's also a check-cashing business and tanning salon on the first floor, but we don't know many artists who'll go for the bronze.) Over the past two years, resident artists have settled into the building's second-floor studios, Artemis moved in, and a call was sent out for visiting artists to participate in the first experimental8 series, which is set to launch tonight.
Co-curated by Betancourt and Caraballo, experimental8: First Call features eclectic works by residents Ana Carballosa, Elizabeth Cerejido, Roberto Dominguez, Nereida Garcia-Ferraz, Umberto Peña, Ismael Gomez-Peralta, Pedro Portal, Arnaldo Simon, Angela Vallela, and Ben Weinberg, in addition to eleven visiting artists.
"We wanted the artists to work with the building and use the space creatively," says Caraballo. For example, in the back stairwell Wendy Wischer and Jason Ferguson created a light box called Migrations (top right), which features layering cloud formations nestled into a sunset over crisscrossing power lines. In another section, performance artist Octavio Campos presents IPO: Scan Artist.
"It still needs work," says Caraballo of the building, "but little by little, it's taking the shape of an art space." Don't miss the opening of experimental8: First Call tonight from 9:00 to midnight at 801 Projects, 801 SW Third Ave., Miami. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Call 305-324-0585, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Apparently not satisfied with the size of the popular, colorful iPod mini or the slender, inexpensive iPod shuffle, the folks at Apple recently debuted the iPod nano, an MP3 player the size of a business card and the width of a pencil, that works with a flash drive instead of the bulkier hard drive technology. Smaller, faster, and more efficient music-playing gadgets, computers, and cell phones seem to be coming down the pipeline at the speed of light. This kind of technological revolution bothers Kevin Wynn. As one of the co-curators of Cinema Vortex, Wynn is dedicated to preserving the past -- black wax platters that must be stored at an ideal temperature, reels of delicate magnetic tape, television sets that look like elaborate pieces of furniture. To celebrate the days when children were used as remote controls, Cinema Vortex is presenting "Public Domain Playhouse: Analog Antics," a celebration of retro technology. See inadvertently hilarious films Living Stereo, Television Remote Control, and A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape at the premiere screening tonight at 7:00 at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is free. Call 305-614-5700, or visit www.cinemavortex.org. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Lighten Up with the Lens
Talking about the art of photography
You crouch, squint, press the button, and hope for the best. But studying the masters and learning more about light and perspective can make the difference between a haphazard snapshot and a beautiful portrait. Tonight the Village of Key Biscayne's Art in Public Places committee presents "Photography: Sand and Light," a conversation with artists Cecilia Arboleda and Quisqueya Henríquez. Curator Veronica Scharf Garcia will also discuss the work of the late photographer Horst P. Horst, who is best known for his fashion photography for Vogue and his acclaimed portraits of such illustrious women as Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Katharine Hepburn, and Gertrude Stein. Horst, who also shot for House and Garden magazine, has a collection of exquisite still lifes and luscious florals that will make you feel like a naughty bumblebee. Learn more about the art of photography and the importance of this popular medium tonight at 7:00 (followed by a reception at 8:15) at Village Hall, 88 W. McIntyre St., Key Biscayne. Admission is free. Call 786-371-5288. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Collect Art, Not Dust
Art-collecting on a green-stamp budget will be discussed tonight as part of the Miami Beach Art Trust's "Brown Bag/Evening Bag" series of arts awareness forums. "Collecting: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask" features talks about how the public can smartly approach beginning a collection and what emerging artists can do to gain the attention of collectors. The interactive panel/audience discussion includes collector Paul Berg, Art Miami director Ilana Vardy, gallerist Genaro Ambrosino, Sotheby's Miami director Axel Stein, and local artist Jacin Giordano.
Young collectors should not be intimidated by wallet-busting price tags if they take time to study the art market and get to know local artists, panelists advise. "The key is to do homework, visit galleries and museums, learn the business, and have a passion for the work," points out Ambrosino. Convert that spare change into art that rocks you with some insider advice at 7:00 at ArtCenter/South Florida, 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Admission is free but space is limited. Call 305-674-8278, ext. 10. -- Carlos Suarez De Jesus