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First Friday Art Walk Guide: All the Culture on Display at Downtown's Inaugural Event

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It's finally here. First Friday Art Walk is about to expose locals and not-so-locals alike to the cultural and artistic hub that is downtown Miami.

International Fine Art Expositions (IFAE), founder of Art Miami and the organization behind Miami International Art Fair, is partnering with the district's nonprofit art institutions and local galleries to showcase contemporary work by more than 150 artists, live music, exclusive openings, and culture-rich activities for free.

This Friday, IFAE has thoroughly programmed special exhibitions, opening receptions, open artists' studios, art in public places, and multiple locations of downtown public artworks for attendees to take in. After the jump, see our guide to the exhibits on display. All are open from 6 to 10 p.m. this Friday unless otherwise noted.

See also:
- Downtown Miami's New First Friday Art Walk: Free Culture by Land and by Sea
- Seafair 's MIA Encore: Cocktail Cruises, Free Exhibits, and Find Out if You Own a Masterpiece

Special Exhibitions:

MDC Museum of Art + Design
MDC presents two exhibitions this month. "Arnold Mesches: A Life's Work" is a retrospective that commemorates Mesches's 90th birthday. Born in the Bronx in 1923, he's held 132 solo exhibitions. Curated by Kim Levin, respected art critic and former contributor to the Village Voice, the show begins with Mesches's first exhibited painting (1945) and features more than 65 works from many of the 14 series completed, on display through Saturday, May 4.

For "Transcending Narratives of Humanity: Selected Works From the CINTAS Foundation Fellows Collection," Natalie Perez, MDC MOAD curatorial intern, curated the minimal exhibition featuring six works by artists Ernesto de la Vega Pujol, Pablo Cano, Mario Petrirena, Juan Nickford, Ernesto Oroza, and Maria Elena Gonzalez. The exhibit follows artists whose works investigate and relate material and visual culture to history and storytelling. It runs through Friday, May 31.

Art-walkers can check out both works at 600 Biscayne Blvd. from 6 to 8 p.m.

SeaFair, the Megayacht Venue
"Mia Encore" features a mix of established and emerging contemporary artists represented by dealers from all over the world. Carefully chosen works will include photography, mixed media, painting, sculpture, jewelry, and installation and video, all to be displayed on a $40 million, floating art gallery. As part of Friday's inaugural Art Walk, admission is complimentary for the duration of First Friday hours.
The exhibit runs through Sunday, April 7, at the Bayfront Park South Dock, 100 Chopin Plaza.

The Artisan Lounge
"W 10, a Collective View" is a look at recent works by the seven women of W 10, a group of Latin American artists who have worked together over the years and used their own experiences, personalities, and life stories to create varying formats of imagery and intuitive meaning. Artists include Toa Castellanos, Maria Castillo, Mary Chirinos, Esther Mendoza, Gail Marie Ruiz, Patricia Sowers, and Silvia Yapur.
Artisan Lounge, 500 NE First Ave.

Nina Torres Fine Art
"Poesia Visual Contemporanea" commemorates Ponce de Leon's discovery of Florida and celebrates 500 years of Spanish presence in the southernmost corner of the country with works by 41 artists.
Opening reception begins at 8 p.m. The exhibit runs through Friday, April 26, at 888 Biscayne Blvd.

Wine by the Bay, in Collaboration With Etra Fine Art 

The artsy wine shop presents "The Different Arts of Sandro Chia: A Great Painter, a Great Winemaker... a Great Host." Stefano Campanini, owner of Wine by the Bay, along with a representative of the Chia Dynasty, will celebrate the internationally renowned artist. Chia's paintings, sculptures, and prints will be displayed throughout the venue, where guests will enjoy a tasting of one of his most celebrated wines, Castello di Romitorio, in addition to his Brunello di Montalcino and his Brunello di Montalcino Riserva.
Tasting runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at 888 Biscayne Blvd.

"Electric Lunch"
Patti Hernandez's pirate radio station will host a site-specific performance during a broadcast.
176 NE First St. from noon to 3 p.m.

Opening Receptions:

Ocean Bank Art Space
"Faces of Faith," presented by Urban Tour Host, includes works by Papaloko (Jude Thagenus), Molina, Rachel Dugger, Studio Art Jewelry Designs and more.
The reception runs from 5 to 8 p.m at 200 SE First Street. Kindly RSVP by Wednesday, April 3. Call 305-416-6868.

Open Art Studios:

Dimensions Variable
The exhibition space located in the new Downtown Arthouse building, whose aim is to bring national and international artists to showcase and discuss their work alongside local artists in the community, hosts an open studio this Friday. As part of First Friday inauguration, the artist studios of Frances Trombly, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, and Adler Guerrier will be open to the public. Also housed in the Downtown Arthouse: TM Sisters, Bas Fisher Invitational, and Turn-Based Press.
Dimensions Variable, 100 NE 11th Street.

McCormick Place
The production-based event space with a first floor gallery currently houses seven artist studios, including Eleazar Delgado, Scottie Flamm, Virginia Erdie, Julie Ross, Karen Kim, Manuel Rodriguez, and Eva Avila.
McCormick Place, 111 SW Third Street.

Art in Public Places:

Sculptures in the Park at Bayfront
In sponsorship with Nina Torres Fine Art Gallery, Bayfront features colossal sculpture and design pieces. Walkers are welcome to gaze upon projects by Italian artist Helidon XHIXHA, Cuban artist Rafael Consuegra, and Japanese-Argentinian artist Valeria Yamamoto.

Giants in the City
Presented by IRREVERSIBLE Magazine, Giants in the City features a locally cultivated, public art project installed throughout Bayfront Park. The cultural event series and traveling exhibition will include work by artist Astolfo Funes, Maximo Caminero, and Frank Hyder, with the goal of fostering creative and harmonious stimulus.

Both exhibits runs through Sunday, April 7 at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd.

Downtown Public Art Walk
There's also plenty of permanent public art scattered around downtown. Miami DDA and Miami Dade Art and Public Places created a walking tour as part of DWNTWN Art Days, which you can see and follow here in order to check out the below mentioned exhibits:

Plaza of Miami Dade Cultural Center: "Cheval Majeur" by Raymond Duchamp-Villon.

Miami Main Public Library: "Words Without Thought Never to Heaven Go" by Edward Ruscha.

Metro Dade County Building: "Dropped Bowl with Scattered Slices and Peel" by Claes Oldenburg and Coosie van Bruggen.

MetroMover Riverwalk Station: "M" by Roberto M. Behar and Rosario Marquardt.

Bayfront Park, West side: "Slide Mantra" by Isamu Noguchi.

Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus: Lannan Collection; "Lazers Maze" by Forrest Myers; "Oos Grandes" by Bill Barrett; "Zamir" by Richard van Buren; "Marina" by David von Schlegell; "The X" by Ronald Bladen; "Double City Boots" by Kenneth Snelson; "Manhatten Schist-Portrait of a Rock" by Robert Lawrence Lobe.

First Friday Art Walk launches Friday, April 5, from 6 to 10 p.m. The art walk will be held the first Friday of every month from January to June and October to December. The September art walk will be held in conjunction with DWNTWN Art Days, September 20 through 22. Call 9499-5411.

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