Since opening its doors in 1998, Locust Projects has enjoyed a sustainability and growth that might've not been within the parameters of reality first envisioned by artist founders COOPER, Elizabeth Withstandley, and Westen Charles. Given the Detroit-level government abandonment of the Wynwood neighborhood at the time, it's a hard sale to believe that the space would've lasted and thrived for this long.
A decade and a half later, Locust is now a recognized force in the clogged artistic landscape of the area. Aside from enjoying a healthy relationship with local and international artists, part of the Locust raison d'être is the continued accessibility it presents to the artistic community.
One of the best ways of maintaining relevance in Miami's perpetually ebbing art scene is being able to engage the community it directly affects, so to call a regular event One Night Stands is more of a tongue-in-cheek barb in which Locust proves that though they are elders in the South Florida art game, they are still, refreshingly so, 16 year old teenagers who have every right to voice an opinion.
One Night Stands at Locust Projects will not leave you dizzy-eyed in the morning, looking to recreate the evening's events through the forensic interpretation of ATM receipts, rouge on the collar, and/or gonad-checking for hanky-panky. No. This series aims to establish a line of communication, the type that succeeds in the old school "face to face" manner between young professionals with creative producers.
This month's event is equal parts a nod to the idylls of Weeki Wachee's roadside appeal and the new trend of training land-lubbers in the sailor-killing lusty ways of mermaiding. Topical? Yes. Retro? You better believe it. Kitschy and fun? We can't make this shit up. Joining forces with Miami Emerging Museum Professionals, Locust Projects' The Cave of the Water Nymphs is a tableau of a bygone Florida.
Miami-based artist Christina Pettersson looks to soothe the dying heat of South Florida's summer with a living picture booth of straight up Floridiana kitsch. The old timey, maritime backdrop will feature intrinsic Florida things like mermaids, deep sea divers, sailors (ne'er-do-wells), pirates (or buccaneers if you're more inclined that way) and sea-borne instances of yester-yesteryear like Poseidon in his full Earth-shaking, Greek glory.
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It's no Miami party if there aren't any props to propel the proceedings along, so expect some swimming caps, snorkels, fish, shells, corals and sea fans to further enhance the atmosphere that will be curated by a DJ while cocktails and drinks flow. If you're lucky, there might be some sea shanties in the air, but luck is luck and as such, you'll have to cast yours with a) the tides and b) how kindly Wynwood takes to how you warm up to the hardworking, constantly evolving peeps at Locust.
ONE NIGHT STAND: The Cave of the Water Nymphs at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 8, at Locust Projects, 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami. This event is free to artists, Locust Projects members and Miami Emerging Museum Professionals. Tickets can be purchased as a guest for $20. Call 305-576-8570 or visit locustprojects.org.
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