Congratulations to MasterMind 2011 Winners

Congrats to the MasterMind 2011 winners! At last night's Artopia, we recognized local artists in three categories: visual, narrative, and sound. Each of the nine finalists greatly enriched the Miami art scene in the past year. But in the end, the $1,500 genius grants went to artist Christy Gast, filmmaker Jorge Rubiera, and Matt Preira of Roofless Records. Cliches aside - it was difficult to chose just three, which is good sign for Miami. It means our city is teeming with talented individuals who would risk a little poverty to make good art.

If you're at all familiar with Miami's art scene then you'll surely know

the name Christy Gast. The artist has her thumb in plenty of pies: from

collaborations in Sleepness Nights, exhibits at De La Cruz, art lectures

at MOCA, etc. But it was Gast's clear mission to explore the cultural

histories of landscape that really caught our eye. Through her projects

Herbert Hoover Dyke, where she played the dam at Lake Okeechobee like an

instrument, and Batty Cave, a Dust Bowl interpretation of Noah's Ark,

she invents new light to shine on concepts of location. Considering

Miami's unique place with the rest of the country - both geographically

and metaphorically - we can't wait to see how she continues to interpret

our freaky environs.

Although you may recognize Jorge Rubiera as that dude in the band Animal Tropical

or the guy behind the lens for Vintage Mavens lookbooks, we were

delighted to learn of his astute filmmaking talent.  We commend him on

his completed projects (intriguing shorts like "Chicken Fingers" and "There

Are Trap Doors"), works in progress (his first feature film Meniscus), and

those to come (we hear talk about a film about conquistadors conquering

Florida natives). His cinema verite style is a risky choice as it can

easily read as amateurish or too film school-y. But his use of Steadicam

and first time actors, coupled with his notable eye for composition,

manages to convey truth and rawness while showcasing a mastery of the

form.

Beyond releasing the music of bands such as Flux Forces and Curious

Hair, Roofless Records is adding dimension and originality to Miami's

music scene. They're reigniting forgotten mediums, releasing music on

vinyl and cassette tape. They're launching a poster imprint called Time

Blade, released a CD-R dedicated to LeBron James, and helped Sweat

Records bring American Hardcore author Steven Blush to Miami for a

seminar on punk history. With help form the End, they've produced

microshows where each band plays a one-minute set. If the band blows the

time limit, the crowd storms the stage and stop the performance by

force. Congrats to label heads Matt Preira and Dana Bassatt.

Congratulations to MasterMind 2011 Winners
Photo by Justin Namon

Those who endured the long line to enter Artopia last night enjoyed hookah pipes, belly dancers, and DJs outdoors and two floors of art, music, and smoosing indoors. The big winners from the night were the Moore Building itself - an historic venue with a snow-like splat crisscrossing above - and the free Swisher Sweets cigars. (We hope you pocketed your fair share of the Wine flavor.) There were long lines upstairs for free manicures and henna tattoos. And the always-entertaining Circ X troupe wiggled and strutted among the Artopia revelers, who clutched fistfuls of Famosa beer, Rums of Puerto Rico, and Barefoot Wines. Freeze that image in your mind until we meet again next year for Artopia 2012.

See the full Artopia 2011 slideshow here.


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