On Thursday night, as the rest of the nation put on layers of wool clothing and ate hot soup (or whatever it is people do when winter is on the prowl), artists and supporters of the arts braved North Beach flooding and October humidity for a poolside soirée. Set at the Freehand Miami, Cannonball hosted its annual Endless Summer Pool Party, complete with video enhancements by Obsolete Media Miami, delicious bites from Blue Collar and Mignonette, craft beers from Boxelder, music, and, of course, synchronized swimming performances by Verso.
“I couldn't make it last year, so I decided to be a host this year,” said co-founder and board member Carolina Garcia Jayaram. “We always try to include as many artists as we can and our goal is to raise money, but also make this a fun and inclusive event.”
Founded as LegalArt in 2003 by Jayaram and Lara O’Neil, Cannonball is an “arts organization dedicated to supporting artists, innovative forms of cultural production, and education to advance critical discourse and understanding of contemporary art practice.”
Their core initiatives include: a residency program for local and international artists; research.art.dialogue (r.a.d.), a public alternative school; LegalLink, which serves the legal needs of Florida artists and small arts organizations; WaveMaker Grants, funds for artists in Miami-Dade County; and Commissions, which assists in the production, presentation, and documentation of new works in under-represented forms. Cannonball also hosts talks and info sessions around the city and at its home in downtown Miami.
The fall fundraiser was especially notable this year, as it marked the first time that Cannonball was able to give grants to artists that support projects that are non-commercial and non-institutional. In February, the WaveMaker Grants went to 15 different artists, some of whom were in the audience (or, like Obsolete Media Miami, on display in the form of film and photography). The silent auction also included past Cannonball residents and some current board members who donated pieces to help the cause.
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Some of the artists, such as Daniel Arsham and Jim Drain, donated sculptures to support Cannonball’s initiatives. Arsham’s Eroded Point-and-Shoot Nikon, made of hydrocal and shattered glass, and Drain’s Shark Tooth (Mauled), made of bronze and literally marked with his teeth, were big hits.
“These fundraisers are really the heart of an organization like Cannonball,” said Jayaram. “Many times small organizations do so much with only a handful of people, so we’re very grateful for to people to come and support us.”
For more information on Cannonball and upcoming events, visit cannonballmiami.org.
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