While perusing this week's free events, you might notice a heavy coat of art being spread across Miami. Though Art Basel is still three months away, a minifestival of gallery openings and street events seems to be rising above the dregs of early September. Of course, for those less artistically inclined, there's still plenty to do and see in the Magic City this week without breaking the bank. Check out our favorite free events this week:
Ruben Millares Opening Reception at Pan American Art Projects. When you think about it, nearly everything in modern life is made with numbers. Your smartphone is powered by computations upon computations, your favorite websites use algorithms, and the house you live in, the car you drive to work, and the cup you had your cafecito in were all made using math. Now try some art made with numbers. “Paint by Numbers,” the new exhibition by art Ruben Millares, opening this week at Pan American Art Projects, is all about the little digits that power our world. They may not look it at first glance, but the two works are made entirely of little numbers. 6 p.m. Wednesday at Pan American Art Projects, 6300 NW Second Ave., Miami; panamericanart.com. Admission is Free.
DWNTWN Art Days 2017. Like a giant bucket of paint poured onto a canvas, the Art Days festival is splashing into downtown for the sixth year. Venues such as the Arsht Center, Pérez Art Museum, and even the recently opened Frost Museum of Science are getting in on the fun by offering performances, demonstrations, and interactive activities such as mural painting, kite building, and much more. The Miami Center for Architecture & Design at 100 NE First St. is the hub for the event, where you can get information on all the weekend’s happenings. Friday through Sunday at multiple venues; dwntwnarts.com. Admission varies; most events are free.
"The Open House: Works by Troy Simmons and Tom Scicluna" at Bakehouse Art Complex. Much of the recent history of Wynwood has involved artists and businesses turning what was once a drab warehouse district into a vibrant, colorful arts and culture hub. The revitalization must have inspired artist Troy Simmons, whose latest exhibition at the Bakehouse art space involves ripping open industrial structures of aluminum and concrete to reveal color within. He will exhibit with Tom Scicluna, whose work focuses on the recontextualization of everyday objects. Opens at noon Friday at Bakehouse Art Complex, 561 NW 32nd St., Miami; bacfl.org. Admission is free.
Miami Paradise at 1306. It can be pretty hard to view Miami as the sun-kissed paradise all the tourists see when you live here year-round and have to deal with scorching heat, hurricanes, and unbearable traffic. Nevertheless, the people behind the monthly Miami Paradise party are keen on celebrating the city’s neon-lit image by promoting local artists and musicians. This month marks the party’s first anniversary, and the promoters are celebrating in style with sets from Triangles, Voila Snow, and others, along with a new cassette compilation, Paradise Lost. 10 p.m. Friday at 1306 Miami, 1306 N. Miami Ave., Miami; facebook.com/MiamiParadise305. Admission is free.
ArtsLaunch at the Adrienne Ashct Center. The Arsht Center is both a center for the performing arts and a place where families and friends can gather in a lovely public courtyard to build and enjoy their community. One such event that will draw a crowd is ArtsLaunch, celebrating the box office opening for the 2017-18 season. One hundred twenty arts organizations will participate; there’ll be 25 live performances, 15 eateries, a farmers’ market, the Community Arts Village, a kids' zone, a silent disco, and other diversions, all for free. If you stay long enough, you can participate in the Longest International Conga Line, a fine way to make your way through the day. 10 a.m. Saturday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; arshtcenter.org. Admission is free. RSVP on the website.
Aaron T. Stephan Opening Reception at Locust Projects. Owning a home is an unattainable reality for so many, but those who can afford a house deal with a roller-coaster housing market. There’s no winning sometimes. Sculptor Aaron T. Stephan from Portland, Maine, is commenting on the homeownership tenet of the American Dream with his Locust Projects show "Cement Houses and How to Build Them." At the turn of the last century, Sears used to sell a concrete-block-making device, and Stephan will use it to fill the art space with his own building blocks. Bring your inner child to meet the artist at 6:30 and your inner art-party animal for the 7 p.m. reception, which features drinks and a DJ. Also on display will be work by Miami’s "Franky Cruz: Vivero," Charlotte artists with "Jason Woodberry: Art on the Move," and "Marcus Kiser: Intergalactic Soul." 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Locust Projects, 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami; locustprojects.org. Admission is free.
Magnus Sodamin Opening Reception at Primary Projects. You’ve likely glimpsed magnificence created by artist Magnus Sodamin at the Wynwood Walls. Taking cues from nature and his favorite pastime, fishing, he painted a whole room whose famed walls dripped with color. For that mural, Calm Before the Sun, he also played also with light, sound, and space. So to say Sodamin creates a full-sensory experience is pretty accurate. This week, he’s presenting "Impressions of Our Landscape at Primary Projects," his third solo show at the hip Miami gallery. The work is focused on his residency at the Deering Estate, the acreage at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and his period of research at the Artist in Residency in Everglades (AIRIE) program. Check out his view of nature and feel it from your eyes to your ears to your bones. 7 p.m. Saturday at Primary Projects, 15 NE 39th St., Miami; primaryprojectspace.com. Admission is free.
Cash: A Tribute to Johnny Cash at Churchill’s Pub. There just don’t seem to be as many talented musical families these days as there were way back. There’s no modern version of the Jacksons or the Carter-Cash families. Certainly, if there were, they’d be fodder for crazy clickbait, providing us with both a whole family to gawk at and sing along with in understanding. You can celebrate that tradition of musical relatives as well as outlaw country at Churchill's with Cash: A Tribute to the legendary Johnny Cash. Acts set to play the great’s tunes include Rich Pierce, Union, Unity Rise, and the very talented W.D. Miller & the Revolvers. 9 p.m. Tuesday at Churchill’s Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami, churchillspub.com. Admission is free with RSVP on Facebook.
Salt Cathedral at Gramps. House of Creatives Music Festival won’t stage its big event until November 11 on Virginia Key Beach, but it’s stoking fans’ excitement early with a series of warm-up shows. This week, the fest will take over Gramps with the New York-based Colombian alt-indie group Salt Cathedral, which has collaborated with Lee Scratch Perry and Matisyahu. The show will also feature special guest Private School. 8 p.m. Wednesday at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; gramps.com; facebook.com/hocfest. Admission is free with RSVP.
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