In the midst of the economic downturn, three local business women conceived of an idea to beautify eyesores and halted construction sites with art. Erika Hawks, licensed attorney and the LEED AP Founder of UrbanoGreen; Annhy Shim, freelance art and design consultant and owner of urban garden center Pots and Plants; and Michelle Weinberg, artist, writer, curator, and education consultant, founded Available Space a non-profit that unites artists with empty buildings.
They were inspired by the pop-up art spaces found in New York City and Los Angeles. As Miami drowns in empty storefronts, the three enterprising women saw a mutual benefit for the building developers and Miami artists looking to display their work.
"We have Art Basel, the walk at Wynwood, and galleries, but what else
are we doing to provide opportunities to local artists? Especially those
who don't have the benefit or resources of taking part in these
events?" Shim added, "We have so many artists here in Miami that need
to be shown."
Available Space has yet to get any projects underway. They say they're
networking, "feeling things out," and generating ideas from artists this
month with an open call. They're asking Miami artists to submit a 2-D
artwork to display on mesh construction site barriers all over North
Beach. In addition to exposure, the winning artist will receive
$750. Read the details here.
For artists looking for space, Available Space has an ongoing open call. The
locations range from public spaces that may be viewed 24/7 to billboards
to storefronts and to interior spaces. If you're a owner of developer
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Available Space is also kicking around ideas such as finding artists to
create faux storefronts on the windows of empty retail space. For
developers, perhaps the vibrant designs will attract the attention of potential buyers and renters.