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Art Africa Miami Arts Fair Helps To Create Change Through Arts and Culture
Arts and culture are essential for building a community, supporting the development and contributing to economic opportunity. Collectively, arts and culture enable understanding of the past and envisioning of a shared, more equitable future. The 7th Edition of Art Africa Miami Arts Fair: Back To Black: No On/Off Ramps is set to kick off Miami Art Week and Art Basel 2017 on December 5-10, 2017. The art fair is housed between the Pan-African Pavilion at 919 Plaza at The Lyric and the Featured Artists Pavilion at 920 historic Clyde Killens’ building both on NW 2nd Avenue in Overtown. Art Africa Miami Arts Fair explores how Black Arts respond to the assaults that currently beset the global African Diaspora and the world at large and how artists of African descent and the global south create modes of intervention of radical autonomy.
The event is sponsored by the City of Miami Southeast Overtown Community Redevelopment Agency(SEOPW) and the Greater Miami Visitors and Conventions Bureau. Twenty-five artists from the United States, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America are set to showcase their work.
ART AFRICA MIAMI 2017 is an example of the vibrant cultural legacy of Miami’s beautiful landscape. D. Neil Hall, AIA, Founder of Art Africa, and a lifelong advocate for the transformational role art & culture plays within marginalized communities, has one of the most influential voices in the arts and culture arena. Clear about his vision seven years ago when he created the Art Africa Miami Art Fair platform, he knew then this art fair would be the anchor to help contribute to strengthening the cultural identity of Historic Overtown, as well as its resurgence as a cultural hub.
Art continues to be a driving force in the redevelopment and economic growth of communities across South Florida, “said Clarence E. Woods, Executive Director of the Southeast Overtown / Park West Community Redevelopment Agency. The Art Africa Miami Art Fair has positively contributed to that landscape. The ability to provide an eclectic mix of artwork from the diaspora has contributed to Overtown’s significant presence in Miami’s Art Basel Week”.
This year’s theme, BACK TO BLACK: No On/Off Ramps, is a multimedia presentation including paintings, sculptures, photography, installation, and video as well as performance exploring how alternative narratives confront the resurgence of oppression and the idea of Black arts’ intervention in the cultural sphere as both necessary and urgent.
BACK TO BLACK: No On/Off Ramps explores how Black Arts respond to the assaults that currently beset the global African Diaspora and the world at large and how artists of African descent and the global south create modes of intervention of radical autonomy.
BACK TO BLACK: No On/Off Ramps honors all participant artists whose works have been deemed retaining a truth dimension of liberation. There will also be a series of lectures by noted artists and scholars who are at the forefront of the African Diaspora movement.
Art Africa Miami Arts Fair 2017 Program Schedule
December 5th, ART AFRICA 2017
Noon-3pm- Media and Influencer Preview
Wednesday-December 6th
7:00pm-11:00pm-Opening Night/ ART AFRICA ”The Black Party.”
Opening Night---- the signature night that transforms Historic Overtown for the ultimate Black Party. Come dance the night away to DJ Dorenzo spinning Island beats & the cultural sphere of Black Arts to serve as your backdrop. Music by Melo Groove Steele Orchestra and Carnival costumes by D-Junction Mas Carnival-all powered by Miami Carnival. Attire: Black.
December 7th, 2017 -Art and Community
Talk by Neil Hall-a thoughtful discussion with local and international street artists on the importance of an ongoing commitment to the cultural resurgence of the Historic Overtown neighborhood through the activation of art and culture-Complimentary wine will be served.
Thursday, December 7th
Movie Screening-Chasing Trane-Definitive Film Bio of Jazz Legend John Coltrane-Independent Lens
8pm-Gallery closes
Friday-December 8th-Art and Design
Gallery opens at 12noon
4pm-6pm-Art & Youth -Youth Art Insider: An after school interactive workshop with the youth from Overtown-powered by CodeFever Miami.
8pm-Gallery closes
Saturday-December 9th
Noon_Gallery opens
12 noon-The Local and the Global: Black Aesthetics and the legitimization process in the global contemporary Art-The emergence of new starts in the contemporary global art scene seems to validate a particular geography: a particular type of art and a particular race of artists. Their “global fame” carefully wrapped in layers of beautifully ornamented museums and galleries and glossy art magazines and blockbuster exhibitions are awaited with great anticipation. Critic dedicates thousands of words to the announced work. Sometimes, the density of the work and the words appear not to be backed by a complexity of thought. Building on recent theoretical works which redefine blackness away from abjection, post-ness, and erasure, this panel explores the process of artistic legitimatization and issues connected to this dynamic.
Centering the Margins: Contemporary Situations and Differences in African Diaspora: Mutations, Migration, Multiculturalism. There have been innovations in classifying and exhibiting African Diaspora art. Among the issues that grid these dynamics: Who classifies it? How, by whom, is it legitimate? What and who defines what is ‘authentic’ or “contemporary’ in Africa Diaspora Art’?
The panel explores notions of the distinction between center and periphery in contemporary art circles, modernity/contemporaneity, change and tradition in African Diaspora Art Is this distinction still prevalent? Has the recognition of innovation in African Diaspora Art amounted to disassociating it from the exotic, even when included in global art circuits under the rubric of contemporary African Diaspora art? The panel explores points of entries and departures to question and discuss criteria for classification and canonization.
8pm-Gallery Closes
Sunday, December 10th
Noon-Gallery opens
2:00pm-Closing Artists Panel
5:00pm-Gallery closes
Art Africa Miami Arts Fair Featured Artists
Abdoulaye Konaté
-Has been characterized as one of the foremost contemporary African artists worldwide, the highlight of his career is the document of Kassel, Venice and Dakar Biennale, the Museum of Germany dedicated retrospective to his work in 2015. Found in major museum collections including the metropolitan Museum of Art and The Smithsonian, Washington, DC.
Manuel (Tony) Peralta
-Afro-Dominican to the bone, Peralta explores cultural iconography and hues that criss-cross the African diaspora in the Caribbean.  Writer Junot Jazz has collected his works, Lin-Manuel Miranda and recently the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum in DC acquired his work “Celia Con Rolo”.
Phillip Thomas
-The winner of the last Jamaican / Caribbean Biennale of contemporary art 2016.  Using old masters’ techniques that he fuses with Afro-Caribbean forms, he produces a contemporary language that is both Caribbean and universal. Thomas has been collected by major institutions such as the national gallery of Jamaica, and he is represented in the United States by the major RJD GALLERY in New York.
Lyric Prince
-Is a graduate of St. Joseph University Philadelphia (M.S. in science, technology, and society) and has a (B.A. in Fine Arts and French).  Prince’s articulations rupture the boundaries of hegemonic norms mainly through exploring afro-futurism.
Aisha Tandiwe Bell’s
-Works inspired by the fragmentation of multiple identities.  She engages in creating myth and ritual through sculpture, performance, video, sound, drawing, and installation. Bell recently participated in the Venice Biennale 2017.
Philippe Dodard
-Came to preeminence in 2012 when American designer Donna Karan used his collection for her fall collection.  Philippe explores the aesthetic of the Taino’s and the Africa masks to create a visual language that is both contemporary and historical.  He is the director of the national school of art of Haiti.
George Edozie
-Has risen as the foremost young Nigerian contemporary artist under 40. In 2014, the museum of The Contemporary Art in Miami dedicated him its Art Basel exhibition. George returned to Miami with works that address contemporary issues as they pertain to the African diaspora.  His work has been acquired by the Cartier Foundation in Paris.
Carlos Salas
-The foremost abstract Latin American painter whose work explores the human conditions in which issues of politics and identities find articulation at the highest point. His upcoming retrospective titles Reiterations will open at the Sunshine Museum of Beijing in May 2018.
Rick Ulysse
-Ulysse graduated from FAMU with a bachelor of fine arts degree.  His work explores mythology and folklore with interest in Haitian and Caribbean identity.  His works remain open-ended as a means to achieve universal and cross-cultural connections.
William Cordova
- Born in Lima, Peru.  He graduated with a BFA from the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA from Yale University.  He has participated in numerous residences including the studio museum in Harlem, NY and the American Academy in Berlin Germany, art space San Antonio Texas and was included in the Whitney and Havana Biennales, as well as, prospect three Triennial New Orleans.
José Bédia
-Perhaps the foremost Cuban American artist, Bedia has made many research travels both in Africa and in the indigenous peoples of Australia.  His works are in major United States and European museums and private collections and most contemporary Cuban artists were his students.
Doba Afolabi
-Afolabi taught art at Yaba College of technology in Lagos Nigeria before migrating to the united states.  His solo exhibition titled Buffalo Soldier in 1999 earned his rave reviews in the NY art scene.  Doba is familiar to art Africa where he has gained an almost official place.
Kofi Kayiga
-The eldest living Jamaican artist, Kayiga has taught in Africa, London and now he’s at the Massachusetts college of art. His works emerge from a fusion of African iconographies and the traditional cultures of the Caribbean. He has been exhibited both in the United States and England.
Peter Wayne Lewis
-Peter Wayne Lewis thinks his works as vagabondage in which the experiences for a creative potential of movement is conceived as a privileged modality for the apparition of form.
Antonius Robert
-Robert is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Art and is the curator of the gallery of the central bank of Bahamas. He has participated in international exhibitions including Wiesbaden, Germany and the 8th Changchun international sculptures in China. Roberts works are included in numerous collections in the US, South Africa, Italy and throughout the Caribbean.
Rhea Leonard
-Perhaps the revelation of Art Africa 2017, Leonard is finishing an MFA degree at FIU.  She uses the woman’s body as a site for discourse to remember, and as a place of meeting and transfer. In her work, the body serves as an instrument for remembering; the body of pain, of loss, of trauma, distorted bodies of the middle passage, all rising again in the creation of African American culture.
Robert McKnight-
-Paints as the jazzman composes. His lines are not linear but curved and shaped to articulate the black experience he refers to as “black nuss”. McKnight is a graduate of Syracuse University and St. John of London.
Maximo Caminero
-Known for his radical intervention at PAMM, Maximo explores the Taino megaliths and their relationships to African iconography.  Recently, the museum of modern Art of Cartagena Colombia dedicated him a retrospective in 2016.
Emilio Martinez
-Martinez’s work emerges from his experience of crossing the borders as a child and the spiritual dimension of that crossing through which ancestral spirits appear to the travelers to guide them to their destination. Martinez’s recent participation in the group exhibition of the museum of art of Boca Raton, Florida made him known as a rising artist in south Florida.
Saddi Khali
-Focuses on decolonizing beauty. His photography has been featured in Essence magazine and on covers of books like Random Houses’ Triksta. Saddi has exhibited in NY, Johannesburg, and co-produced the historical fantasy short film “Ase” shot on location in Nigeria.
Bodo Korsig
-Bodo explores human behavior and the extreme conditions such as fear, violence, pressure, and death.  His works have been exhibited in over 100 museums and galleries both in his native Germany and internationally. He is presenting Emancipation, his new work, for the first time in Art Africa 2017.
Bryan McFarlane
– McFarlane is interested in exploring in return the concept of silk-road living partly in Boston and partly in Beijing, where he teaches at Massachusetts college of art. McFarlane’s works have been exhibited at the national museum of China, Beijing. He is the recipient of the highest Jamaican award, the Musgrave medal 2016.
Christina Nicola
-The youngest artist in the exhibition, Nicola is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.  She’s interested in sorting out the gender dynamics and the politics of representation as they pertain to the black experience. This research she calls Afro-galactic, built on both the works of France Fanon and W.E.B. Dubois double consciousness.
Miles Regis-Trinidad and Tobago
-Miles Regis explores the black conditions by building a bridge both to the black art and black power movement within a contemporary style that fuses the black condition made of sorrow yet of hope for a better future through struggle. He calls for the world to be awoke.
Solomon Adufah
-Though born and raised in Ghana, Adufah has lived in Chicago, Illinois for the past nine years. With limited training in fine art, he taught himself to become the artist he is today, developing his drawing hobby into a professional art career. Originally doubting art as a stable endeavor due to personal fears and familial pressures, Adufah endured on a path towards architecture. However, quickly realizing he needed to discover something meant for him, and that included opening the world’s eyes to the positive wonders of Africa, painting became his new outlet and permanent commitment. Since moving to Chicago as a late teen, Adufah has been concerned with the negative perception of Africa that has consistently been tainted by its history and the media. It was baffling for Adufah to see that his home was only seen through the lens of war, poverty, and famine, and found it even more troubling that blacks in America shared these limited views. Using his artwork as a tool to react to this narrative, Adufah crafted a personal mission “to empower, promote and celebrate the African culture through his portrait paintings.”
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