Discovering the Greater Miami Art Vibe
Indoors and outdoors, Miami’s visual art is always on display
From visual arts and theater to music and dance, Greater Miami displays an energetic art scene. More than just a sun-and-fun destination, the city boasts worldclass cultural institutions. As more visual and performing artists from around the world are attracted to the area, cultural life continues to be enhanced. Here are just a few options to highlight any group tour.
In addition to wide, sandy beaches, the first thing visitors notice are the indoor and outdoor public art pieces from local and nationally acclaimed artists. Miami Dade Art in Public Places blankets the landscape. The presentation begins at Miami International Airport, with its vibrant collection of exceptional artwork.
In the southernmost area of the city a visit to Art South is a necessity. A collective with working
and exhibit space in downtown Homestead hosts an open house the second Saturday of the month. The newest exhibits are on display and visitors have an opportunity to meet the artists while enjoying musical entertainment in the sculpture garden. Look online at artsouthmiami.org for special events.
Miami is fast becoming a home furnishings and interior design leader in South Florida. Just north of downtown, Miami’s Design District is a must stop on any tour; its design and furniture showrooms are open to the public. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami is temporarily located in the district’s Moore Building while waiting completion of its nearby new home. There is no cost to visit and tours are scheduled daily. For more information on the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, visit icamiami.org. Check the shops in the Design District online at miamidesigndistrict.net.
Named for an enchanting shoreline on the Spanish coast, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is
European extravagant with a truly American vibe. Built between 1914 and 1922 as the home of industrialist James Deering, of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune, the Italianate mansion has 70 rooms, many overflowing with antiquities from as far back as the 15th century. The 10 acres of formal gardens are reminiscent of France’s Versailles. The spirit of Miami is captured with lush tropical plants, palms and orchids. More than 300,000 visit annually. To schedule a visit, call 305-860-8442 or log on to vizcaya.org.
Greater Miami’s flagship art museum, the Perez Art Museum of Miami (PAMM), spotlights the city’s diverse communities and pivotal geographic location through modern and contemporary art. Whether exploring the striking permanent and rotating galleries, dining with views of Biscayne Bay or shopping for that perfect gift, PAMM enhances the visitor experience. A variety of tour options is available. Visit pamm.org or call 786-345-5628.
On the campus of Florida International University, the largest public university in South Florida,
you’ll discover the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum-FIU. This Smithsonian Affiliate is devoted to collecting, exhibiting and interpreting art from diverse cultures throughout human history and providing a resource for scholarly research. Since opening in 2008, the 46,000-square-foot museum has welcomed more than 40,000 visitors annually. To schedule a visit, go to frost.fiu.edu.
The 1930s Art Deco building that was formerly the Miami Beach Public Library and Art Center is home to The Bass, a contemporary art museum. Founded in 1964 by the City of Miami Beach, The Bass was recognized as the first solo museum to organize exhibitions of international artists. Exhibitions cover a wide diversity of media and artistic expression that reflect the variety of Miami’s culture. The Bass is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 305- 673-7530 or visit online at thebass.org.
The Miami-Dade College Museum of Art and Design reopened in April after a year of renovations. It is housed in downtown Miami’s historic Freedom Tower, a building considered the Ellis Island of Cuban exiles fleeing the Fidel
Castro regime as the U.S. government processed refugees there in the 1960s. Today, it’s dedicated to fostering an appreciation of visual art through direct engagement with original works. Begin your visit online at mdcmoad.org.
Located in the historic Art Deco area of Miami Beach, the Wolfsonian-FIU uses American and European decorative and fine art objects produced from 1885-1945 to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design. A museum staff member leads all tours. Schedule your time at wolfsonian.org.
A common thread throughout the art community is the diversity of the city’s population. More than 60 percent of the Greater Miami area are Latinos, many arriving from Caribbean islands. Through their art and design, music and dance their influence is felt. Gather your group and come experience Greater Miami’s art and culture. Begin planning at miamiandbeaches.com.