Art and Possibly Pandas

If your biggest complaint about the Miami art scene is that there are never any panda bears at the openings you attend, your best bet to change that situation is the opening of “Nueva Fundaciones” this Saturday at Miami Art Space (244 NW 35th St., Miami). Oh, you’ve never been? Well, Miami Art Space is a big old converted warehouse that just so happens to contain a 7,000-square-foot courtyard with a bamboo garden. It’s only a matter of time until the pandas learn about it and then, a few well-placed ink splotches on your grandmother’s white fur coat later, you’ve got a new panda best friend. And then there’s the art. The show features new work by Jel Martinez, Kiki Valdes, and Mariana Monteagudo. Martinez works in the language of street art and graffiti. Valdes’ swirling expressionist characters could draw from the images and people of Miami. Monteagudo makes eerily beautiful doll sculptures that were a highlight of last year’s art fairs. While hers are meticulously crafted and nuanced objects, they are most powerful when experienced in a large collection, as they will be at Miami Art Space. All three artists are Miami originals who are incorporating the visual cues of their city while finding entirely different means to express them. Expect big colors and splashy shapes in the pieces on display. The black-and-white pandas will be feeling a little outclassed and, oh gosh, in need of a friend. That’s where you come in. Entry is free, but panda friendship is priceless. The event goes from 6 to 10 p.m., but panda friendship lasts forever.
Fri., Sept. 27, 6-10 p.m., 2013
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B. Caplan