There was a time when the June rainy season would put a damper on the 305's arts programming. But those days are long gone. Most local galleries now welcome the summer dog days as a perfect time to pick up some steam rather than winding down for vacation.
That's the case for the Design District's Swampspace which is known for embracing all things moist and clammy as part of its edgy monthly offerings the past half decade. The gallery was recently named one of this year's Knights Arts finalists.
That's not the only big news oozing from the Swamp's muggy environs. Oliver Sanchez, who owns and operates the alternative program, is launching a deluxe new location near Locust Projects during this month's Second Saturday crawl.
Then, there's a pair of widely contrasting photo offerings at Wynwood's Dina Mitrani and Artmedia galleries, showcasing a crop of fresh South Florida shutterbugs, all beginning at 6 p.m. this weekend. Here are our top picks for what's shaping into a sultry June Art Walk.
Low Tide Shopping
Oliver Sanchez is popping the champagne cork on his latest venture with a sultry group show featuring works by some of the Magic City's hottest talent, including Gary Fonseca, Jeffery Noble, Jason Hedges, Johnny Laderer, Diego Guzman, Gustavo Oviedo, Jose Felix Perez, Mario M. Gonzalez, and Emmett Moore. Sanchez explains that the show's title stems from a phrase that "refers to the act of retrieving debris from shorelines which has been left behind by high tides." Expect the enigmatic collection of works on display to convey notions of how the environment deeply influences the subconscious ideas of people as a result of their surroundings.
This seamless group offering at Dina Mitrani was curated by Jesus Petroccini and Julian Pardo, founders of Foto 33, an e-magazine about the photographic medium. The duo organized the show to spotlight local talent whose works reflect a complex relationship with their surroundings. The exhibit explores the Magic City's reputation as a hedonistic party destination contrasted against its rising role as a global center for artistic production. "Holistic and enlightening, decadent and indulgent, such a shift towards the internal leads to discovery," say the organizers, who add that the exhibit is "about the artists and the work they make within the backdrop of their own environment."
The Opa-Locka Effect
If you've ever wondered how to transform the dreary into the uplifting, then check out Jorge Sanchez's new solo at the Artmedia Gallery, where his "6.9 or Less," series of images taken between 2011 and 2014 capture the bleak environs of Opa-Locka's industrial district. Sanchez, who lives in the north end of the county, snapped the pictures while walking the 6.9 miles from his home to his job at a metal manufacturing factory documenting his desolate surroundings as a tribute to the workers and residents of the area. The photographer says he was inspired by Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, and Robert Adams, who, in the past, have approached similar themes in different regions of the country.
Reverse: rewriting culture
This provocative group offering at Dot Fiftyone, boasts some of the Magic City's big names and was organized by El Nuevo Herald critic and indie curator, Janet Batet. The heady exhibit explores stereotypes on sexual orientation and features the work of contemporary artists that, "freed from any fig leaf," propose a "horizontal reading about gender, sexuality and social concerns." The show is the first volley of a project called "ONE WAY," that in each edition will investigate the widespread misconceptions reducing the "production of gay artists to homoerotic contents," the gallery explains.
Summer Collectibles 2014
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This yearly showcase of the O. Ascanio's stalwarts boasts European and South American talent known for geometric, op art, and psychedelic works created from widely disparate mediums. Some of the works on view are by contemporary masters Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesus Raphael Soto. Also featured are selections from Biennale de Paris award-winner Francisco Salazar, pieces inspired by mathematical precision from Italy-based Victor Lucena, as well as several of Carlos Cabeza's hallucinogenic and mind-boggling paintings. The wide-ranging exhibit includes a collection of Argentinean artist Luis Tomasello's series Atmosphères Chromoplastiques, alongside the coded work of Venezuelan artist Nanin. On display you'll also discover editions by English painter Gary Hume and the surreal dreamscapes of up-and-coming Spanish artist, Rafa Macarron.