Summer is here and along with it a surfeit of seasonal groupstravaganzas featuring the region's top artistic talent. Corralled in exhibits rife with multimedia works are exhibits offering visitors one-stop showcases of the ingenuity that has elevated Miami's thriving art scene to the international stage year-round.
You'll find everything from a collector's vision of a dream home filled with functional artwork, to an annual survey of the Magic City's leading non-represented creative types, to a review of last year's hit parade at a leading local space.
At Praxis International Art (2219 NW Second Ave., Miami), "Home: Dream Home" includes a handsome array of works by some of our city's most influential names alongside a couple of out-of-town guests who were invited to the intriguing house party.
Wynwood Second Saturday Art Walk
The exhibit was organized by local collector Grela Orihuela, executive producer of the Wet Heat Project, a Miami-based company that produces original films documenting the local art scene.
Praxis has been transformed into her idea of what an ideal pad would look like. All the manifestations of functional furniture and décor were created by 32 artists who decked out the gallery.
On view you'll find Dan Walker's swinging crimson chandelier crafted from plastic dolls, toy cars, and balls, alongside Emmett Moore's chair created from PVC pipe, a tree stump, and a street sign. Also on display is Bert Rodriguez's lighted wooden bed platform and a geometric-patterned carpet by Agustina Woodgate fashioned from deconstructed plush toy animal pelts. Call 305-572-2900 or visit praxis-art.com.
Across the street from Praxis, at David Castillo Gallery (2234 NW Second Ave., Miami), the annual "DCG Open" brings together 28 South Florida artists, currently without gallery representation, who illustrate some of the dominant and diverse art practices developing on the local scene.
At Castillo, don't miss Antonia Wright's witty take on the quinceañera craze. In the work, the artist dons a tiara and an ivory gown bedecked with fist-sized pink roses for a studio photograph that parodies the traditional rite of passage. Equally attention-grabbing is Herman Felipe Kaizedo's gem of an oil painting, not much larger than a paperback book, depicting a pair of anonymous lovers with their hands stuffed down each others' pants. Call 305-573-8110 or visit davidcastillogallery.com.
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For many art lovers, summer is a time to assess what worked or didn't work during the course of the previous year.
Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts' (2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami) "Season Review 2010/2011" exhibit has cobbled together the works of its international and homegrown stable of artists with an emphasis on concepts of innovation and originality.
Standouts on display include Purlieu, an installation by Caroline Lathan-Stiefel that resembles a sweeping macrame-type wall-swallowing sculpture woven in a riot of rainbow hues. It makes a nice counterpart to Charles Clary's Terr-a-diddle Infestation, an acrylic and hand-cut paper-on-panel installation rendered in organic, honeycomb shapes confected in brown sugar and spicy mustard tones and climbing from the floor to the walls like a viral contagion. Call 305-576-1804 or visit dlfinearts.com.
Those are our picks for the smoking-hot July version of the Wynwood art walk, during which you can take a gander at the work of 75 artists in three pit stops. You may find everything from a painting or photo from top-drawer South Florida talent to hang over your tattered, hand-me-down couch, to an artist-crafted chair or lamp to spruce up your dreary living room.