In some ways, it ended up being a good thing that when we turned 10 years old, our mom didn't let us change our name to He Man. But when LegalArt held a party on Friday night to celebrate its name change to Cannonball in advance of its tenth anniversary, it was an auspicious renaissance that will likely spur few wedgies from the bigger arts organizations. (If only we'd been so lucky.)
As a mix of collectors and creatives mingled throughout four floors of cocktails and art installations, Cultist snuck off into a corner with executive director Chris Cook to find out what's next for Cannonball and to justify the four pounds of passed hors d'oeuvres that we ate.
"Next year is our 10-year anniversary," Cook told us us. "Over the 10 years, the services LegalArt has developed for artists have expanded beyond pro bono legal services. We and the board decided that it was time we evolved a new identity to reflect that."
In addition to continuing to its public art programs and residencies for visiting and local artists, Cannonball will focus on other pressing issues: "education and our work to retain Miami artists so they don't feel the need to leave Miami."
And so, with the aid of Supermarket Creative's branding expertise, LegalArt became Cannonball.
"It's Cannonball as in the dive, not the weapon," Cook said. "When someone does a cannonball at a pool party, it's fun but it's also disruptive. Good contemporary art is disruptive ... That's our approach. Plus, it's a nod to Miami's poolside culture and the senses of nostalgia and humor that we have here."
And now: party photos!
One of Cannonball's new efforts is a rotating, annual installation in its storefront lobby space. Here, two Cannonballers enjoy Bhakti Baxter's installed living room that includes a part-time DJ. It will be up for the next ten months.
Baxter's installation also includes a wall entirely covered by LP album covers that gradually shift in color across the wall. Sadly, this Fine Young Cannonball is not part of the work.
Upstairs, works by Cannonball residents past and present were on display. Here, former resident Liz Ferrer of Southernmost Situations DJs in the middle of a plantscape of her own design. That other dude is named James.
And downstairs, current resident Pioneer Winter staged an out-of-water synchronized swim performance.
Lolo Reskin of Sweat Records was DJing throughout the night. Naturally, the first song she played after the announcement of the new name was the Breeders' "Divine Hammer." Or maybe it was "Cannoball." Not sure...there were a lot of free St. Germain slush drinks made with liquid nitrogen by Kryogenifex.
You can tell this woman is a professional because no matter how many times we asked, she wouldn't freeze any of the different things we brought her, not even the killer robot sent back from the future to kill John Connor. Whose side are you on, lady?
One of the highlights of the party was the silent auction. According to Jessica, who attended to auction participants' questions, the greatest interest was in the Art Basel-related VIP packages and the artist experiences, such as the one above with New Times Mastermind Award winner Jillian Mayer.
Other experiences available included a frolic and picnic with Art Basel-bound Agustina Woodgate and "a fiery night of BBQ and beer" with George Sanchez Calderon. The Jillian Mayer lot was obviously the item of choice for the most troubled of Cannonballers. But another Mastermind Award winner, Christy Gast, was only offering a studio visit and lunch. Perhaps this was the pick for well-adjusted art lovers?
Jessica believed it was more likely that those bidding on the Gast lot would be attempting to outrun their demons rather than face them. A strange twist: when the auction closed, it appeared that the same person had won both the Gast and Mayer auctions, suggesting a tortured soul, indeed.
Here are a few more of the lots up for bid. That thing on the left is a necklace, not a cod piece, but that orange contraption is most definitely a pair of handknit hot pants. Even so, the hot pants were worn later as a necklace by some spirited Cannonballers. Artists: seeing the world in such different ways!
It was a diverse crowd with nearly as much on their minds as on their lips.
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And there was this guy, who has been owning Movember even since back when it was still called Novembstache.
But in the end, what brought everyone together was a shared love and concern for one of Miami's most vital yet fleeting resources: hush puppies!
Cannonball will soon be launching a new website but for now, you can still keep up with them at LegalArtMiami.org.